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Year of the Solar Stock? — Thursday’s IP Market Recap

So far, 2012 has been very good for the struggling sector


InvestorPlace Market RecapSolar stocks continued their role as one of the early feel-good stories of 2012 with another rally during Thursday trading.

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.

Three Up

Three Down

Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out recaps from previous trading days here.

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