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Thursday, September 30, 2010

MLPS are higher as the market comes off its lows of minus 80 on the dow. The index is just a few ticks under 337 as of this post. I wonder if there will be some sort of end of quarter run in the last hour.
The 100 point gain on the dow is gone as end of quarter pressures work their way into trading. Dow is now down 10 points. The mlp index is absolutely flat. All of the group is trading pretty much between minus 30 cents and plus 30 cents.
Was 2.45% a short term double bottom in yields on the 10 year???

Up over 10% for the quarter plus distribution and up about 5% for the month of September. Not too shabby.

Markets higher in the early going and Chicago PMI was above expectations which took the dow up over 100 for awhile and close to 11,000k.

As always when we approach these kind of days where distortions abound, we can say it was indeed an excellent September for the overall market. For mlps it was okay with a 5% gain in the index from 320 at the beginning of the month to 336 today ( depending on where we finish). Futures turned nicely higher on jobless claims which were better this week. Not much happening in the premarket for mlps and there are no corporate news drivers. The dollar is down, rates are flat, oil is higher and nat gas is lower ahead of weekly numbers.

With the beginning of Q4 and the bull market in MLPS coming to its 2nd birthday, one has to wonder whether the supportive leg of low rates has to evenetually reverse itself. This arguement has been on going for 2 years now and for 2 years conventional wisdom (mine included) has been totally wrong as long term yields when from 4 to 2.50 on the 10 year. Unless money is going to absolute zero like Japan, you would have to think at some point they have to go up. That comes with a meaningful economic recovery which so far remains elusive. Not elusive is the open which looms shortly.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MLPS continue to move higher and approaching 337 which would be a new trading high and just 1% below all time highs. A far cry from 2 years ago as we were heading for 145. Alliance Resource (ARLP) is down 1.19 but that was a big winner this quarter so someone could be booking profits there. Enterprise Holdings (EPE) is up 1 and change as the big winner of the day.
Up nearly 2 points and in new high territory on the MLP index and we are just 5 points from all time highs as the end of quarter pile on apparently has begun. Lots of strong fractional gains in Enterprise Holdings (EPE) Inergy Holdings (NRGP) Nustar (NS), Linn Energy (LINE) and some others. Not many on the losers list but Alliance Resource (ARLP) is down about 1 on no particular news.

Yesterday's one point gain takes us within one day striking distance of the absolute top set back in July. We have end of quarter pressures continuing and that ends at the close tomorrow. MLPS have been pretty much moving with interest rates and those have been trending down again on the long end. 2.45 on the ten year and 3.67 on the thirty year are close to their recent trading lows. So its tail winds blowing for now and we'll stick with the idea of higher prices short term. Looks like the dow wants to go to 11,200 which would test the highs for the year.

No corporate drivers this morning so far and no upgrades or downgrades. The dollar is down this morning. Stock futures are flat ahead of the open. Crude is up a few ticks this morning. Nat gas is flat. Gold and silver are a little higher as gold continues to straddle the 1300 line. So let us proceed to the open.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


As one of the mlps which reports outside the mainstream reporting time, Ferrellgas announces earnings which by most measures look okay. The company is highlighting "adjusted ebitda" as up 23% and beating last years record. A couple of premarket trades are down a small fraction. This is the only corporate news item this morning as we near the end of quarter.

MLPS closed up 1 yesterday in a watching paint dry kind of day. This morning stock futures are a touch higher. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list so far. Crude is down and nat gas is up this morning. Rates are flat or just a touch higher or lower depending where you look on the yield curve.

Its one of those mornings where there really isn't too much going on. Kay Shiller housing numbers were positive enough to nudge futures a few additional ticks. Other than that its a pretty boring morning out there.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Raymond James is upping Linn Energy (LINE) to outperform which is why the stock is up 60 cents right now. MLPS are up with the index at 333 and small change up small change. Small fractional moves dominate the list as we head into lunchtime. So far its a watching paint dry type of day with the dow off about 30 points.

This is a question that is quite frankly very difficult to answer and there are so many factors that go into determining the answer. 22 months ago MLPS made a bottom that has carried them back almost to new all time highs and they've wiped out the bear market losses of 2008. But the action short term lately has been a bit lackluster in mlp land. Notice that while the dow industrials have put in this corrective pattern that has taken us from 11.200 to 9800 and now back to 10800 co-incides with mlps which have hardly corrected in that time span. However this September has not boosted MLPS back into its leadership position.

Now there could be a number of reasons for this including the stock offerings that have announced since August plus the off months for mlps tend to be news free so there aren't any drivers on the corporate side. Or it could be the overall market just playing catchup. The leadership change, if it comes, i believe will come when interest rates truly have bottomed especially on the long side. And while the longer end of the curve is off its lows, there is no sign of an uptrend developing there. Usually when risk takers go out there they tend to shy away from interest sensetive stocks when there can be better gains had elsewhere. And now of course we march toward the end of the quarter and the games that go along with that so the next few days should prove fascinating as usual.

This morning there are no corporate news drivers and no upgrades or downgrades. Linn Energy is up 76 cents on volume this morning but i don't see any headlines. Crude is up and nat gas is down this morning. Euro markets are flat. Gold is up around 1300 and the dollar is down slightly as we head into the open.

Sorry about no posts on Friday but i had a family issue i had to contend with. Things are back to normal this morning.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another boring day here although from the 90 point drop at the open, markets then rallied on the housing number and the dow is now either side of unchanged while the nasdaq is up. MLPs are down a one point on the index. Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) leads the winners up nearly 1 as concern about the recent leaks and resulting lawsuits aren't going to mean material impact on the company and no impact on the distributions. Except for Williams (WPZ) which is down 1.30 on the stock offering...most moves are fractional in either direction and nothing that we can draw conclusions from. Watch for the possibility of an end of quarter move in mlps since they have been the year's best performing groups and you would think they would love to show them on the books for the end of quarter...phony as that is a trade.

Williams Partners (WPZ) is taking advantage of its strong stock price to get an offering done before the quarter closes. The stock is predictably trading down 1.53 this morning. They join a long list of mlps and frankly there are probably 1 or 2 that haven't done a stock offering in the last 2 months. Breitburn (BBEP) is doing a private placement of senior notes to raise some money to pay down debt. All in all its favorable market conditions that are allowing companies to go out there and raise money and in the end thats a good thing.

MLPS closed higher yesterday in a lackluster tape and this morning we have lower stock futures as Europe sold off so we are going to start the day down. Gold is hovering around 1300 this morning while crude is down over a dollar. Nat gas is a few ticks higher and its been firm going into quarter end. Yields are lower thanks to jobless claims and housing numbers are coming out at 10am and that will probably be a market mover today.

Not much else happening this Thursday morning as we gear up for end of quarter next week.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Nice first opening half hour move above 333 as we make baby steps toward the year high of 335 and some change. Overall market still digesting yesterdays fed meeting and statement hinting at more ease coming. Dow ran up earlier but is now down 22 points. Headlines driving Enebridge Energy Partners this morning as the company comments on lawsuits from the Lakehead oil leaks. They say no impact to distributions and the stock is up 48 cents at the moment. Nothing else on the corporate news front this morning so its basically looking at fractional moves in either direction of no big consequence. Surburban Propane (SPH) continues moving higher by 60 cents as the days biggest winner and its at 52 week highs.

Bond yields are moving lower this morning as the feeling sets in that interest rates may never rise gain. Meanwhile MLPS need to make a decisive move one way or another. Add the fact that end of quarter approaches and you have the ingredients for some volitility. The path of least resistence continues to remain higher and new all time highs on the MLP index will occur if the overall market extends its reach to new highs for the year, around 11,200 on the dow.

Not often that i put a chart up of Exxon but its the big boy among the energy group and the chart certainly looks like that trip down to 58 was a door opening to the bargain basement. This one could emerge as a nice leader overall going foward. Not a recommendation here but a break above the neckline at 63-64 could mean a trip back to 70 is coming.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Duh..Alliance Resource Holdings (AHGP) is up 1.45 on the idea that they are the next GP to go. Forgot to mention that one.

