What happened

Shares of electric-truck maker Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) have had a bumpy last few days. Today's action mirrored recent movements as shares dropped 5%, then moved 4.4% above Monday's close, before finally settling back with a gain of 3% as of 10:40 a.m. EST.

So what 

The volatility is partly left over from the previous days' news, and partly tied in with today's market sentiment. 

Nikola Two and Tre semi trucks

Nikola Two (left) and Tre (right) semi trucks. Image source: Nikola.

Shares took a dive on Dec. 23 when the company announced it was backing out of an agreement to supply Republic Services 2,500 battery-electric garbage trucks. 

But shares jumped yesterday after J.P. Morgan put out an analyst note that investors took as a positive view. 

Now what

Many renewable energy stocks are taking a hit today, which explains the initial drop. But longer term, investors will have to decide whether Nikola can recover from the reputational hit it took earlier this year when a short-seller report forced founder and chairman Trevor Milton to resign. 

The analyst report yesterday pointed out that the next year should be "less drama-filled" for the company. But it ultimately comes down to whether Nikola can successfully make both the battery- and hydrogen-electric trucks it claims. Expect plenty more volatility as investors digest news regarding the underlying business next year. 

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.