Inside Joke Or Insider Trading? Unusually High Activity In Manchester United Shares Seen Prior To Elon Musk Buyout Joke Tweet
The tumultuous fallout of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s proposed Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) takeover that led to a legal battle hasn’t yet settled but the litigious billionaire can’t seem to separate himself from controversies.
Even if no one was asking, Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he plans to buy the British football team Manchester United (NYSE: MANU).
After the tweet spread like wildfire across the twittersphere and investing spaces–since the sports team is publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange–Musk walked back on his words, claiming that the buyout is a “long-running joke.” He added that he will not be buying any sports team; although if he was, “it would be Man U.”
It could have just been another one of Musk’s contentious tweets that frequently land him in legal skirmishes with government agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission in particular. The regulatory body has long contended that Musk’s tweets concerning publicly traded companies should be under scrutiny.
But keen eyes have noticed the pattern of unusual activity in Manchester United’s shares, generating “3500% increase in volume” days prior to the Musk joke.
Some went for the stretch and connected the dots, theorizing that the buyout joke was mentioned so it would send the football team’s shares spiking (as a pattern from past Musk’s tweets) and then would definitely generate gains for the late call options placed days prior.
Others see this latest brouhaha as Musk skirting yet again the securities and regulatory agencies, making the fake-out another piece of evidence to rein in Musk openly tweeting about public stocks which could lead to potential real investment losses or gains.
Of course, as always, Musk seems to have moved from the online commotion he caused.
Manchester United last traded at US$12.78 on the NYSE, and is up 5% pre-market.
Information for this briefing was found via Twitter and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.