Questions surrounding the duration of the nation’s near-term cold snap continued to unravel the recent strength in natural gas futures trading on Tuesday as the December contract dropped 16.6 cents on the day to close at $7.557. The January contract, which will take over prompt-month status in overnight Wednesday trading, shaved 20.4 cents on Tuesday to finish at $7.817.
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As the first week of the New Year drew to a close, increasing regulatory and media scrutiny threatened to unravel the end-of-year decision by PG&E Corp. and its utility to move ahead with distributing $83 million in bonuses to 17 top executives in the corporation, including those at its bankrupt utility subsidiary and merchant energy unit. When and how the proceeds from so-called “phantom” stock options will be distributed was still undetermined.