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Saturday, April 30, 2011




THE ROYALE WEDDING!


Father and daughter dancing together!
video

Father singing at mass to daughter and son in law!

Family with the next 2 daughters in line!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

THE WEDDING!


Hey everyone...been busy getting ready for my daughter's wedding which is tomorrow. Thats why not much posting this week. The fed meeting has come and gone. Markets continue higher. Even nat gas is breaking out higher!! MLPS at all time highs. All is right with the world.

i will have my head back in the game next week. Meanwhile look for pics tomorrow!

Monday, April 25, 2011

EASTER MONDAY, THE FED, AND A WEDDING!


These are the highlights of the week ahead. Its the day after Easter and it looks like a slightly positive start to the day. MLPS have nothing on the news front but we do have Wells Fargo upgrading Linn Energy (LINE) to outperform from market perform and Baird is starting Breitburn at outperform and a 25 buck price target. Also this morning Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) splits 2 for 1 so dont worry as the stock is not going to be down 33 dollars.

The other focus this week will be the fed meeting which ends with a press conference on Wednesday after they announce they are doing nothing. This weekend the NY Times pretty much admitted that the fed policy of keeping rates near zero has not worked. Here is some interesting commentary and yes, somehow Sarah Palin managed to figure this out far sooner than economists and the NY Times.

No other news on the docket this morning and no upgrades or downgrades. Which leads us to the most important event this week...the WEDDING...and its not the one in England either. My oldest daughter is getting married Friday which makes this a very busy week for me. So if i disappear for awhile you will know why!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

KINDER MORGAN, ONEOK HIKE PAYOUTS!



Earnings came out after the close for Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) and as usual there were no real surprises and they hiked the payout for the 5th straight quarter and in 40 of the last 55 quarters. Oneok LP (OKS) also hiked its payout one cent to 1.15 from 1.14. In both cases its probably already baked into the stock price so i wouldn't expect much movement. Citigroup is on the horn this morning and it raises Sunoco Logistics (SXL) to buy from hold and takes its price target to 97 bucks. Citigroup also cuts Nustar (NS) to hold from buy and lowers the target there to 72 from 75. This mlp has been a chronic underperformer. And Transmontaigne (TLP) gets its target raised a buck to 38 while being kept at a hold. Sunoco Logistics is bid up 1 in the premarket. And Suburban Propane (SPH) announces its payout of .8525 (you got to love 1/4 cents).

The overall market this morning is taking its cue from excellent earnings that just continue to roll in above expectations. All the dow components this morning reporting beat estimates so stock futures are stronger again today after yesterday's powerful up day. Crude and nat gas are higher with nat gas inventory numbers out at 10:30am. Markets will probably trade firm into the close ahead of a three day Easter weekend.

Busy here around the house as daughter number 1 is getting married in 6 days plus Easter preps!!! Thank God we don't have 6 dollar gas yet.











But it could be soon if this CNBC guest this morning is correct.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Targa Resources Corp (TRGP) is the one doing the secondary and not Targa Natural Resources (NGLS) but both are up and TRGP is up sharply....2 points worth.

MLPS at new all time highs up 3.60 at 383.33 as of this post with the dow up over 200 points. EV Partners (EVEP) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and Enbridge (EEP) are all up over a buck each and leading the winners list. Many mlps are on the new highs list and most are up solid fractions.
ALL TIME HIGHS???



MLPS are poised for a big move this morning along with the entire stock market. Earnings news last night and this morning have been very good and well above expectations. Companies are raising their outlooks. So Monday's drop on the S&P "warning" becomes nothing more than statistical noise as the dow futures are up close to 150 this morning.


Both charts show that the uptrends remain essentially intact. Support continues to hold and markets are behaving pretty much the way they do when bulls are in charge. Rallies are runaway and selloffs are sharp and relatively shallow and everyone is afraid to buy.

Kinder Morgan (KMP) will announce its earnings after the close today. Crosstex Energy (XTEX) hikes its payout to 29 cents and on the corporation's common stock (XTXI) the payout goes to 9 cents a share. Thats a nice 12% hike from last quarter. Stocks are bid up this morning. Targa Natural Resources (NGLS) is doing a public offering of stock. It was priced this morning at 31.73. Stock is already trading a dollar above that.

Take a look at this interview transcript of Credit Suisse Analyst Yves Siegel who explains quite well why MLPS are a good investment in this enviornment we're in. He also addresses any Washington tax threat on MLPS and why it will go nowhere. Its a good point to realize that these companies would not generate much tax revenue and since they are the infrastructure builders, why would you want to go after them since they are so vital for the US energy futures.