Going sideways at noon as we wait for the fed.
Another GP bites the dust as Penn Virginia Resource (PVR) buys Penn Virginia Group Holdings (PVG). This leaves Nustar Holdings (NSH) Atlas Holdings (AHD) and Crosstex (XTXI) among the few remaining gps out there. Nustar Holdings (NSH) is up to 33 and is higher today. Judging from the market action latetly in these GPs, there is premium already built into prices as they seem to be getting done with not much one day goosing.

The fed will sit down today and pretty much state the obvious. While this goes on we had a nice move yesterday in the overall market and we have broken above the shoulder of the W bottom that appears to be in place.
It would have been nice if we could have done it with a bit of a volume spike but at the end of the day its about price action and prices appear to want to go higher. 10,900 is the next level to watch and then ultimately 11,200 is the high for the year and thats where we will look to see if this is the beginning of something big for year end or the end of another round trip in a trading range. I can't imagine the fed saying anything negative that the market doesn't already know about and if they announce another round of bond buying; well that too may already be priced into bond yields. My guess is, short term blips aside, the trend remains higher. MLPs appear to be in the mode of following the market along and are not at the forefront of the gainers as we have gotten used to for quiet awhile. The bull market in MLPS began in December 2008 so its coming up on 2 years when we hit that horrible intra day low at 145 and some change. We have more than doubled from there 331. Not too shabby!

This morning is quiet on the corporate side and we have nothing of consequence going on in the pre market for mlps. We are in typical end of quarter mode here. Stock futures are flat ahead of the open. Crude is lower but nat gas ticking up a few pennies this morning. Gold is down and so is the dollar ahead of the fed.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dow industrials breakout above 10700 so it appears we may be headed to the very top of the trading range. Mlps also doing well up over 2.60 at post time.
Next time they do a town hall meeting on about doing it in a place like Dallas instead of a place where the audience is loaded with deomcrats.
The big zero is on CNBC right now in a town hall gasbag session. Meanwhile the dow is up 100 points and mlps are up nearly 2 points. Most mlps are moving fractionally with the exception of Suburban Propane (SPH) which leads the winners list up 1 and a few ticks. Holly Partners (HEP) is down about a point on the UBS downgrade but that stock has been doing quite well recently.Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) and Oneok (OKS) are up solid fractions.

Starting out the morning with futures higher and we have a fed meeting this week that will probably dictate some sort of short term move in one direction or another. I would think these guys will come out and downgrade the economy again (SHOCK) and the market may respond like its a big surprise (UNLESS YOU LIVE UNDERGROUND IN SOME BOMB SHELTER). Barrons this weekend in Mike Santoli's piece argues that a pullback may be at hand. Certainly the chart suggests we are at the top of the recent trading range from 9800 to 10700.

MLPS in this market rally have not gone on to new highs and there could be a number of technical reasons for this including the fact that the group has been such a standout performer this year and maybe there are some end of quarter pressures. However it could also be that interest sensetive stocks may have little to move on if the bond market has reached some sort of long term peak.

The 10 year rate came down to the March 2009 low and has bounced right off of that. However before we come to the conclusion that the bond rally that really began in 1982 with long rates at 14% is over, we need to at least break that downtrend line! And maybe we need to take out 4% and we are a long way from there.

This morning in MLP land Holly Partners (HEP) which is back above 50 is getting a downgrade to neutral from buy. And that is really the only thing going on this morning. We're at that point in the cycle where not much happens and we are a month away from earnings and distribution announcements. Stock futures are higher along with slightly higher energy (except for nat gas). Rates are flat to a shade lower or higher depending on where you look on the curve. Gold is higher as it sits a shade below 1300.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts but i've had my hands full the last 2 days. Will resume normal blogging Monday. MLPS going out flat on the day as the market churned on options expiration. Alliance Resource Holdings (AHGP) was todays big winner up about a point as we head into a weekend. Maybe we'll wake up Monday morning with some sort of deal on the table for someone in MLP land. Maybe another GP will be absorbed by the LP.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


We're in that news vacuum that is the last month of any quarter. There really isn't too much going on to drive individual issues. Energy Transfer Equity (ETP) is doing a public offering of senior notes to the tune of a billion dollars. El Paso Partners (EPB) is doing a 10 million share public offering. The stock is down 1.14 this morning. Those are the only 2 items of note this morning.

