Elon Musk takes a break from Twitter after market-moving posts

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Investors who take their cues from Elon Musk may have to go without his occasionally bizarre musings for a spell.

The billionaire Tesla boss went on a Twitter hiatus after making several posts that moved markets in recent weeks.

“Off Twitter for a while,” Musk wrote in an early Tuesday morning tweet.

It’s unclear what prompted Musk, 49, to break away from the platform, where he regularly shares news about his various companies to his nearly 45 million followers. In addition to Tesla, Musk is also head of rocket company SpaceX and neurotechnology company Neuralink.

Leading up to the abrupt announcement, the South African billionaire — who recently surpassed Jeff Bezos as world’s richest man — shared a video of the new Tesla plant that’s under construction in Germany and responded to queries from fans.

But he has a storied history with Twitter. The Securities and Exchange Commission slapped Musk with a $20 million fine in 2018 following an infamous tweet claiming that he was planning to take Tesla private at $420 a share. He later said the tweet was intended as a joke to impress his singer girlfriend Grimes.

In July of that year, Musk fired off a post calling British cave diver Vernon Unsworth a “pedo guy,” leading Unsworth to unsuccessfully sue Musk for defamation.

But Musk’s posts remain influential nonetheless. The price of Bitcoin spiked last week after he name-checked the cryptocurrency in his bio on the site. Before that he appeared to fuel the already explosive rally in GameStop’s share price by tweeting a link to a Reddit message board where rookie traders were pumping it up.

He’s also driven up the shares of Etsy and Signal Advance simply by mentioning them in tweets. And the latter was a case of ticker confusion with Musk was apparently referring to the Signal messaging app, not the similarly named medical device company.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an email asking whether the electric-car maker, its board or its officers had anything to do with Musk’s social media break.

As part of his 2019 settlement with the SEC over the $420 tweet, Musk agreed to submit for legal review any Tesla-related tweet that might contain material information.

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