A high school classmate who still lives in the Chicago area posted a local TV station’s seven-day weather forecast on Facebook. The expectation for Jan. 30, what would be the city’s second-coldest day on record, called for 20 mph gusts that would drop the wind chill to as low as -55 degrees. The description was “breezy.”
Yeah, breezy, it’s just Chicago weather, suck it up. And here’s the weird part: the Henry Hub five-day average natural gas price fell 8.7% in the five days leading up to the massive arctic blast, seemingly a market salute to grizzled Chicagoans who don’t need gas to heat their homes because they don’t feel cold like mere mortals. (To be fair, an article on that station’s website labeled the chill as “barbaric.”)
Of course that price trend is for the country as a whole, but dangerously cold weather is sweeping across a wide swath from the Midwest to the Northeast and gas inventories have been below the five-year average for months. Isn’t this a strange time to become a (Chicago) bearish trader?