Overall markets are dealing with Japanese intervention with the yen last night which was the first intervention in the currency markets in 6 years. Energy is lower this morning ahead of inventory numbers. Stocks in general open lower with rates higher but off the highs of the day. The mlp index is down a point in the early going with the list being dominated by small fractional moves in either direction.

Looks like we're consolidating in here waiting for the next move which we know could take us in either direction although it appears the path of least resistence is up...for now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Sorry for the late first post but markets do not wait for housework and food shopping among other things. But the index is up over 330 and we do have fractional gains in many issues. Nothing being driven by individual news but Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) is down 1.50 on no particular headline. Perhaps after the San Bruno explosion and the Lakehead leak; the idea of pipelines running underground near big population areas is becoming an issue. Otherwise the moves are small with more mlps winners than losers.

Dow up 35 at lunch time after opening lower. Im looking for a run for mlps to challenge the trading high at 335 and then new all time highs at 340...maybe not today but in the short term.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Up over 330 on the mlp index and near the highs of the day with the dow off its high up 65 and the nasdaq up 35. Alliance Resource (ARLP) ran all the way up to 59 and change but has pulled back to a 1.35 gain and leads the winners list. Most mlps showing fractional gains. Some of the under 15 crowd like Crosstex (XTEX,XTXI) at Atlas Holdings (AHD) showing larger percentage moves. No other real standouts today that i can see. Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) is up 36 cents as it plugs up its Lakehead leak as reported earlier.

Markets look firm at lunchtime but not running away higher at this point. We'll see what the afternoon brings us.

Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) is front and center this morning as it deals with the Lakehead leak and says that it has cleaned up most of the leak though the pipeline to Canada remains shutdown. The shutdown has put a bid into crude futures which are up this morning ahead of the open. Stock has seen a few trades in the pre market up slight from Friday's close but nothing that we can draw solid conclusions from.

Meanwhile this morning I was expecting to wake up to another one of those LP GP deals that we've seen lately but there is nothing on the tape from that respect. The mlp index closed Friday at just a few ticks under 329 and with the market on a firm tone its seems that the index is poised to run to challenge the all time high on the index which of course we know is at 340. Many mlps are already at all time highs and some are poised to extend those gains like Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) which is at 57 and at all time highs. Rates however appear to be moving higher on the long end and may have put in a reversal bottom in the last 2 weeks so that might put a bit of headwind in issues that are interest sensitive. Stock futures are solidly higher this morning up 75 dow points and 8 S&P points. Crude is up and nat gas is down ahead of the open. Asia and Euro markets are fiurm and the dollar is down over a cent against the Euro. So all arrows point to a solid day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

BTW just noticed Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) is the biggest winner today up nearly 2 dollars and at new all time highs. Enbridge Energy (EEP) is dealing with another leak and its down 80 cents. Crude is up on that news.
Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) is up 80 cents to 18.80 and leads the winners list today. Atlas Holdings (AHD) is up about the same on a percentage basis. Crosstex (XTXI) is up 1.35% while Crosstex LP (XTEX) is down almost 2%. As we head into a weekend we have to ask ourselves whether we might wake up Monday morning to another one of those LP GP mergers. Nustar Holdings (NSH) is down slightly while Nustar (NS) is up fractionally. Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is down a little while Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is basically flat. So at least from the action today among the big boys there isnt much. More interest in the smaller players but nothing we can draw conclusions from in the casino. All this leaves us with the mlp index flat and the dow up 25 points as we head into lunchtime.

