This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Crude Hits 2010 High; Natural Gas Tops $4

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Natural gas storage levels rose last week but by less than analysts had anticipated, which turned natural gas futures positive Thursday and lifted the May contract by nearly 6%.

The Energy Information Administration said natural gas storage levels rose by 12 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 26, coming in lower than the expected range of 14 billion to 18 billion cubic feet, according to analysts polled by Platts.

Natural gas futures began the last trading session of the shortened week in the red, but quickly turned positive on news of the milder-than-expected increase. After slumping as low as $3.81 per million British thermal units, the May natural gas soared to $4.16 before settling up by 22 cents, or 5.6%, at $4.09 per million British thermal units.

As natural gas prices strengthened, so did shares of natural gas producers. Chesapeake Energy (CHK - Get Report), Devon Energy (DVN - Get Report), EOG Resources (EOG), and Anadarko Petroleum (APC - Get Report) all ended more than 2% higher. Gastar Exploration (GST - Get Report) soared 4.9%, to $5.10.

Energy was one of the session's strongest performing sectors on a day that saw equities making broad gains on encouraging macroeconomic news.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 439,000, which was in line with the 440,000 claims that economists had been expecting and made investors more confident that Friday's March nonfarm payrolls report would show growth of at least 190,000 jobs.

Robust manufacturing data from across the globe was particularly bullish for potential energy demand. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for March came in at a better-than-expected level of 59.6, representing the fastest growth rate for the manufacturing sector since July 2004.

Chinese and eurozone manufacturing picked up last month, according to economic data out Thursday morning, and in Japan business confidence rose for the fourth consecutive quarter.

A weaker U.S. dollar also made dollar-priced commodities more attractive to foreign buyers, and crude oil surged to an 18-month high. The May crude contract hit a high of $85.22 a barrel before settling $1.11 higher, or up by 1.3%, at $84.87 a barrel.

The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down by 0.4%.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
APC $93.64 -0.30%
CHK $16.37 -1.00%
COP $66.98 -0.68%
CVX $108.34 -0.64%
DVN $68.79 0.26%

Markets

DOW 18,094.29 +70.23 0.39%
S&P 500 2,115.41 +7.12 0.34%
NASDAQ 5,022.4110 +17.02 0.34%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs