Until yesterday, energy markets were pretty boring this week. The weather has been incredibly warm east of the Rockies, so oil and natural gas prices were drifting downward. On Wednesday, Chicago tied a record high of 62 degrees for the date. Indianapolis had an average temperature of 58, exceeding the normal for the date by 32 degrees. In mid-January! The Thursday gas storage report was right in line with expectations, with 14 percent more than last year. Did the price of gas fall on Thursday? No. On January 13, on the mere forecast of cold weather ahead (it?s about time), the price of gas shot up more than 50 cents to $6.45\/MMBtu (an 8 percent jump). Oil prices rose $1.53\/barrel to close at $48.04, presumably on fears of heating fuel shortages. Irrational exuberance, indeed. One analyst proclaimed that a wave of buying took over because the gas storage report didn?t provide a reason to sell. None of this makes any sense when considering the fundamentals, at least in the short term. There is plenty of heating fuel for the few months of winter left to go, so why are traders willing to pay higher prices? The longer-term fundamentals are indeed bullish?North American gas supplies continue to shrink despite LNG imports, and many experts expect that global oil supplies are headed for trouble. It?s hard to believe, however, that Wall Street is worried about what will happen next year. The fact that supplies are tight means prices will remain volatile, and speculators will happily bet on what will happen next week. But the results are crazy. Slot machines make a whole lot more sense.