It’s not just the cold weather — here’s what else could make natural gas a buy in 2018

Natural gas plummeted this year, declining nearly 20 percent, but one strategist says a buying opportunity could be afoot.

Larry McDonald of the Bear Traps Report explains why.

• In December, the outlook for natural gas was quite bearish. But this week, as bitter cold spread throughout a portion of the U.S., the beaten-down commodity caught a bid and rose for three straight days.

• This has created somewhat of a reversal in natural gas, and that will likely continue into 2018. This comes as the U.S. exports more natural gas.

• A forecasted cold stretch could buoy prices into January.

• Markets appear to be waking up to expected natural gas inventory drawdowns.

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Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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