A moment of truth?

Can anyone ever prove a market is "fixed" or biased? It's a tough one. Every once in a while though, we get a glimmer at the background when there is a slip up of some sort. The graphic below shows minute by minute tracking of natural gas trading on NYMEX. Note the sudden drop. What happened there?

That drop off point is the moment at which the weekly US Department of Energy storage report comes out. Given that high volumes of contracts are traded just before the release of the report implies one of two things. Either someone knows what the report says and is taking advantage to try and "beat the market" or there is sheer rampant speculation about what the report says. 

This allegation came out a few months ago, with a similar chart. It was big news. Since, various market players and pundits have joined together to say that it's really just the market at work, that there is not "prior release of data" from the DOE to any traders.  The other view is that a glimmer of the truth behind SOME of the shenanigans that happen in every market, especially ones trading billions of dollars per day, has been momentarily revealed. 

While we don't suggest there is any conspiracy, we do think the market os biased to both volatility and higher prices. That's why cooler weather or drilling reports make the market move and that's what makes money for traders and trading firms.