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Friday, January 30, 2009

Another week of relative out performance by about 2%. And also note that the mlp index continues to make higher lows while the dow is back near that tenuous 8000 support line.
Not sure what if anything is happening but Inergy Holdings (NRGP) is up over 2 points on 80000 shares. Inergy LP (NRGY) is up 40 cents.

MLP index is at 201 and holding its own again today..down less than 2 points.
Just in case you missed it...Charlie Gasparino drops the "F" bomb yesterday on CNBC. Hilarious in case you missed it!

MLPS down to 200 on the index as the market does a slow drip selloff of over 100 points.

It looks like everyone sold ahead of the gdp number which was better than forecast; still awful but less awful is the best we can do these days. Energy is higher this morning after being lower. Crude up 1.65 as of this posting moment. Earnings this morning from K-Sea (KSP) and a distribution announcement as well. Breitburn (BBEP) put up a 52 cent distribution and warned of factors that could impact the distribution down the road. Nothing new here really. Also Exterran (EXLP) announces a distribution as well; unchanged from the previous quarter.

Plains All American (PAA) is up 1.08 cents with 5000 shares trading in the pre-market. No news here. Small pre market losses in Crosstex (XTEX) after another distribution cut yesterday. No other items of note this morning. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) made a 52 week high yesterday and will probably make another one today.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crosstex (XTEX) cuts the distribution and so does the common (XTXI) but then again the market already knew this.

Dow was down 2.7% while the mlp index was down only 1.25%. Relative out peformance continues.
Sometimes its nice to be under the radar. Global Partners (GLP) chart looks interesting here as it has broken out of a base. Not near its 52 week high but it is making some progress.

Dow down 150 but mlps down a little under 2 points which is nice. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) which made a new 52 week high yesterday is at another 52 week high today up 1 and some change and leading the winners list. Another MLP approaching a 52 week high is Suburban Propane (SPH) which is also up a small fraction today. Little by little repair work is getting done.

Coal MLPS Penn Virginia Resources (PVR), Penn Virginia Holdings (PVG) and Alliance Resource (ARLP) lead the losers list down major fractions to 1 point as we head into lunch time.

Took a look at Terra Nitrogen (TNH) which is sitting at 120 today up 2. This one to my surprise has held up so much better. You would think when the ag names got taken to the woodshed this one would have taken a did but it has gotten most of it back.
I'm adding a blog to the blog roll. Its JIM WATKINS's BLOG. He is a good friend of mine and while you may not necessarily agree with everything he says...he writes brilliantly in my view. And of course we can forgive him his politics because he is a big fan of this!

Missed this from yesterday...Linn Energy puts up a 63 cent distribution.

Stock futures have improved some as the morning progresses. EV Partners (EVEP) is bid up in the pre-market. No trades yet.

Base building continues on the DOW chart and the MLP index chart has been gunning the gas this month. Granted we haven't got to the top of the ranges but we doing all the right things to get there. The distribution news on the whole has been good and the reactions have been even better as we've seen with Markwest (MWE) for example and to a lesser degree Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL).

The sigh of relief rally in some of these issues will soon give way to what happens next quarter if the economy doesn't at least stabilize or if energy prices don't stop going down. Some companies like Breitburn (BBEP) have rehedged themselves in order to improve liquidity and we may see more of that going foward. We did have a distribution announcement from EV Partners (EVEP) which keeps its distribution at .751 have to love a company that pays out in tenths of a cent!

This morning we have earnings from K-Sea (KSP) which are not out yet as of this post. And there are still some other MLPS which haven't posted earnings and distributions so we wait for them. No upgrades or downgrades so far this morning and we have lower stock futures and lower energy prices ahead of the open.

Congratulations to Sunoco Logistics (SXL) as the first MLP to emerge from the depths and make a new 52 week HIGH!!! Glory.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Here is something that hasn't happened in awhile. Two MLPS that are moving to the top of their 52 week ranges...and Nustar is withing striking distance of a 52 week high.
MLPS are basically in a holding pattern so far today as the dow catches up and is up nearly 200 points. The fed did nothing and said little that was new and the overall market seemed okay with that.

Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) cut its distribution from 96 to 38 cents and the market is okay with it. The stock is up 1 and change to the mid 7s. Atlas Holdings (AHD) went from 51 cents to 6 cents. The stock is up a small fraction but it has a 3 handle.

Alliance Resource (ARLP) is down over 2 dollars on earnings. Holly (HEP) down 1 and change. Teppco (TPP)is down 75 cents

Nustar (NS) and Sunoco logistics (SXL) both up nearly 2 points each and lead the winners list. Atlas Pipeline (APL) and Atlas Energy Resources (ATN) also each up 1 and some change.
Atlas Energy Resources (ATN) announces a 61 cent distribution. The other Atlas stocks (APL,AHD) are called higher.

Sunoco Logistics (SXL) announces record earnings again.

Strong open ahead with the dow opening up over 100 points which is nice to see. Financials look strong this morning. Markwest (MWE) is adding to gains in the premarket as it is up 55 cents. 12.90 x 13.20 right now.
Shows you what happens when you suspend your distribution. Quest Energy Partners (QELP) closed yesterday at 4. Right now bidding 1.45...asking 2.75. Not pretty!
Regency Partners (RGNC) keeps its distribution unchanged and updates Haynesville. GE is in the mix here.

Sunoco Logistics earnings are due out anytime.. Quest Energy Resources (QELP) suspends its distribution in order to protect liquidity.

There is no question that MLP market conditions continue to improve and we have broken out above the 89 day moving average so the first challenge comes in my view with a move up to that 230 ish top which btw coincides with the dow top at 9500 back in early October.

The 200 day moving average is up around 228 so that looms large as reisistence. Still thats another 10% ride higher from here so look for your portfolio value numbers to get bigger along the way!

Lots of distribution news which includes an increase in the distribution from Holly Partners (HEP) which Goldman Sachs meets with a downgrade of the stock today. Martin Midstream (MMLP) keeps the distribution at 75 cents. DCP Midstream keeps its distribution at 60 cents. Breitburn Energy (BBEP) is reworking their hedges in order to improve cash flow. Spectra Energy (SEP) increases its distribution from last quarter. This morning Alliance Natural Resources (ARLP) increases its distrbution this quarter and reports record earnings. Alliance Holdings (AHGP) is boosting its distribution and also has record earnings. So the news flow continues to be very good. Earnings due out this morning from Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and of course we anxiously wait to see what Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) is going to do along with Crosstex. Markwest (MWE) holders got a nice boost from their distribution news yesterday of nearly 3 dollars. Not too shabby.

Elsewhere this morning stock futures are building on strength ahead of the fed today. Crude is flat after a 3 dollar down day yesterday. More headlines this morning as they break.

And thanks very much for all the wonderful birthday wishes you folks posted yesterday. I turned 50 and it was great...had dinner with my best friend Steve and his family..Wife could a wonderful Thanksgiving like dinner with turkey and all the trimmings. It could not have been better.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shocker for Markwest (MWE) distribution cut and a joint venture to improve liquidity. The stock is up over 2 dollars on the news.

MLPS heading higher into the close with a 2 point plus gain in the face of a 3 dollar oil decline. The dow is up 70 points with 20 minutes to go. Inergy Holdings (NRGP) Penn Virginia Resources (PVR) Sunoco Logisitcs (SXL) up 1 point or more each. Kinder Morgan (KMP) is a drag today down 50 cents and is the biggest loser among a small group of losers.

Yesterday's three percent moves continues to build the outperformance spread between mlps and the rest of the market. So now we are up not only up 14% since the beginning of the year but we are moving above the 89 day moving average for the first time since July.

Clearly the improvement in rate land has helped issues here and also the realization that not all distributions will be cut...some won't and some will be raised. And that is attracting attention. Can you imagine the upside if these markets even begin to approach what has long been considered normal rate spreads of 3 or 4 points above treasuries? Someone posted yesterday that this is a good place to short. Well that's what makes a trade!

