Shares in Tesla, the electric vehicle pioneer run by entrepreneur Elon Musk, have fallen by as much as 20 per cent today following the company’s surprise exclusion from the S&P 500 benchmark index of leading US stocks. 

Analysts and investors had widely expected Tesla to be added as part of the regular review of the S&P 500’s makeup. The company posted its fourth consecutive profitable quarter in July, clearing a major hurdle for its potential inclusion. 

Instead, S&P Down Jones Indices decided to add online craft seller Etsy, semiconductor equipment maker Teradyne and pharmaceutical technology company Catalent to the S&P 500. 

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S&P Dow Jones senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt has declined to say why Tesla was not included. 

With a market capitalisation of about $390 billion (£299bn), Tesla is nearly 10 times larger than Etsy, Teradyne and Catalent’s combined stock market value. However, the trio have a more consistent profitability track record, with Etsy, for instance, having posted 13 straight quarters of profit. 

Halfords has forecast a sharp rise in first half profits as it benefited from a cycling boom during the coronavirus pandemic, but warned that growth would be slower in the next six months. 

Sales of bicycles and related products surged 59.1 per cent in the 20 weeks to August 21 when compared to the same period a year earlier. Strong growth was reported across all cycling categories, with like-for-like sales up 76% in its performance cycling business Tredz, and a 230% surge in sales of electric bikes and scooters. 

As a result, it anticipates an underlying pre-tax profit of £35-£40 million for the six months to the end of September, compared to £25.9m a year earlier. 

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Halfords, which trades from 447 stores, said it has seen a rebound in sales at it motoring division during the past few weeks as car journeys have picked up. However, it cautioned that “significant uncertainty” remained for the second half of the financial year.  

“Given the natural fall-off in the relative strength of cycling and staycation products during winter months, alongside a difficult economic outlook, H2 FY21 profit before tax could be significantly lower than H1 FY21,” the company said. 

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has topped Forbes’ list of richest Americans for the third year in a row, while US president Donald Trump’s ranking dropped as the coronavirus pandemic slammed his office buildings, hotels and resorts. 

The aggregate wealth of the Forbes 400 list rose to a record $3.2 trillion (£2.45 trillion) as America’s wealthiest continued to fare well despite the impact of the pandemic on the economy.  

The American president’s ranking dropped from 275 to 352 as his net worth fell to $2.5 billion (£1.9bn) from $3.1bn a year ago. Office buildings, hotels and resorts have all suffered during the pandemic, and his business, Trump Organization, owns property in all three categories. 

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Mr Trump has long refused to release his tax records, and has been locked in a battle with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who has subpoenaed the president for eight years of personal and corporate returns. 

Eric Yuan, chief executive of Zoom Video Communications, was one of 18 newcomers on the list with a net worth of $11bn (£8.4bn). Mr Bezos’ fortune of $179bn (£137bn), as of July 24, is up 57% from last year.