As you may recall, the Bulls tried to stage a price rally last week based on the season's first cold weather forecast. However, this week the rally was halted. The average 12-month price for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) fell less than 1%, while the 12-month average price for peak power on the PJM also fell less than 1%.
The prices for natural gas and electricity closed flat this week because there were no major news stories to spook the markets. In fact, due to the recently resolved federal government shutdown, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) did not even publish this week's natural gas storage report.
The EIA will release its "missing" storage report next Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Then, two days later, on October 24, the EIA will release its regularly scheduled storage report. This means we will have two storage reports in less than one week, a situation which could create an unusual amount of price volatility in the energy markets.
Another reason energy prices were unable to make a major move this week was the weather forecast. Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting below normal temperatures east of the Mississippi for the last week of October, it's uncertain how long this cold snap will last.
Stay tuned. Now that the government is back to work, we are assured of seeing a lot of data next week that will likely impact the energy markets.