Thought it might be time to take a look at the weekly chart of MLPS and it appears that we are very early in this rally phase. Notice the we went down and touched weekly support back in May and notice also that the 200 week moving average crossed over at the beginning of this year. And we could be at the verge of another upleg in here but i think that comes with the overall market moving up. The tape has been firm since bouncing off the bottom at 9900 so the wind is at our back.

And key to all this is rates. The 30 year looks like its put in some sort of bottom in the rush to safety a few weeks ago. Now we're bouncing up a bit and maybe the 30 year could get back to a 4 handle in the short term. The longer term depends on the economy and whether the fed is sucessful at reflation.

This morning rates open higher by about 4 basis points which is happening with higher stock futures and higher energy and a lower dollar. MLPS are quiet this morning. No upgrades or downgrades and no corporate headlines. We were up 2 points on the mlp index and getting closer to that 335 high which is the next breakout point. The launching pad diving board pattern is looking more and more like a launching pad as we get in line performance with the overall market.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Looks like after an intial push its like watching paint dry on this Jewish Holiday. Dow was up 80 but has pulled back. Treasuries selling off with long rates up almost 10 basis points. Energy markets are down after inventory numbers. And no corporate headlines in mlp land today. Most of the moves in mlps are fractional and nothing of note except Inergy LP (NRGY) which is up 1 and some change after the stock offering earlier this week.

Will keep an eye on things this afternoon and if anything earth-shattering happens i will post.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

MLPs sort of mixed today with some of the bigger players down and the smaller ones up. Inergy LP (NRGP) and Exterran Partners (EXLP) are down 1 plus on stock offerings. Linn Energy is up 70 cents on its senior note offering and the prospect of no additional offering of shares. Dow is up 60 points as we had into the lunch hour.

Two offerings are on the table this morning as Exterran Partners (EXLP) is doing a 4.6 million share public offering. Linn Energy (LINE) is also doing an offering but its a 750 milion dollar private placement of senior notes. The company said its going to use it to reduce debt. Linn announced a purchase yesterday of additional assests in the Permian Basin. Those are the 2 major headlines on the corporate side this morning. Exterran is down 1.35 in the pre market. Linn is only showing one trade of 100 shares up 38 cents and the bid ask spreads are even with last night so the premarket move is pretty meaningless there. Also we have a public offering by Inergy LP (NRGP) which will be used to cut debt. The stock is down 1.40 and Inergy Holdings (NRGP) which is merging with the LP in a stock swap is down about the same.

The mlp index has held its own during this correction and notice that the MACD has gone to buy so we may be in rally mode and the logical place would be an assault on new all time highs for the index. That won't come without the overall market moving higher. The dow chart has been building what looks like a long complex bottom of some kind in here.

It sure looks like a triple bottom here so for that to be true we need confirmation by a solid breakout above 10700 on the dow and we need to do it with volume. Then of course the next challenge will be the rally high around 11,100. The mlp index has been a solid outperformer as the collapse in bond yields has been the primary supporter. If this rally is real in the overall market it will come with higher yields. Those yields can move up 100 basis points in my view which would not pose a serious problem to mlps but we may be at a place where mlps will move in line with markets or even underperform by a little as the rest of the tape plays catch up. But there is so much uncertainty out there from day to day. And rallies don't seem to last very long.

Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list this morning to move individual issues and we have bond yields a little higher with higher stock futures. The dollar is basically flat to a little higher among the major currencies. Crude is flat and nat gas is a touch lower ahead of the open. September so far has been a kind month!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

General Partners that trade are higher like Nustar Holdings (NSH) up 29 cents and Energy Transfer Equity(ETE) which is up 50 cents. The MLP index is down 1 and some change but off the lows with the overall market down about 65 on the dow. Enterprise GP Holdings is up nearly 6 points on the merger with Energy Products Partners (EPD) which is down 41 cents. Sort of a watch your paint dry kind of day really. Nustar (NS) is the biggest loser down 1.50 i suppose because they may next to buy out the general partner. The chairman of Nustar holds tons of shares in Nustar Holdings as well as Nustar and has been making open market purchases on a regular basis.
EPE up 5.50 in the premarket this morning while EPD is down 68 cents on the merger news. Dow futures down 52 points.