Strong open coming shortly and then lets see how much followthrough comes in.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OH THE NOISE!!!!



We're hearing (and seeing in some cases) sound and fury about the S&P possible downgrade of US soverign debt but whether it signifies nothing or something remains to be seen. On fist glance yesterday interest rates sky rocketed and markets drop nearly 250 on the dow. Then as the day wore on bonds rallied and stocks came off the lows on the notion that the threat of a downgrade was a good thing because it give politicans politcal cover to actually do something in Washington. Its hard to see how S&P has any credibility given the fact that they (and Moody's) stood by while banks sold mortgage debt with AAA ratings that turned out to be worthless. The Atlantic pretty much sums it up in their piece yesterday. And then of course we have those who believe everything is somehow the fault of Republicans. In the end the US can print money as long as they own a printing press. Now the cost of that money is a different issue and Bill Gross of Pimco addressed that yesterday. In the meantime maybe S&P can use their anal-ysis to tell me who is going to win the Kentucky Derby in 2 1/2 weeks.


In the end the cost of money will go higher one way or the other. If the US doesn't raise the debt ceiling, those rates will move up rather quickly. Meantime markets this morning are focusing away from that and looking at earnigns which for the most part are very good. MLPS are quiet this morning so far with no news so far on the tape. Yesterday Transmontaigne (TLP) announced its payout and we will have a symbol change for Atlas LP which was formerly Atlas Holdings (AHD). The new symbol is ATLS which was the old symbol for Atlas Energy which was bought by Chevron. Re-read it if i lost you. Copano (CPNO) announces an expansion of its processing facilities as this MLP continues to perform well. No other headlines so far this morning.

Stock futures are up. Crude is down, nat gas is up, bond yields are higher and Euro markets are higher. Missed this on CNBC last week on what Ray Jimmy thinks about MLPS. The mlp index closed down 2 and change but off the lows. The index remains within a days trade striking distance of new all time highs and the recent trading range just gets tighter and tighter.
350 still holds on the downside and 382-383 is the upside wall. So we march on to the open. Sorry about no posts yesterday. Holy Week, Easter, and a wedding to prepare for!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spectra Energy (SEP) gets a neutral rating from Zachs. Stock is up a nickle.

MLPS are up 1 and change and hovering around 380. Buckeye (BPL) leads the way higher up over 2 points on the UBS upgrade and perhaps on the idea that there will be no more stock supply now that the offering is done. And for the group it doesn't hurt that bonds are rallying with the 30 year at 4.49% and the 10 year at 3.41%.

Btw i like Elite Alex tomorrow in the Arkansas Derby.

MLPS HOLDING SUPPORT FOR NOW!



The last week or so have seen some failed rally attempts to new all time highs as well as failed breakdown attempts through support. So essentially we have been going sideways. Overall markets have tried the same thing this week in what for now has been a rather orderly correction. We're getting ready for the usual slew of distribution announcements that are coming. As usual with mlps its buy the rumor sell the news and the payout hikes seem always to be baked into the cake. Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) broke out to a new highs yesterday.
The latest upleg seems to co-incide with the Eagle Rock Energy Partners asset purchase from a few days ago. Not sure why unless its a reminder to the markets that Atlas Pipeline is still undervalued. They are going to hike its payout faster than most mlps and that is driving prices higher. Others in the group are coming out of the cloud of a secondary as Buckeye Partners (BPL) did one yesterday at 59.41. This stock has not done well at all in the last year when compared to others.
The stock touched 70 back in November and its been down since thanks to its selling shares with its takeover of Buckeye Holdings even though it was not dilutive. Now that its done its offering UBS this morning upgrades Buckeye to a buy from neutral and the stock is bid up this morning in the pre market.

CPI comes in below expectations (once you strip out all the inflation) and the market appears to be yawning a bit at this. Bonds are higher this morning after the number. Stock futures are flat. Nat gas rallied yesterday on its inventory numbers and its looking to add to its gain today. Crude is down a little. The dollar is up a little against the euro.

Sad news yesterday for long time CNBC watchers as Joe Battapaglia died of a heart attack at the age of 55.














The tribute was done by Larry Kudlow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Leon Cooperman a.k.a. Mr Mary Hart is a big investor in mlps. He was on CNBC this morning in case you missed it. Talked about markets and hedgefunds. Didnt mention mlps but always worth a play.

