Tesla Stock Falls as the SEC Asks Court to Find Elon Musk in Contempt

Someone has to hold Musk back when it comes to tweeting about Tesla.

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By Andrew Osterland

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The CEO of Tesla has once again run afoul of the securities regulator for recent tweets about the expected level of production at Tesla for the coming year. The SEC, which struck an agreement with Elon Musk and Tesla last year that included tighter oversight of Musk's twitter posts, has asked a court to find Musk in contempt of that agreement. "[Musk] needs to have a certain amount of repression of his instinctive drive to go to Twitter," former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt suggested to CNBC. Tesla shares were down more than 3 percent in the morning, but trimmed their losses to 0.31 percent.

The broader market see-sawed for much of the day, as investors digested the testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before the Senate Banking Committee today. Powell confirmed the central bank's commitment to a more patient approach to interest rate hikes this year but also raised red flags about growing government deficits and debt as well as the looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling in early March.

A late dip pushed the major indexes into negative territory. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were down 0.13 percent and 0.08 percent respectively today, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.07 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 0.23 percent.

J.M. Smucker Company had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today after the food-maker beat both revenue and earnings estimates for the fourth quarter. The stock was up 4.98 percent on the day. The strong results dispelled some of the worries that surfaced last Friday about weak demand for branded foods after Heinz Kraft took a huge write-down of its brand values. J.M. Smucker shares were down more than five percent on that news.

Ford Motor Co. gained 1.37 percent today. Shares in the carmaker have been mired below $10 for the last six months but are up 16.2 percent so far this year. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was also up 1.32 percent, despite an unfavorable ruling in a patent dispute with Amgen today. The stock is up 14.5 percent this year.

Other gains on the Entrepreneur Index™ included whiskey-maker Brown-Forman Corp. (1.38 percent), software-makers Adobe Systems Inc. (1.01 percent) and salesforce.com (1.02 percent).

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams announced he would leave the Twitter board at the end of the month. The stock was down 3.06 percent, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. It is up nearly 20 percent from lows set last fall, but still has a negative return since the day after it went public in November 2013.

Other notable declines on the index today included shopping-center REIT Macerich Company (-1.62 percent), and retailers Bed Bath & Beyond (-1.54 percent) and Gap Inc. (-1.11 percent).

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.

Andrew Osterland

Andrew Osterland is a contributing writer for CNBC.com. He specializes in capital markets, personal finance and taxes.

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