Tesla stock has been gaining for a while now, rising steadily from $181.47 on December 2, 2016, to pushing $255 at closing for the last two days (and opening at $257.31 on Wednesday). The New York Times notes that Morgan Stanley automotive analyst Adam Jonas upgraded Tesla's target price to $305 a share. Jonas cites "overlapping interest" with Trump in creating technology and manufacturing jobs (hello, Gigafactory). Analyst Andrew Hughes at Credit Suisse adds that solar shares have bounced back since the election in spite of Trump's coal promises. Interestingly, NYT also cites The Washington Post in saying that Musk and SpaceX could mean Trump gets his own version of Kennedy's moon landing, but on Mars.
Teslarati also cites the "Trump effect," but also credits Tesla's performance. Extra cash, Tesla's ability to sell carbon credits to other automakers, and improvements in production are grounds for optimism.
Now back to that meeting at the White House. A senior official there tells Bloomberg that Musk did bring up the idea of a carbon tax in the meeting with the President, but that the suggestion wasn't met with enthusiasm by White House executives. The New York Times notes, however, that Trump didn't reject the idea outright. After the meeting, Musk cited mutual support for a carbon tax as part of his reason to give Rex Tillerson a chance in Trump's administration, so while conservatives might be mostly cool on the idea, there are at least two voices the President's ear that are friendly to it.
As a growth stock, Tesla's share prices are tied in large part to the company's potential, which is based on what analysts predict. To them, Trump's friendliness to Musk and their shared interests matter much more than their differences. Trump brushing off Musk's carbon tax proposal is inconsequential. It isn't going to keep Wall Street from seeing the relevant economic picture: technology, manufacturing - maybe even Mars. But we ought to keep in mind that, despite this week's uptick in buzz in the news, this rally began before their first meeting, and Tesla has been trading fairly even since Wednesday. And, as always, Tesla's stock price relative to its sales and revenue in the auto industry is incredibly high. Time has yet to tell whether the analysts' narrative will play out.