NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Natural gas continues to languish close to $2.70 per million British thermal unit, despite tundra-like conditions in the northeastern U.S. I took the opportunity to talk with Jim Cramer about trying to bottom fish some natural gas stocks that are hovering near their 52-week lows. We both agree that it's still not worth the risk.
I get many messages and letters from readers asking whether there is anything to grab onto in the natural gas space. Many of these readers are suffering with holdings in dedicated natural gas companies whose shares have declined more than 50% in the last eight months. Unfortunately, I do not see much relief in sight.
Storage for natural gas continues to remain high, in contrast to last year at this time when sub-arctic temperatures in the Northeast caused nat gas prices to temporarily skyrocket to close to $6. The continuing low price of oil is causing a readjustment of rig counts going after oil from shale. But in the natural gas space, the rig counts have stayed fairly steady in the last six months, despite prices that also continue to crater.
Volatility for nat gas continues to spike, which is historically a very bearish sign as well. We haven't seen this kind of volatility in natural gas since March of last year, just when prices began to break downwards.
Many of the traders and hedge funds have invested in natural gas futures and natural gas stocks hoping for a repeat of winter 2014. But now that they have the cold, they haven't seen the kind of price rise they got last year. There are a lot of traders stuck in a lot of bad positions, and we'll continue to see pressure on these stocks until prices rise.
I mentioned to Jim that he and I have specifically avoided talking about natural gas for the better part of nine months, since the price began to moderate last year. The way things are trading it may be another nine months before natural gas is worth mentioning again.