This morning we will see the reaction to the Hiland Partners (HLND) and Hiland Holdings (HPGP) distribution cuts which were 50% and 67% respectively. Remember there is a 9.50/3.20 offer on the table. We should hear shortly from Atlas Pipeline (APL) Crosstex (XTEX) Copano (CPNO) Markwest (MWE) and some others on the distribtuion issue. No headlines this morning so far and no upgrades or downgrades. Some of these companies have been breaking news during the day so we will be watching carefully. Crude is down this morning and nat gas is up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hiland Partners(HLND) cuts the distribution to 45 cents from 88 cents and Hiland Partners (HPGP) cuts from 30 cents to 10 cents. The company said in 2009 guidiance if oil and gas prices fall below their estimates they could be in violation of bank convenants down the road. The companies have a takeover offer on the table from Harold Hamm at 9.50 for HLND and 3.20 for HPGP. No after hour trades so far and my guess is that this is all priced in.

Williams Partners (WPZ) announces its distribution which is unchanged from last quarter.
Seeking Alpha arcticle on MLPS...worth a read. Thanks to J Carroll for the info.

MLP index closes up well over 5 points and over 200 as we break out to short term highs. No after hours headlines yet.
MLPs doing very well today. The index is up over 5 points leading energy stocks higher. Inergy Holdings (NRGP) leads the way up over 2 points and off its high. Nustar put up good earnings numbers and was up over 3 dollars but has pulled back to up 1.50. Quicksilver (KGS), Buckeye (BPL) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and Magellan (MMP) are all 1 point plus winners. Only 5 issues are down and only down pennies.

Heading for lunchtime. If the rally can gain a head of steam this afternoon...look out above! Btw i should point out that the mlp index is back over 200...last achieved early this month when the dow broke above 9000 briefly. Here we are 800 points lower on the dow and the mlp index is about to break out to a new 2009 high. Outperformance continues to gain mommentum.

Monday morning on a week where we will hear from suspect mlps that will cut payouts. However we have some leftover news from Friday as Magellan Midstream Partners hiked its payout for the umtheenth time in a row. This morning we have news from Inergy LP(NRGY) which is lifting the payout and Inergy Holdings (NRGP) which is also hiking its payout. Both stocks are among the better performers during this nightmare. BTW the yields on the GP and the LP are about the same here...around 11 percent which may mean an opportunity in the GP. That yield in today's mlp world is very reasonable.
Now we have the MLP vs S&P chart. I know i have been harping about this but in this 3 month chart note the huge gap between the 2 around December 23 where the S&P outperformance gap was over 15 percentage points. Well since then the MLP index has not only closed that entire gap but it has pulled ahead. And since January 1ST the MLP index is up nearly 11% on the year!!! I know i keep harping on this but i think we may have crossed a major turning point here and mlps are so underpriced relative to everything else that they just have to rally...or at least go down less than everything else if the market implodes.

No other corporate news this morning and no upgrades or downgrades so far. Stock futures were even this morning until Catepillar rained on the parade. Crude oil is up this morning and we may have put in a tradeable bottom in the low 30s. We'll see what happens when we get near 50 bucks again.

We have breaking headlines from Energy Transfer Partenrs (ETP) and Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) as they put out their distribution numbers. They kept ETP the same but ETE holders get a payout boost. The press release says the increase "was principally the result of the recent ETP equity offering" The release states the importance of staying prudent during these turbulent times...this statement was made in reference to ETP.

We may get breaking headlines so i will keep my eyes open and post as they cross.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"I love Jesus but i drink a little!"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Talk about a housing crisis!

Friday, January 23, 2009

176.29 was where we began 2009...and we are now at 194.07 for a nearly 18 point gain on the index or nearly an 11 percent gain! Who would have thunk it! The S&P started the year at 903.25 and we are at 820 as of this post for an 83 point loss or nearly down 10%.

Charts at least showing some improvement. MLP index now up over 2 points as the dow cuts its losses to under 100 points and we are back over 8ooo.
Oh my...mlps opened down nearly 3 points on the index and are now higher fractionally. Holly Partners (HEP) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and Targa (NGLS) all showing 1 point plus gains! Even the losers list is showing small losses except for Boardwalk (BWP) and DCP Midstream (DPM) which are down major fractions. MLPS looking like they are trying to hold the line in here.

