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Why FuelCell Energy Stock Slumped Today

By Rich Smith – Aug 11, 2021 at 4:55PM

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It's a case of "buy the rumor, sell the news."

What happened

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed its $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill containing at least $9 billion in funding for various fuel cell technologies. This was a clear win for a company with a name like FuelCell Energy (FCEL -0.43%), shares of which surged 4% on the day the bill passed.

But that was yesterday. Today is Wednesday, and today, FuelCell stock is down 9.2% (as of 3:25 p.m. EDT). Why?

Chalkboard drawing of a rising stock chart arrow partially erased at the top and then dipping downward.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Here's the thing: Up until the Senate passed the infrastructure bill, passage was something investors could look forward to -- something they could "buy the rumor" on. But now that the bill has passed, the most likely future scenario is not immediate rubber-stamping of the bill by the House of Representatives and signing by the President. Rather, the most likely future scenario is delay and perhaps even disappointment.

As The Wall Street Journal explained today in a story on the infrastructure bill's Senate passage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "won't take up the infrastructure bill until the Senate also passes the [$3.5 trillion] antipoverty and climate plan." And granted, that bigger bill may contain even more money for fuel cell companies like FuelCell Energy. Problem is, there's far less bipartisan support for spending $3.5 trillion on this more socially oriented legislation than there was for rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, meaning it "could take months" to get the antipoverty and climate bill passed.  

Now what

And so, here's the situation today: The infrastructure bill really only half-passed and still has another big hurdle to clear before it can become law. Indeed, a big enough argument over the antipoverty and climate plan in the Senate -- or in the House -- could potentially undo the good done by the infrastructure bill's passage and keep both bills from becoming law.

Or put another way, the infrastructure bill's passage, once rumored, has now become old news. And nervous investors are selling that news.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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