This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Bold Stock Market Predictions for the Rest of 2012

Stocks in this article: DIS SIX FUN USB HBAN RF

4. The natural gas rally no one sees coming

Although the U.S. Northeast was pummeled by Hurricane Irene last summer, the rest of the country has dodged a bullet in recent years. It's been several years since a major hurricane damaged the drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

But water temperatures in the Atlantic basin remain elevated, which helps explain why we had four named storms in June -- the highest number on record.

If the trend persists, then there's a decent chance that one of this summer's big storms is perfectly situated to wreak havoc on the Gulf of Mexico's energy complex. The last time that happened, in 2007, natural gas prices surged.

This time around, it's imprudent to expect a huge jump in natural gas prices because onshore production is much more robust these days.

Still, natural gas is already on the rise -- jumping from under $1.95 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) in late April to a recent $2.80. An active hurricane season could easily push that figure toward $3.50 or even $4. This would bring a huge sigh of a relief for gas drillers that were buckling down for a long-term phase of $2 natural gas.

5. Massive banking consolidation

One of the unintended consequences of the pending Dodd-Frank banking legislation is that it will make it very difficult for local banking franchises (those with fewer than 100 branches) to earn sufficient profits while complying with the costly regulations.

As a result, look for leading regional banks such as U.S. Bancorp (USB), Huntington Bankshares (HBAN), Regions Financial (RF) and others to go on a buying spree. Analysts will see these deals as immediately accretive and rising profits should set the stage for a solid rally in these regional banks late this year and into 2013.

Just as is the case with mega-banks, these regional banks are currently quite inexpensive, typically trading for around 10 times earnings and right around book value.

An improvement in the housing sector, a growing sense that the U.S. economy will remain in growth mode in 2013 and the aforementioned merger and acquisition benefits should all provide tailwinds to this sector.

3 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs