Natural gas Rockets higher jumping 5%

Natural gas futures are higher by 5% as of this post after the weekly inventory report showed a smaller than expected build in storage levels. The EIA showed storage levels rose by 58 billion cubic feet in the week ending July 12th. Analyst surveyed prior to the #s release had anticipated the report to show 64 bcf. Stocks stand at 2.745 trillion cubic feet, 1.2% below the 5-yr average and 13.1% below last year’s levels.

The smaller build paints a picture of a tighter supply/demand balance that will likely cause a grind higher short term. As opposed to making me bullish in the medium term it makes me less bearish…there is a difference. Don’t get me wrong this was a bullish report and the first one we’ve had in a while. The strength in the rest of the energy complex with oil and the products appreciating and the exceedingly hot temperatures domestically also contributed. Summer is ½ over and we should not see this heat/demand several months out. I think that will limit further gains.

Natural Gas Futures, July 18, 2013
Natural Gas Futures, July 18, 2013

If already long trail stops and consider instituting hedges against bullish futures trades…short calls or long puts. For fresh entire I would prefer to allow prices to work higher and be defensive. As opposed to chase longs after the 5% pop today why not sell from higher levels? Just as Fibonacci levels could be used for bullish exits I will use those pivot points to help navigate bearish entries for clients in the coming weeks.

A settlement above $3.75 in September should be followed by a minimum trade to the 38.2% Fibonacci level in my opinion. Shorts get interesting to me the closer this contract gets to $4. A 50% retracement puts futures at $4.02 and 61.8% prices are at $4.13…trade accordingly. What this piece should illustrate aside from the obvious is commodities can be traded both on the long and short side. I do not have an allegiance to any one commodity or any one direction…it is all about risk vs. reward.

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