Tesla jumps after receiving an upgrade at Morgan Stanley

Screen Shot 2017 01 19 at 10.31.55 AMMarkets Insider

Shares of Tesla are up 3.2% at $246.08 a share as of 10:37 a.m. ET after receiving an upgrade at Morgan Stanley.

Adam Jonas, lead auto analyst for Morgan Stanley, published a research note on the company on Thursday in which he raised his target price to $305 from $242 and placed and "overweight" or buy rating on the stock.

Jonas cited four major factors in his upgrade: a successful 2017 launch of the $35,000 Model 3, with better volume production arriving in 2018; the emergence of electric vehicles as a "core trend" for big carmakers, with EVs reaching 23% of the market in 2030; the disappearance of high-tech competitors with plans to build actual cars; and a pro-US manufacturing policy set to arrive from the Trump administration.

The upgrade follows a recent announcement from Tesla that it will invest $350 million and hire 500 workers to ramp up production of drivetrains for its forthcoming Model 3 mass-market vehicle, which will be priced at $35,000.

Thursday's gains have Tesla trading at its best level since the end of April and about $40 below its all-time high set in the middle of 2015.

Fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings for Tesla are set to be announced in February.

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