Tesla surges back to record high ahead of joining the S&P 500

Elon Musk, head of Tesla, at the Tesla Gigafactory construction site in Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020.

Patrick Pleul | picture alliance | Getty Images

Tesla stock reached an all-time high Thursday, briefly trading at $507.76 per share.

The company’s stock has been on a tear since the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced this week that it will include the carmaker to the benchmark index prior to trading on Monday, Dec. 21. Money managers with funds that track the S&P 500 will need to buy the stock for their portfolios.

Morgan Stanley also upgraded Tesla to a buy-equivalent overweight rating Wednesday, the first time in years since the company put a buy rating on the stock, sending share prices up.

“Tesla is on the verge of a profound model shift from selling cars to generating high margin, recurring software and services revenue,” Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas said in a note on Wednesday. The firm upped its price target to $540 from $360.

Tesla recently reported its fifth consecutive quarter of profit on third-quarter revenue of $8.77 billion. The company also reported that it delivered 139,300 vehicles during the third quarter, a new record for it. 

The company’s stock is up more than 490% year to date.

CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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