The natural gas vehicle (NGV) sector was one part of the economy that benefited from Congress’ fiscal cliff action on Tuesday, gaining new life from the extension of clean vehicle tax incentives.
Articles from Cliff
After probing perilously close to a technical cliff at the $4.55 level Tuesday, the natural gas futures market worked its way quietly higher Wednesday as traders appeared reluctant to be short heading into another potentially bullish storage report Thursday. By virtue its higher-high, higher-low, 5.5-cent gain and $4.694 close, the October contract was able to post a positive day on the charts, potentially paving the way for more upward consolidation following the 10:30 a.m. ET inventory release.
Natural gas futures dropped lower at the open Tuesday as traders returned from the holiday weekend to a less than supportive fundamental outlook. In addition to the milder temperatures expected in September, weather forecasters also played music to bears’ ears by predicting that Hurricane Fabian poses more of a threat to New England than to the Gulf Coast states. The October contract was hit heaviest by the selling, dropping 9.2 cents to close at $4.639. At 63,392, estimated volume was moderate.
After notching a new 16-month high and cutting a wide 27-cent trading range last Thursday, natural gas futures settled down on Friday as buyers stepped back to survey the situation. Without that buying pressure, the market dropped precipitously at mid-day only to rebound modestly at the closing bell. November closed at $4.239, down 6 cents for the session, but up 9.3 cents for the week.
Enron Corp. reported that Vice Chairman J. Clifford Baxter is resigning effective immediately. “Over the past 10 years, Cliff has made a tremendous contribution to Enron’s evolution, particularly as a member of the team that built Enron’s wholesale business,” said Jeff Skilling, Enron’s CEO. “His creativity, intelligence, sense of humor and straightforward manner have been assets to the company throughout his career. While we will miss him, we are happy that his primary reason for resigning is to spend additional time with his family, and we wish him the very best.” Baxter, who will continue working for the company as a consultant, joined Enron in 1991 and was chairman and CEO of Enron North America prior to being named chief strategy officer for Enron Corp. in June 2000 and vice chairman in October 2000.
The cash market for the concluding days of November hadsomething in common with the famed cliff divers of Acapulco:breathtakingly steep plunges. “You better hope you sold your gasearly” Wednesday because there was almost no demand for the longholiday weekend, a marketer said, “and you just can’t cook thoseThanksgiving turkeys long enough [in gas ovens] to boost demand.”
It hardly came as a surprise to anyone when cash prices took along, hard fall Thursday. The previous day’s screen dive had givena none-too-subtle signal of where cash was going. Double-digitdecreases were prevalent at virtually all points, with some lossesreaching 20 cents.