Because of political risk, I rarely short oil directly and never hold a short position for a length of time greater than a few minutes. I am willing to write bear credit spreads (simultaneously buying and selling two different call options; selling a lower strike price while buying a higher strike as a protective hedge). Unless you're ready to bet on an oil-disrupting world event happening, don't count on a USO or UNG long to pay off. This is even more so for buyers of call options because of time decay.
I wrote this article about the North American cold snap that would break, causing natural gas demand to fall. Despite snow still on the ground in Wisconsin, the cold spell finally did break, and as temperatures climb, demand for natural gas falls. Reports of natural gas rig owners delaying deployment is also bearish for long-term natural gas prices. We can't expect natural gas prices to rise significantly and remain high for long if supply is able to come on line relatively quickly. Count on oil and natural gas prices remaining under price pressure in the foreseeable future. At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.Follow @RobertWeinsteinThis article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.