Even with the East Coast buried under several feet of snow, and the potential for more frigid air to arrive by Christmas, natural gas futures fell short Thursday. The January Nymex gas futures contract settled 4.1 cents lower day/day at $2.636/MMBtu after the latest government storage report came in bullish, “just not record bullish.”

EIA storage dec 11

Spot gas prices also retreated across most of the United States, but the Northeast notched the fourth straight day of gains as the Nor’easter that slammed the region beginning midweek was set to linger through the end of the week. NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. climbed 17.5 cents to $3.560.

After two eerily quiet Nymex trading sessions, the market appeared to be on pins and needles early Thursday. Traders appeared to have lost all confidence...