Monday dawned bright for stocks in the renewable energy industry. Despite there being a dearth of really good news to explain the spikes, early trading showed that shares of solar panel installer SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), solar module maker JinkoSolar Holding (NYSE:JKS), and lithium miner Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC) all charged ahead 10% or more.
As of 1:45 p.m. EDT, SunPower stock is still holding onto 7.6% of its gains, JinkoSolar remains up 8.5%, and Lithium Americas (a supplier for rechargeable batteries for solar power) is still leading the pack with a 9.1% gain.
Although we're in the middle of earnings season right now, only one of these three stocks is scheduled to report earnings anytime soon: SunPower, which is due out with Q3 2020 results after close of trading on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Lithium Americas, however, doesn't report its earnings until Nov. 12, nearly a month away. And JinkoSolar reports about a week after that. Clearly, most investors aren't buying up these stocks in anticipation of imminent good earnings news.
Even the shift in oil prices that we saw earlier today (oil prices being a reference cost that can make renewable energy prices look more attractive by way of comparison) doesn't seem to be holding up. WTI crude, which jumped higher last week and had been holding mostly steady at about $41 a barrel the past few days, has now slipped into the red.
And the cheaper that oil gets, the less attractive alternative-energy sources become by comparison.
The only remaining factor that makes sense are the presidential poll numbers.
After one presidential debate, one vice presidential debate, and a pair of separate town hall meetings, the current administration has said very little about investing in renewable energy, while the Democratic challengers have talked up green energy programs in all three of the forums they attended. With the Biden-Harris ticket polling about 10 percentage points ahead of the Trump-Pence ticket today, that's probably good news for renewable energy stocks.
And it's apparently good enough news to deliver gains to SunPower, JinkoSolar, and Lithium Americas stocks.