Markets back above water and mlps up 2 after being up 3 early and then up less than 1.
MLPS are up nicely, nearly 3 points on the index. The overall tape looks a bit subdued and energy stocks as a while are flat right now. The tape feels like it might do a fade later today but we will let that play itself out.

Eagle Rock (EROC) ran over 12 and now is up 1.30+ at 11.65 as of this post. EV Partners (EVEP) is up 1. Atlas Energy LP (AHD) which is the old Atlas Holdings (AHD) is up 1.69 and is the groups biggest winner. Most mlps are showing nice fractional gains. Only a handful of mlps on the unchanged or off a few pennies list.

Crude is up slightly after inventory numbers which was bullish for gasoline. Nat gas is up 1.5% on the day so far.
EAGLE ROCK COMES BACK TO LIFE!



While almost all mlps have recovered the losses of the bear market of 2008 there have been one or 2 that have lagged behind. This morning Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC) is looking to join the land of the living again. The company is making a major acquisition this morning which not only more than doubles production, but the company will raise its distribution to a rate of 75 cents annual beginning in q2 of 2011 and projecting going to a buck annual in 2012. The stock is up 52 cents in the pre market.

A few bullish pieces out there this morning as Plains Natural Gas Storage (PNG) gets a bullish goose from Seeking Alpha. Since no one is using nat gas it has to be stored someplace. Since its ipo the stock hasn't done much. And Motley Fool tells us that based on margins, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is doing just fine thank you.

MLPS lost 3 yesterday but came way off the lows which were down around minus 8. The stock is sitting right on important support in the stairstep uptrend that has seen us take trips down into the rising moving average support lines.
365 on the MLP index is an important inflection point and ultimately 350 is "the" support level in my view. But no worries about seeing either one of those levels today (at least based on this morning's open) as stock futures are up 80 points on the dow which gets back most of yesterday's lows. Crude sold off hard yesterday but its up this morning as is nat gas now after being lower earlier. And interest rates are up on stronger than forecast retail sales ex gasoline. MLPS are within striking distance of getting back to all time highs but we seem to be failing when we get there. Let the morning trades begin!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ARE WE TOPPING OUT???



I know i have asked this question before and at least so far, each answer has been another leg higher. But we are faced here with a rally that started back last September and it could be getting long in the tooth in here. MLPS seem to have hit a wall at around the 382 level. Granted a few days of selling does not a downtrend make but with rates off their recent lows, you have to wonder whether we are setting up for a selloff in prices. Top building is usually a process and not an event.

Targa Resources (TRGP) and Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) are the first to announce quarterly dividend and distribution payouts and both companies are hiking from the previous quarter. And Plains All American (PAA) boosts their payout by 3%. They also say earnings will come in on the high end of guidance. And Genesis Energy (GEL) hikes its payout by nearly 2%.
And with all the payout hikes the question is, are dividend (or distribution) growth stocks a good bet over the long haul or vastly over-rated. This Seeking Alpha piece addresses that question. Long read with lots of data to pour through but worth the time.

This morning we have stock futures down ahead of the open and energy stocks are lower as well so look for MLPS to trade lower at the open. Crude is lower but nat gas has now rallied back to unchanged after yesterday's reversal. Nat gas held 4 dollars so the base building process appears to be continuing. Rates are lower this morning as markets sell off.

I posted this last week but in case you haven't seen it...take a live look (24/7) from this camera of this nesting pair of eagles and their 3 babies. It is truly fascinating and captivating! This morning both parents were feeding the eaglets.



Yesterday was a rough day for me running back and forth from work to the emergency room where my dad was taken for heart issues. He is fine and going home today. That and a wedding in 17 days as my daughter gets married is making for a very hectic existence. Sorry for the missed monday morning post.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sorry guys and gals. At hospital emergency room. Will post later.

Friday, April 08, 2011

SHUTDOWN COUNTDOWN!


We are counting down to midnight when the federal government may shut down if there is no budget deal. Frankly judging by the action in equities its really a non event since in the end the markets know this silly poker game will eventually get worked out. But if they can't agree on chump change, what happens in a few weeks when they have to tackle the debt ceiling? The latest headlines can be found here with commentary here. Just be sure to scroll down on the page if its not near the top.

Meanwhile the treasury market may be getting ready to take off on another upleg in yields after trading sideways since Decemeber. Yield markets are still digesting the ECB rate hike and the prospect that the Fed may be getting ready to do the same later this year.

