This column was originally published on RealMoney on March 24 at 12:55 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.Lots of mergers and acquisitions activity, except where I most expect it. Natural gas has come down hard, and the stocks themselves have been pummeled. You would expect, right here, right now, a major to come in and snap up a minor. After all, when everything was going higher, you got lots of nice bids. I am wondering if the people who run these major firms are just momentum players, like so many others in the market -- and no more than that. For example, and I harp on it, but what the heck is Cimarex ( XEC) doing back at $41? How can Southwest Energy ( SWN) be 12 points from its higher? Isn't the Houston Exploration ( THX) company of interest to some suitor at $49, down 22 points from its high? Twenty-two points? That's amazing. Devon ( DVN) down $10 from its high? Canadian Nat ( CNQ) down $8 from its high? EnCana ( ECA) still off $12? Quicksilver ( KWK) off $15? That's ridiculous! Isn't that amazing? Let's also think about the drillers. Baker Hughes ( BHI) off $12. How about Lufkin ( LUFK), which probably has the strongest momentum. Dare I mention National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down $15, or Nabors ( NBR), down $15 and hated? I bring all of these up because while natural gas is down, anyone who considers it also "out" is kidding himself. I believe it has found a level to bounce from. Meanwhile, oil is stubbornly high, and you know I believe it's going higher, which is why I hold on to my Occidental ( OXY) and Halliburton ( HAL), and why I maintain hefty positions in the infrastructure plays, ABB ( ABB) and Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), which build the alternatives to oil plants or fix boilers and refineries. This exercise wouldn't matter if the refiners and the majors weren't at or going to near highs and stocks like Marathon ( MRO) and Occidental just don't want to quit. Not to mention BP ( BP), which is almost at its high, for no reason whatsoever compared to other players.
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