We have that one thing to hang our hats on. MLPS continue to hold well above the October November lows while the rest of the market seems to be heading back into that hole. And you would certainly have been (slightly) better off if you were in MLPS verses the S&P.

This morning we are facing the floor again about to break through the floorboards. GE earnings were in line but so far no inspiration. It is Friday which always brings with it some weekend positioning one way or the other. No mlp news this morning which means next week is going to be big on the distribution announcement front. Some questions will be answered for issues like Atlas Pipeline, Markwest, Crosstex, Hiland and some others about how much will they cut.

Energy complex a little lower this morning as we spend time in this bottoming area. No upgrades or downgrades so far.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dow managing to hold its losses to around 100 points or so with 5 minutes to go and the MLP index is down less than a point and a half. Not bad considering the lows of the day and mlps continue relative outperformance.

What the market giveth the market taketh away and so on. Yesterday's gain which wiped out the losses from the day before and getting wiped out as of lunch time. However the dow is down nearly 3% while the mlp index is down 1.5% which is relative outperformace again. The index is being dragged by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and its equity offering. Its down 1.85. Kinder Morgan was down over 1 and is now up on the day so its pulling it the other way. We'll call it a wash from that end. Most MLPS are down fractionally today. Not many news drivers. I have notcied however that mlps which have announced distribtuions either flat or up from the previous quarter are holding up pretty well. We should continue to pay attention to this as there continues to be signs that mlps are seeing accumulation in here.

We're back down to that critical support area around 8000 on the dow. Heaven help us if it breaks down decisively this afternoon. So far it has held. MLPS remain well above their climax lows of November December which is down around 150.

RBC Capital Markets keeps Williams (WPZ) at top pick. Steifel Nicholas keeps Markwest (MWE) at a buy but lowers its target price to 16 bucks from 29. Both stocks are down today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some more after hours action as Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) mulls a new pipeline and a 5 million unit offering. Stock is off 1 after the cloase. Natural Resource Partners (NRP) announces a distribution increase and 2009 guidance.

Btw reading through Kinder Morgan's earnings and guidance they are assuming west texas oil at 68 bucks a barrel for 2009....thats 25 bucks higher from here. Hard to imagine given whats going on right now in the economy.
Kinder Morgan earnings after the close and they boost the distrbution to 1.05 from 1.02. Full steam ahead for this company even in these difficult times according to the comments in the press release. Dow got back almost everything it lost yesterday and the MLP index got it all back and a point more; up 4% on the day!

Liking the action in here.
MLPS showing excellent outperformance and the index is approaching a 7 point gain which gets back all of yesterday's loss. Buckeye (BPL) EV Partners (EVEP) Alliance Resource (ARLP) Magellan (MMP) Teppco (TPP) and Nustar (NS) join the list of one point plus winners. The dow is approaching the high of the day up 133 as of this post.

The outperformance here is extremely encouraging and it has been the case since just after Christmas. Since the last trip down to 8000 the mlp index is 20 points higher. That is a nice positive divergence.

Noticing a few mlps are forming some nice basing patterns in here. Something to keep an eye on.

MLPS holding up well today with the index up 4 points. The dow was up well over 100 and then actually went negative briefly during the Geithner hearings. MLPS that announced distributions today are up like Global Partners and TC Pipelines. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) Plains All American (PAA) Oneok (OKS) are 1 point plus winners so far today. No big losers of note. The few mlps that are down are down just small fractions.

The outperformance continues which is a positive sign longer term.

After yesterday the dow is back down to the bottom of the range and is in the process of testing the November lows. The financials have already taken out their lows and then some so we wait for some sort of conclusive move here. If we break below the range then we could see a rapid cascade in the 6000 range in the dow. The mlp index is holding up better which is encouraging but remember we're going down as well if the market cracks.

