What happened

It looks like the entire tech sector became suddenly at risk today.

Around 11:30 a.m. EDT, the Nasdaq as a whole was selling off by some 4.5%. But there's no denying that hydrogen fuel shares are incurring more than their fair share of the damage. FuelCell Energy (FCEL 2.89%) shares are down 8% at last report, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP 3.00%) 9.5%, and Plug Power (PLUG 5.69%) is leading the way down with a 10.7% loss. 

3 arrows trending down over a background of a map and dollar signs

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The moves come just one day after hydrogen fuel stock Ballard Power Systems announced its plan to capitalize on strong stock price gains by selling $250 million worth of new stock.

But there's no other stock-specific news whatsoever that would appear relevant to FuelCell, Ballard, or Plug. 

Is this just a bump in the road, or the start of new trend of falling stock prices in the alternative energy sector? I wish I could tell you the answer to that, but my crystal ball is in the shop this week, and the plain truth of the matter is that I do not know.

Now what

What I can tell you, is this: The damage to Plug, to Ballard, and to FuelCell shares would be a lot less -- and the temptation to buy into this sell-off a lot greater -- if these companies were generating consistent profits from their businesses and weren't forced to rely on stock sales, such as the one Ballard announced yesterday, to keep themselves solvent.

Until they figure out a way to not just grow revenues, but also to earn profits on those revenues -- no matter what happens with the rest of the Nasdaq -- hydrogen fuel stocks will remain a risky bet.