It was a strong week for the broad stock markets and an even stronger week for clean tech sectors, capped off with a bonanza for shareholders of San Jose, California-based solar panel company SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWRA). SunPower and French oil multinational Total S.A. (NYSE: TOT) announced late Thursday that Total was buying 60% of SunPower for approximately $1.4 billion at $23.25 per share -- lifting the stock to close today at $21.69 per share, 34.5% higher than Thursday’s close and up 36% for the week.
U.S. stock markets stalled this week as investors worried about a potential federal government shutdown and world oil prices that crept up past $112 per barrel (April-dated light sweet crude futures). Overseas, markets were stronger, with the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong leading with a 5.34% gain for the week.
Most clean energy sectors underperformed the broad stock markets, with wind power and solar power technology companies falling the most. The EnergyBoom Wind Subindex (E•B Wind) fell 4.82%, while the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) declined 3.03%.
The Japanese nuclear nightmare prompted more selling on the world’s stock markets today, after the Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo exchange closed down 10.56% today (Tuesday). In Germany, the government announced today it will shut down seven of the country's oldest nuclear reactors for three months as part of a safety review.