Coal demand this summer will be strong. Nat gas inventories are so low huge amounts of natgas has to go into storage leaving coal with strong demand. Inventories by the end of March will leave the US with a 13 day supply of natgas. (25trillion annual demand/365 =68 billion/day storage will end at 900 billion- three trillion has been drawn down in 5 months) A huge drawdown next winter could leave the US with a gas shortage.
My guess is that pretty soon it will become obvious that natural gas storage is not going to be replenished to normal levels before next heating season. Probably push natural gas prices higher.
Also it will become obvious that natural gas prices in the $5 range is not going to spur rig counts or natural gas production. Before we see an influx a money for more natural gas production we probably need prices well above $6.
Last summer was mild and we had normal natural gas injections - about 2000 for the summer. If we have a 2000 injection this summer we have a crisis. 3000 in storage at the start of heating season is scary. If we have a warmer than normal summer natural gas storage could start next heating season at levels that can only be described as frightening.
But, then again, what do you expect when we have a clueless president who has never had a real job.
I can understand the downgrade by GS. but what i don't understand is that why walter did not get downgraded along with ANR. i would think that walter is a worse position than ANR as being having more debt.