Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of refiner Alon USA Energy, (NYSE:ALJ) jumped 10% today, recovering some of the earnings inflicted losses it suffered last week.

So what: Last week, the stock was down because of a disappointing earnings report and an announcement that a 70,000-barrel-per-day California refining system could be shut down through early 2015. Today, the company got a boost when analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded the stock and increased their price target to $14. They cited the contribution of the Bakersfield start-up as a positive catalyst for the stock.  

Now what: Analyst-induced pops are common in the market, but they're rarely a great buying opportunity for investors because the short-term pop isn't a long-term value driver. I'd take a cautious approach with Alon, which just reported a huge loss of $0.47 per share in the third quarter. Until its California situation is cleared up and the company returns to a profit, I'd stay out of this stock.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.