Natural Gas Numbers

 | Jan 17, 2012 | 1:58 PM EST
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Natural gas has finally reached a level low enough that I can see numbers going up for everyone from Dow Chemical (DOW) to Kimberly-Clarke (KMB) to Clorox (CLX), and it won't be a moment too soon because currency's going to be a real drag on earnings.

Do not overestimate what these prices mean to users of natural gas. They are a gigantic windfall.

But it isn't only just a glut that's driving things here. The president's job council is talking about drilling more for fossil fuels. The president seems to be tacitly admitting, at last, that it can be a terrific jobs creator. I think he realizes that he has the Sierra Club in his back pocket, so he can go out on a limb with this cleaner better fuel, especially now that he seems to realize that cleaner coal is an oxymoron.

I think that taking another look at CLX should be encouraged because it doesn't have a bad currency problem. Dow, too, although it is so cyclical that it is worrisome. Finally, I believe you win either way with both Georgia Gulf (GGC)and Westlake Chemical (WLK), both truly levered companies to nat gas that do well if housing picks up and will do well with or without the merger.

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volatility is quite low here, and we could see some downsides here in the short term. ...



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