Elon Musk sells $8.8B in Tesla shares to pay for taxes on stock options

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The S&P 500 traded higher despite concerns over rising COVID-19 case numbers in Europe.

On Friday, Austria reimposed a full lockdown and made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory after recording a record 15,145 new cases on Thursday. Airlines and other travel stocks traded lower on Friday on fears the latest wave of cases could threaten holiday travel. 

Electric vehicle stock Lucid gained more than 15% following comments from CEO Peter Rawlinson that reservations for its Air sedan are soaring and its 2022 production plans are on track. Neither Lucid nor fellow EV startup Rivian are generating meaningful sales yet, but the two companies now have a combined $190 billion market capitalization. U.S. auto production leaders Ford and General Motors have a combined market cap of less than $170 billion.

Tesla’s stock also traded higher on the week even as CEO Elon Musk sold at least $8.8 billion worth of Tesla shares. Musk has pledged to sell 10% of his stake in Tesla, in part to pay taxes on more than $10 billion in stock options he was granted in 2012. 

The price of Bitcoin dropped back below $58,000 on Friday after Chinese officials said the country will continue its crackdown on cryptocurrency mining amid an ongoing energy crisis.

More: Ford CEO gives employees sobering data about Tesla, challenges ahead

More: Tesla deal with Hertz is ‘huge embarrassment for traditional automakers’

Magic of Macy’s

Shares of department store chain Macy’s gained more than 17% after the company reported a third-quarter earnings beat and said it is working with consulting firm AlixPartners to review its business structure.

Third-quarter earnings season continues to wind down in the holiday-shortened week ahead with reports from Zoom Video Communications on Monday and Medtronic, Dell Technologies and HP on Tuesday.

Over 95% of S&P 500 companies have now reported third-quarter earnings, and 82% of those companies have exceeded analyst earnings estimates, according to FactSet.

Economic numbers

In the week ahead, investors will get more key economic updates on Wednesday when the U.S. Census Bureau releases its October Durable Goods Orders report and the Federal Open Market Committee releases the minutes from its latest meeting.

Benzinga is a financial news and data company headquartered in Detroit.