On Friday evening, headlines screamed that Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk had reportedly made a surprisingly bold and extremely risky decision to fight charges of fraud by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). On Saturday, it looked like reason and rationality prevailed with an official announcement of a settlement deal issuing a slap on the wrist including a $40 million fine (split between Musk and his company), resignation as chair of the TSLA board, two additional board members with no ties to Musk, and no admission or denial of guilt. On Friday, it looked like Musk was willing to take the company down in flames to preserve his ego. Now, it looks like TSLA is ready to rev higher again. This tantalizing volatility sits quite comfortably as of a 21-month trading range that is the stubborn breakout from the previous near 4-year trading range.

Source: Trading View

The weekly chart on Tesla shows two extended trading ranges that have trapped trading ever since TSLA’s epic 6-month run-up in 2013. Interestingly, the 200-week moving average has served as firm support for TSLA since 2016 including two recent tests.

After TSLA gapped down on the abrupt resignation of its CFO, I explained why I was finally done betting on TSLA although I was not going to sell into the panic. On Friday, I was of course relieved that I decided to sell those shares into the relief rally. Still, there are short-term trades available on TSLA as it continues to churn through its trading range(s). For example, I am still holding onto my old November 380/420 call spread as an outside bet that TSLA somehow attains the value its CEO thinks the company deserves. Obviously, time is running out on that position.

In the wake of the SEC charges that drove Friday’s gap down and 13.9% loss, I covered a hedged short position and established a fresh set of hedged option plays. I expected more downside pressure with the outside possibility of a rapid decline through a series of gap downs. The settlement news makes the stock much more likely in the short-term to experience a relief rally right back to 50/200DMA resistance. My combination of far out of the money put, put spread, calendar put spread, and calendar call spread now looks overly weighted to the bearish side. Monday’s trading action will likely determine my next adjustments (I still do not want to own shares until after the company executes its next funding round). TSLA is churning and volatile, but its penchant for bouncing away from key resistance points and rebounding off key support levels makes the stock too tantalizing to resist.

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