Elon Musk could make fireworks on 'SNL.' Investors are betting on it

Billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk teases his upcoming "SNL" hosting gig and the internet is ablaze in controversy.

Posted: May 9, 2021 11:00 AM
Updated: May 9, 2021 11:00 AM

Live from New York, it's ... a market-moving corporate liability.

This weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is hosting "Saturday Night Live," which, in case the name wasn't clear enough, is broadcast live. That means NBC relying on Musk to filter his thoughts in real time, despite little evidence, historically, of him holding back on just about anything he wants to say — even when under scrutiny by federal regulators.

Wall Street is already betting that Musk will take the opportunity to play a little investing game.

The cryptocurrency dogecoin, one of Musk's favorite market playthings, has been trading higher in anticipation of the SNL appearance. And Tesla stock, which fell into bear territory after hitting record highs in January, was up 1.5% Friday.

Dogecoin was trading at around 65 cents on Friday, just shy of its all-time high of 69 cents. The shiba inu-themed digital currency that began as a joke has surged more than 12,000% since January, fueled in no small measure by Musk's tweets. Just a few words from Musk on Twitter, where he boasts more than 53 million followers, caused the crypto to spike 100%.

"Musk will undoubtedly have a sketch on cryptocurrencies that will probably go viral for days and further motivate his army of followers to try to send Dogecoin to the moon," wrote Ed Moya, a senior market analyst with online trading firm Oanda.

Last week, Musk dubbed himself the "dogefather" in a brief tweet promoting his SNL appearance. The coin shot up more than 30%.

So far, Musk has managed to tweet and say just about anything he wants — including his skepticism about Covid-19 and threats to workers who consider unionizing — without serious repercussions. He settled securities fraud charges with the SEC in 2018 by paying a fine, and is currently appealing a ruling in March from the National Labor Relations board that ordered Tesla to delete a three-year-old tweet discouraging unionization.

He famously smoked weed and played with a samurai sword on Joe Rogan's podcast in 2018, a move that displeased shareholders and prompted two high-level executive departures. NASA, which had contracted Musk's SpaceX to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, ordered a safety review of the company amid concerns about Musk's behavior, according to multiple news reports.

But Tesla's 2020 stock performance was so robust — shares rose by more than 700% — few if any investors seem bothered by his tendency toward erratic behavior.

Still, several cast members on SNL publicly expressed their concerns about giving Musk an even bigger platform as host of the show.

Musk, the self-annointed "Technoking" of Tesla, is often described as eccentric visionary, or, just as often, a reckless businessman with Peter Pan syndrome and a penchant for trolling his rivals. In either case, he is fundamentally unpredictable.

He said it best himself in a promotional video released by SNL on Thursday. "I'm a wild card, so there's no telling what I may do."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
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Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
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Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
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Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
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Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
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Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
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Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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