David Sterman

Investors looking at energy stocks may have a bit of whiplash these days. Oil prices appear fairly firm while natural gas prices still remain near multi-year lows. In other countries, natural gas prices are surging, as demand rises in places that have de-commissioned nuclear power plants, such as Japan and Germany.

Here at StreetAuthority, we take a much broader view of oil, gas, coal, nuclear and many other commodities. Many of us remain focused on the multi-decade trend that is playing out before our eyes. Demand for energy and other commodities -- in all forms -- is in a long-term uptrend, even as supplies remain constant. Over time, we'll see periods of scarcity that ignite a powerful rally in prices. And it's crucial to keep identifying the commodity producers that will be perfectly positioned for the next boom.

Yet here in the spring of 2012, it's a bit hard to see that long-term trend in action. Many commodities are falling from their peaks as European economic concerns weigh heavily. As an example, my focus on Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) in my $100,000 Real-Money Portfolio a few months ago was premature, and shares are underwater at the moment. Oil and natural gas prices have fallen since mid-winter, and they could even fall a bit more before the eventual inevitable rebound comes.

David Sterman

David Sterman has worked as an investment analyst for nearly two decades. He is currently an analyst for StreetAuthority.com