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Market Extra: Why an Elon Musk tweet led to a 5,675% surge in Signal Advance’s stock

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recommended folks use Signal, an encrypted-messaging platform which isn't a publicly traded company. Instead unrelated Signal Advance has surged 5,643%, pushing its market value to $3.164 billion from a mundane $55 million as of last Wednesday. Read More...

Talk about a case of mixed Signals.

On Jan. 6, shares of Signal Advance SIGL, +438.25% closed at 60 cents a share, a solid gain for the Rosharon, Texas-based biotechnology company formerly known as Biodyne Development Company.

A day later, on Thursday, the company’s shares surged 527% to $3.76 — and then all heck broke lose, after apparent ticker confusion amplified a move in the over-counter-traded security into the ether. The surge came after Tesla Inc. TSLA, -7.82%. CEO Elon Musk recommended that people “use signal,” shifting to the encrypted-messaging platform Signal from Twitter TWTR, -6.41% and Facebook FB, -4.01%, following the Sturm und Drang over politics and social-media platforms after the riots on Capitol Hill last week.

Signal, the messaging platform, isn’t a publicly traded company, but that didn’t stop the unrelated Signal Advance from continuing its rise, surging 5,643% and pushing its market value to $3.164 billion from a mundane $55 million as of last Wednesday.

The move was so powerful that the messaging service weighed in on Friday:

The curious thing is that much has already been made about the fact that Signal Advance isn’t Signal in a number of news articles, but the former’s shares have refused to return to Earth and enjoyed a nearly 400% surge on Monday.

Signal Advance appeared to be down on Monday, with those seeking access to it getting this message: “The website is temporarily unable to service your request as it exceeded resource limit. Please try again later.”

A call to the company, which was founded by Chris M Hymel in 1992, according to FactSet, wasn’t immediately returned.

The messenger app Signal bills itself as an open-source service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger around 2014 and it has seen usership pick up during periods of political upheaval.

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