I had a feeling all weekend long that we would wake up to a nice piece of merger news come Tuesday morning and sure enough we do. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is buying up Enterprise Products Holdings (EPE) at a rate of 1.5 EPD for each EPE share. So at Friday's closing price of 38 bucks we're talking 57 dollars. The stock is bid up 5 in the pre market which is a nice premium to the Friday close. And this continues the trend we've seen in the group which includes Buckeye Partners (BPL) Inergy Partners (NRGY) and Magellan (MMP) of buying up the gp and cutting costs because by doing so the LP eliminates the payouts it makes to the GP, those incentive payouts we're always better than to the common LP holder. So i guess we should perhaps pay attention to Nustar (NS) and Nustar Holdings (NSH), Alliance Resource (ARLP) and Alliance Holdings (AHGP) among others where the GP still trades separately as the market place may decide that here lies the next takeout candidates. We'll watch to see if they move this morning. Elsewhere Inergy Partners (NRGY) is buying a storage facility for 780 million and its immediately accretive to distributable cash flow.

Stock futures are softer ahead of the open this morning which i suppose is not a big surprise considering the nice rally we had last week. Plus the futures are a little distorted by the holiday as they traded higher in Europe yesterday so it may not be as bad as it looks. Rates are lower this morning, bonds higher in a round of profit taking. Euro markets are down and energy markets are lower. Crude is down over a buck this morning ahead of the open.

MLPS in general continue to hover near the top of the range as the dow has come off another bottom test at 9900. Watch the 10 and 30 year rate to see if money starts to trend out of yield stocks and heads toward greater risk. You have to wonder whether 2.40 and 3.50 on the 10 and 30 year bonds are as low as we can go in here. But then again we've asked that question before at higher yields and bonds would just rally to higher highs and lower yields. At some point they can't go much lower on the yield side...unless of course it really is a 1930s style deflation. In which case 6 percent on MLPS looks pretty good!

Friday, September 03, 2010


Less bad employment numbers leading to a rally this morning. Stock futures are up 80 dow points ahead of the open. Its one of those crawling Fridays ahead of a 3 day weekend so my suspicion is we'll make a big move until about 10:30 am and then they will pretty much tread water the rest of the day. Busy covering Hurricane Earl today which basically will cause about 6 hrs of rain and some wind but nothing extraordinary. Then its a great weekend. Rates are shooting higher this morning so i wonder if that is going to cause money to come out of MLPS which have been much more interest sensative lately. Or least you may start to see mlps underperform a bit as money begins to chase things with greater risk and less yield.

No corporate headlines this morning for mlps and no upgrades or downgrades. The dollar is lower, rates are sharply higher and energy is a little higher.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Strong rally underway with the dow up 240 and the mlp index up a few pennies shy of 5. Alliance Resource (ARLP) Nustar (NS) Plains All American (PAA) Kinder Morgan (KMP) and Penn Virginia Resources (PVR) all up 1 point or more. Lots of strong fractional gains across the board. Nothing is moving on specific news.

One way to look at this is that is there anyone out there that doesn't know that things absolutely suck out there in the economy. Is there anyone left on planet earth who thinks the employment numbers on Friday are going to be good numbers? It just could be that there is so much negativism out there that the markets may do the only thing that makes sense...go up! And at least this morning as we start what can often be a nasty month,

The dow chart has been carving out something here though i am not sure what. It looks like a long complex triple bottom on the daily chart or some sort of inverse head and shoulders pattern with the shoulders looking as if they are shrugging; which is apt considering the sentiment. Or maybe we are in a trading range thats developing with the top around 10600 and the bottom at 9900-10000. MLPS on the otherhand look much better but we still haven't resolved the diving board or the launch pad that is being built here around 318-320.

So let the games begin with stock futures up over 100 points this morning. Rates are a little higher and the dollar is lower. Crude was down 3 bucks yesterday to 71 bucks and we are bouncing higher this morning with higher stocks. No corporate headlines in MLP land and no upgrades or downgrades so far.