NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Solar stocks, weighed by plunging crude oil futures, have taken a beating along with the broader energy sector lately, especially this week. But the sharp selloffs make the strongest solar stocks even better buys in the fast-growing industry.
Stocks in the solar-energy industry, while volatile, should be stable long-term investments as recent data show that demand for solar power is strengthening at a rapid clip.
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While many stocks are affected by low energy prices -- for instance, airline stocks benefit from lower fuel prices -- solar stocks trade more in immediate tandem with the energy sector as investors consider the overall cost of energy. So, if crude oil prices are getting close to their nadir, the bottom of the solar stocks' slide will likely come sooner than later.
On Thursday, First Solar's shares closed at $43.04, which was close to the bottom of their 52-week range of $42.68 to $74.84, while SunPower's stock closed down 1.3% at $23.47, also close to the bottom of its 52-week range of $23.19 to $42.07. On Friday, First Solar was off 26 cents to $42.72, and SunPower was up 7 cents to $23.54.
Shares of First Solar were dented last month after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results. The company, which primarily caters to utilities, is stepping into the residential market with a newly announced partnership with Clean Energy Collective. First Solar bought an equity stake in the firm.