NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking today to Joe Deaux about natural gas and its climb again today above $5/mcf. I think that this second rise was a very constructive one and we are going to see more sustainable and higher natural gas prices.
A brutal cold snap in the southern U.S. caught many traders unawares last week and saw prices for natural gas rise above $5 for the first time in three years. But prices moderated almost immediately soon after the ice melted in Atlanta. Again, however, prices took a sharp rise Tuesday and have March futures trading above $5.25/mcf, a rise of more than 6%.
Sure, there's another blast of bad weather headed across the northern parts of the country Tuesday night and throughout the coming weekend, but this rapid rise of prices so soon again represents more, I think.
Low stockpiles caused by sequestration and a rush of domestic exploration and production companies away from natural gas production in favor of shale oil is taking its toll and providing the first real and consistent support of prices since 2007. Suddenly, natural gas markets are vulnerable to price spikes and traders are afraid to be short.
There are two logical ways to try and take advantage of this. One would be to buy natural gas futures further out on the curve where prices are still well below $5. May 2014, for example, is trading just above $4.55. Another way to try and profit would be with dedicated natural gas stocks that haven't yet reacted strongly to $5+ natural gas prices.
The big players in the Marcellus such as Cabot (COG) - Get Report and EQT Corp. (EQT) - Get Report have already shown strength, but others have yet to react. I like Fayetteville leader Southwestern (SWN) - Get Report, still undervalued, I think, at $42 a share.
I talk more about natural gas with Joe in the video above.
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
Dan Dicker has been a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange with more than 25 years of oil trading experience. He is a licensed commodities trade adviser.
Dan is currently President of
a wealth management firm and is the author of
published in March of 2011 by John Wiley and Sons.
Dan Dicker has appeared as an energy analyst since 2002 with all the major financial news networks. He has lent his expertise in hundreds of live radio and television broadcasts on
US and UK and
Dan obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1982.