Your Wednesday Blip 1/13/21

Your Wednesday Blip 1/13/21

It was a mixed day on Wall Street as the NASDAQ rose while the Dow fell a bit. At the close the Dow was lower by 8 points to 31,060. Trading volume was down across the board in what was a sleepy session.
Barron’s recently wrote an article about natural gas and the gist of the article is that natural gas prices are expected to surge higher due largely to a shortage of LNG or liquified natural gas which is transported by ship to Europe, Asia and other demand centers. This issue right now is that Asia is experiencing a cold snap and Japan in particular is buried in record levels of snow as well as rising covid cases. Demand has shot up in these areas but bottlenecks in the supply chain are causing prices to move higher. LNG tankers are in short supply and overall gas supplies in the US are down because gas is produced in part as a byproduct of oil drilling which was curtailed during the pandemic. Europe is starting to pull gas from storage while Asia struggles to find additional supply via the LNG market. Gas producers in the US are starting to ramp up production but for the time being it looks like the Nat gas supply demand equation is out of whack.
As earnings reporting season approaches some companies are raising their guidance. Furniture maker Ethan Allen today increased its EPS guidance and said wholesale segment orders have increased 28% with strong demand from customers who are hunkered down at home. Shares of Ethan Allen have risen steadily over the past few months and the company is now looking at a record backlog of orders.