The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) held hearings this week that could determine the fate of futures-based exchange traded funds (ETFs), but the final word is still up in the air.

Over the last two weeks, the CFTC has heard from a total of 23 players in the commodities trading world, representing all sides of the argument. Brain Baskin for CNN Money reports that the CFTC didn’t drop many hints about what form any caps would take, but the agency has apparently settled on limits as a potential solution.

If the CFTC goes in this direction, Chairman Gary Gensler said the agency will have to “find common ground” between financial investors and the critics who hope to see certain types of investors banned entirely.

Meanwhile, the natural gas ETF has been taking a hit as futures have fallen the most in two months.  A government report has shown that U.S. stockpiles are larger than expected, reports Reg Curren for Bloomberg, forcing prices lower.

  • United States Natural Gas (UNG): down 43% year-to-date

Meanwhile, the prices at the pump have risen slightly since July’s dip. Analysts do not believe that there is anything to support a prolonged increase. Much of the recent price jump reflects the rising price of crude, as this is an action that has resulted from the prospects of a global recovery, explains Ana Campoy for The Wall Street Journal. As the summer driving season comes to a close, some believe that prices may begin to back off.

  • United States Gasoline (UGA): up 82.9% year-to-date

For more stories about natural gas or gasoline, visit our natural gas or gasoline categories.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.