Solar energy stocks mostly dropped on Monday as a rare total eclipse blotted out solar power in many parts of the United States, but analysts say this is likely a case of correlation, not causation.
Trading in some solar stocks was slightly above average on Monday, with many of them trading sharply lower. This came as volume in the broader market was relatively low.
Jinkosolar — a maker of solar cells, panels and mounting systems — fell 10 percent. Canadian Solar was also down nearly 10 percent, though the solar module and solutions company was also downgraded by Barclays. The Guggenheim Solar exchange-traded fund was down 2.3 percent.
One theory is that headlines about the loss of solar power during the eclipse may have drummed up interest in the space — and maybe stirred long-held concerns about the reliability of solar power. However, analysts were skeptical about that theory.
"I think it maybe slightly brought people's attention to it. I don't think it's a big event," Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners, told CNBC's "Closing Bell."
If any news item was moving the market, it is more likely the start of a trade case last week that threatens to slap imported solar panels with new tariffs, analysts said. The United States International Trade Commission last week began holding hearings on a petition brought by two U.S. solar panel makers, who are seeking protection from low-cost panels made overseas.