First Solar Shares Jumped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of solar panel maker First Solar (NAS: FSLR) jumped 10% today as optimism about Europe's finances had the market feeling happy.

So what: This is more than just a volatile stock following the market higher on good news from Europe. Solar manufacturers have pointed to increasing borrowing costs and tighter financing for developers as one of the reasons demand has been sluggish in recent months. This could help ease that pressure, although as soon as we see signs of hope in Europe, they almost always seem to fade away.

Now what: First Solar is still one of the solar leaders despite its stock price tumbling throughout 2011. But considering that feed-in tariffs are being increasingly geared toward rooftop installations, I think SunPower (NAS: SPWR) is a better way to play improving trends in Europe. First Solar will see a jump in demand, but the long-term trends still favor more efficient modules.

Interested in more info on First Solar? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium owns shares of First Solar and SunPower. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.The Motley Fool owns shares of First Solar. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of First Solar. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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