02.16.2012
By Markets Media

Energy Rising

While equity markets lack the volume and volatility that most traders crave, the energy markets are rocking the cradle with vigorous tumult. Crude oil has been on a tear over the past few weeks due to the European ban on Iranian oil imports coupled with the growing frustration of failed energy policies in the United States.

After dipping to $96 a barrel on February 7, crude futures have exploded to the upside, passing the $102 a barrel mark with ease during trading on February 16. Energy traders and portfolio managers have voiced their concerns that crude could go as high as $150 a barrel by the summer if relations in the Middle East don’t simmer down.

As for natural gas, the commodity entered a free fall in late December due to an excess supply and lack of demand. Natural gas has steadily been falling since mid-2011 and it appears unlikely that it will ever climb back to the ridiculous price of $13 as it was back in mid-2008. The question for the past week has been: how low can you go vis-à-vis natural gas?

But natural gas has finally hit a point where bears are beginning to trade cautiously. Thursday’s trading saw natural gas futures jump early morning and then soar over 5% from $2.46 to $2.56 almost instantaneously around 10:45am. That spike was due to an inventory report showing declining inventories and

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