And yield markets may also be sniffing out the possibility that the debt ceiling is going to become a real battle. Bond markets may be on the verge of exerting pressure on politicians to do what they need to do. Otherwise the cost of money will go up in a big way and very quickly.

MLPS are right at new all time highs and are following equity markets higher. Stock futures are higher this morning and rates are up 5 basis points on the long end. Start keeping an eye on what happens if we see a breakout above 4.80% and 3.70% on the 10 year. At some point the yield spread may begin forcing money out of mlps. So far we are not at that magical point. Meanwhile crude is moving ever higher up above $111.00 this morning while nat gas sits at $4.00 and doing its usual immitation of going nowhere fast. No news on the mlp front and no upgrades or downgrades.

Forbes has a positive piece on Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) as it argues the company is completely shielded from oil price fluctuations. Of course if they start selling all energy stocks one day , or if crude ever stops going up, it may not make a difference whether your exposed or not.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

THE SHUTDOWN????





The clocks of course are ticking for the looming government shutdown thanks to these bozo's in Washington who can't even agree that the sun rises in the east. Of course being the age of twitter you might want a twitter shutdown clock! Why not be constantly reminded of the time remaining. Markets don't seem to be too concerned about this as futures are pretty firm ahead of the open. MLPS didn't do much yesterday as we hover near all time highs and the new day will probably put us over the top at least in the early going. Rates are higher this morning and we will of course keep an eye on crude inventory numbers at 10:30am.

No news on the corporate side and no upgrades or downgrades.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN!




Yesterday's fractionally higher close has us right at new all time highs for the index which is a nice way to start a Tuesday morning. Not much happening this morning with mlps. We have this Zachs piece on Williams Partners (WPZ) arguing that its yield and growth prospects look good. Also this morning Teekay LNG Partners (TGP) is a 3.7 million share offering and that has the stock down nearly 2 dollars in the pre market. Not much else is happening. The market's attention is focused on the Texas Instruments/National Semiconductor deal this morning. Stock futures are a little lower along with crude and nat gas. Rates are flat to a few ticks lower and the dollar is rallying a little against the Euro and yen. Thursday the European Central Bank will be meeting and it looks like they are going to hike rates at this meeting.

Motley Fool is doing an analysis of Targa Natural Resources (NGLS) and compares it to a few other mlps. They actually do a decent breakdown of gross margins and a few other metrics..though in the end we all know its about DCF (distributable cash flow). Still worth the read. Not much else on the tape this morning as we await the open.

Monday, April 04, 2011

NEW ALL TIME HIGHS IN MLP LAND!



Friday's up close over 380 puts us in the area of new all time highs (or reasonably close enough) as the overall market breaksout to new recovery highs. The second quarter got underway with higher prices at least for the first day. Now begins the first full week of the quarter and we have some questions on the table as far as what will happen in the next 3 months.



There is no doubt that the trend is your friend and there has been little to break the overall uptrend. The questions remain pretty much the same. Rising crude so far has actually had a positive impact on the markets especially energy stocks. We are still waiting to see whether or if rising interest rates have an impact on stock prices. Rates especially on the long end are hovering below recovery highs but have been going pretty much sideways for the last 2 months. Government shutdowns, nuclear radiation and Middle East government meltdowns have done nothing to derail this bull. Maybe someday they will but for now we're just going to continue to move merrily higher.

MLPS are at that point in the quarter where companies are telling us when earnings are going to come out and not much else. There are no news headlines this morning and no upgrades or downgrades so far. Stock futures are a little higher along with crude and most overseas markets. Rates are a couple of ticks above the Friday close. Nat gas of course is lower before the open and the dollar is lower.




During this MLP rally there have been a couple of the major mlps that have been left a little behind the rest of the pack. Nustar (NS) and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) are 2 mlps that have not been growing the distribution on a quarterly basis like many of the others. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) recent deal might lead to a resumption of distribution growth later this year. Nustar (NS) has also done nothing but go sideways recently and remains a few points below all time highs. If these companies get back on the road to hiking payouts, these 2 mlps could take over leadership. Something perhaps to put on the radar.

Buckeye Partners (BPL) has done nothing but trend downward since it hit 70 back in early November. Since then it bought out Buckeye Holdings (BGH) along with selling shares related to the takeover. At some point all that will get digested and this mlp could move to the front of the line among the leaders. All of this assumes that the mlp uptrend continues in the second quarter.

BTW just letting everyone know that i have a daughter in the school play this week and another daughter getting married at the end of this month. So posting may have some sporadic interruptions over the next 4 weeks. Busy Busy Busy!!!