Market Overview

How Is Winter Shaping Up For Natural Gas Stocks?

How Is Winter Shaping Up For Natural Gas Stocks?

Now that summer has officially come to an end, natural gas investors are shifting their focus to the upcoming winter weather season to determine whether or not a cold winter will help boost gas prices. The latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests the upcoming winter weather will be difficult to predict.

Last week, NOAA called off its La Nina watch and said that ocean temperature conditions are stabilizing closer to their historical norms. La Nina winter conditions in the U.S. typically include heavier rain and snow in mountainous regions in the West, cooler and wetter winters for the South and warmer winters for the Northwest.

NOAA’s removal of the La Nina watch doesn’t mean the U.S. is out of the woods. It simply means that the probability of La Nina conditions have fallen below NOAA’s threshold for issuing a watch.

Last Fall was one of the warmest in history in the U.S.

“The likelihood of that repeating again is extremely low,” Planalytics executive vice president Evan Gold explains. “Most businesses are likely looking for the cold, and it will be coming.”

Related Link: Weak Traffic Trends And Weather To Blame For Sonic Price Target Cut

Cold winters are typically good news for natural gas investors because they tend to drive high demand for natural gas heating.

Despite NOAA’s withdrawal of the La Nina watch, natural gas stocks have been mostly on the rise in recent months. The United States Natural Gas Fund, LP. (NYSE: UNG) is up just 0.9 percent in 2016, but most natural gas stocks have skyrocketed this year.

The list of 2016 outperformers includes Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC), (+22.1 percent), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) (+49.5 percent), Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC) (+58.2 percent) and CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) (+127.8 percent).

Disclosure: the author is long CNX.


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