Reports of increased demand here in the U.S., as well as Europe and China, have piled up enough to lift shares across the industry, reflected in a 50% year-to-date return on the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE:TAN). Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) gained 20% Thursday and is up 55% year-to-date, LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) jumped more than 12% and is up 60% YTD, and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) rose 7% and is up 45% YTD. Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL), Suntech Power (NYSE:STP) and JA Solar (NASDAQ:JASO) also all made significant gains.
Shareholders of talent managing software firm Taleo (NASDAQ:TLEO) saw a 17% jolt in their investment Thursday on news of a buyout by Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), marking the first major cloud acquisition of the new year. The move comes several months after Oracle’s 2011 buyout of cloud-based RightNow Technologies for $1.43 billion.
PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) stock lost 3.7% of its value Thursday despite a strong fourth-quarter earnings report. The company’s quarterly profit grew 9% to $1.15 per share, and its full-year earnings were up 7% to $4.40 — both figures topped analyst estimates. Still, investors remained cold on the stock, which along with rival Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) faces significant difficulties ahead, including rising commodity costs.
Also falling Thursday was bankrupt American icon Eastman Kodak (PINK:EKDKQ), which took another step toward 0 after announcing plans to stop producing digital cameras. The company now will rely on its brand licensing program, consumer services like photo kiosks and commercial services.
- Cheniere Energy (NYSE:LNG): Up 15.3% ($1.90) to $14.30.
- Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM): Up 10.5% ($3.62) to $38.06. (Read more about Akamai Technologies here.)
- KB Home (NYSE:KBH): Up 9.5% ($1.04) to $11.96.
- Diamond Foods (NASDAQ:DMND): Down 36.9% ($13.53) to $23.13. (Read more about Diamond Foods here.)
- Tripadvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP): Down 14.6% ($5.00) to $29.34.
- Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Down 13.9% ($3.41) to $21.17. (Read more about Groupon here.)
Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out recaps from previous trading days here.