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Move to Upside Breaks Cash Flatness Pattern

Cash prices hinted Thursday that they’re not ready to settleinto the same kind of stagnation period that characterized much ofFebruary’s activity. Riding the momentum of a rising Henry Hubfutures contract, stronger crude oil futures (back over $13/bbl)and snowy weather in various regions, nearly all points roseanywhere from 2 cents to a dime with most increases in the vicinityof a nickel.

March 5, 1999

Increased Activity Yields Same Result as Futures Slip Again

After being limited to a moribund 2.5-cent range Wednesday, theMarch futures contract snapped back to life yesterday as bulls andbears took turns exerting their influence on the market, which ledto a 7.5-cent trading range. Thursday’s 3-cent setback andsubsequent $1.746 settle would be considered an almost non-eventamid typical winter volatility, but the move was a welcome changeto traders who have grown weary of the slight moves and tighttrading ranges over the past month. Those traders reactedaccordingly, burgeoning estimated volume to 86,227.

February 19, 1999

The Song Remains the Same: ‘Flat Cash Prices’

“I’ll be out of a job if they keep this up,” said a Westerntrader Wednesday, referring to the lack of volatility in yetanother in a long string of flat cash market performances. He didmanage to find sort of a silver lining: “I can’t make a good or abad deal in this market.”

February 11, 1999

Traders Look for Bottom as Price Falls Continue

Prices continued to deteriorate Tuesday for much the same reasonas in the previous couple of trading days: weather that’s cool butnot sufficiently cold to generate significant heating demand. Therewasn’t even much cooling load left in Texas after astorm-generating cold front that had knocked out phone service indowntown Tulsa for several hours Monday got as far south asHouston.

October 7, 1998

Screen Seen as Sole Driver of Cash Upticks

All sources were on the same page Tuesday regarding what waspushing cash prices upward. “Blame the screen,” they chorused,because there weren’t any fundamentals around at which to point.Just about every point was up between 10 and 15 cents, except forintra-Alberta increases of a little over a nickel.

September 23, 1998

Dynegy Grew Margins in Second Quarter

Dynegy CEO Chuck Watson attributed his company’s improved secondquarter performance to stronger margins in the wholesale gas andelectric businesses despite weaker margins in the company’s liquidsbusiness.

July 30, 1998

‘Volatility’ Returns to Natural Gas Pit at Nymex

June has ushered a familiar characteristic back into the naturalgas trading pit at Nymex: volatility. Natural gas and volatilityoften are spoken in the same breath. However, for periods thiswinter and spring, the dips and rallies that have drawn manytraders to natural gas have been largely suppressed. But now withsummer clsing in, June has been marked by choppy trading withweather bulls on one side and storage bears on the other. Analystsin the middle are mixed as to who will win the battle, but nearlyeveryone in the market agrees the “V” word is back to stay for awhile.

June 19, 1998

Market Ends Week Quietly with Little Change

Pricing was “pretty much the same as it was yesterday,” said aSouth Texas producer Friday reporting flat numbers in the low$2.10s. Most points traded flat to 2-3 cents up or down, with a tadmore downside than upside. Several sources agreed it was a quietand essentially featureless market. A big aggregator called it”mostly a dead day; there seemed to be a lot of people out of theoffice.”

May 18, 1998
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