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Elon Musk Tweets May Cost Tesla Investors Close to $20 Billion

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Romit Shah, senior analyst at Nomura Instinet, says Tesla needs Elon Musk to survive.Markets: The Open." (Source: Bloomberg)

The prospect that Elon Musk could lose his job as Tesla Inc. CEO over tweets may cost the carkmaker’s shareholders close to $20 billion.

Tesla plunged as much as 14 percent in early trading Friday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Musk committed fraud by tweeting last month that he’d secured funding to take the company private. The regulator is seeking to bar Musk from serving as an officer or director of a public company.