What happened

Shares of FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) jumped as much as 18.1% in trading today after the start-up of a new facility in California. Shares are up 12.6% as of 11:10 a.m. EST and have been fairly volatile in trading.

So what

Late last week, FuelCell Energy announced the start of operations of a 2.8-megawatt fuel cell project in Tulare, California. This is one of the company's biggest projects, and it is supposed to be more efficient than previous plants. But while the operational milestone is great, it might not be what's driving the stock higher.

FuelCell power plant on a cloudy day.

Image source: FuelCell Energy.

Late last week, FuelCell Energy's stock crossed above the $1 mark, which made stock traders take it a little more seriously. Stocks can trade in wild ways when they're low priced like this, and I think that's exactly what's happening today.

Now what

The $1 barrier isn't anything long-term investors should worry about, except to know that it can cause strange volatility in stocks. I would be more concerned about FuelCell Energy's continued losses and dilution of existing shareholders, as you can see in the chart below.

FCEL Net Income (TTM) Chart

FCEL Net Income (TTM) data by YCharts.

I am certainly not buying today's pop or the bounce of the last week. Shares can easily lose those gains and be back in penny-stock territory before you know it.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.