Passive investors should be pissed at S&P. S&P made an ideological decision years ago that excluded Tesla from the index, even though Tesla was by far the largest and highest cap company not in the index. Passive investors have lost out on some $50B in gains.
When one ponders how a stock price can be manipulated, it is necessary to understand that there are several ways to control a stock price, given enough money. It is difficult to discern how much "legal" shorting vis-a-vis "naked shorting" contribute to a major downward move of an SP. But, the one thing that most people here are missing in this endeavor, is that short selling, whether it be legit or naked can now (since 2007) be done on DOWNticks. You have to actually spend some time thinking about the power of this ability to really understand how it is done. Think about it: if you are a legitimate long, do you want to pay a higher price than the market is showing?---no. Conversely, why would a legitimate short want to sell at a LOWER price? Pretty simple, really.Given where SP was pre-split-announcement (Aug 11, ~$280) and where it finally settled to (~$420), do you really think the naked shorting depressed the SP by $140?