This morning we have stock futures trying to bounce and the energy complex which trades with stocks these days is higher for now. No individual corporate news and no upgrades or downgrades. So far mlps are reacting with some bids when the distributions are held or raised. Not much but enough to keep them from imploding. We will be hearing from Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) today which kicks off the earnings parade and the distribution situation. I missed this one yesterday where El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB) increased its distribution yesterday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A horrific day for financials today as bank stocks dropped nearly 20%. MLPs dropped 3 % and the dow was down 4%. Ugly but at least a little less ugly for us.

Cheniere Energy (CQP) declared its distribution which was unchanged from last quarter. TC Pipelines (TCLP) also declared its distribution which is also unchanged from the last quarter, which these days is about as positive a news item you may get.
Okay we have a new president now for just over 2 hours. The dow is down over 200 points and the mlp index is down over 4 points. Quicksilver (KGS) among the few winners today up about 1 on its distribution increase. Otherwise its a sinkhole with Kinder Morgan (KMP) Nustar (NS) and Atlas Energy Resources (ATN) among the 1 point plus losers. Otherwise everything is moving with the tape today.


Okay so we have a new President as of 12 noon today. Coverage and a flowing list of news items can be found here. Also we have left leaning coverage from the Huffington Post where the "we shall overcome crown" gathers to announce "we are all inauguarated today" while the Daily Beast adds its own perspective on all this. And i recommend liveblogging at Althouse who adds a very smart perspective on today's events. All of this will overshadow today's return to trading after a 3 day weekend. Crude oil is down to 34 dollars and heading toward 30. Stock futures are down but not out this morning and i would guess the market will probably try to rally today at some point.

Quicksilver Gas (KGS) has increased its distribution to 37 cents and thats not bad for a 10 dollar mlp. News was announced yesterday so we'll see what if any reaction occurs today. Nothing else on the newsfront this morning and nothing is on the upgrade downgrade list. MLPS have been outperforming the overall market since the end of December and i expect that to continue.

8 years of the Bush Era has ended. I am a lifelong republican. I voted for Obama. I voted for Obama because the republican party abandoned their principals completely. George Bush stood by while the economy burned and for that i will not forgive. I voted Obama becaused i'm pissed off. I wish him well. He needs to fix something that no one person can fix. I am at heart an optimistic person and i think the brains in this country will figure it out. But it may still be a long and painful process. But with Obama...there is light! And there are a few things you need to know in order to maneuver through the next 4 years.

Friday, January 16, 2009


And why not. We staged a nice reversal yesterday and it was a logical place for a reversal as we are back at the 8000 bottom . The mlp index came back from an 8 point loss to cut it to under 2 so we should catch up this morning. And if the recent trends remain intact we should have another one of those outperformance kind of days.

Its also a Friday ahead of a holiday weekend and with the major bank earnings out of the way maybe there is no more bad news out there. At least for now. So stock futures are up nicely this morning and we are seeing rallies in commodities and energy as well. Even nat gas is up!

No news on the corporate side and no upgrades or downgrades. Hiland (HLND,HPGP) has that offer on the table and i will be watching trading today to see if the market can take the prices above the bids. My guess is that it won't and that this is pretty much a done deal given the fact that Chairman Harold Ham has majority stakes in both issues. He is getting the company on the cheap but as i pointed out makes him a smart businessman. When you have cash in a distressed market you can do exactly what Mr Hamm is proposing to do. Buy low..sell high.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A couple of notes on today's trading. Markets reversed into the close and the dow closed higher after poking below 8000. Feels like a low retest of some sort here. MLPS also went down to an 8 point loss and got most of that back by the close finishing down 1.75.

Hiland Partners (HLND) traded up today on the 9.50 buyout offer from Harold Hamm. The stock closed below the buyout price which to me says that there isn't much of a chance of a higher bid. He owns a 61% share of HLND. A few people on the Hiland yahoo message board are pissed off. But you know what? This is what a smart businessperson does in an enviornment where you have cash. You buy good businesses and market distressed prices. My question is...will there be a distribution declared come month's end. At least that way Hiland holders get 9.50 plus the payout. At least if the distribution is cut it won't matter too much with the bid on the table.

Not much else of note today but at least the market held.

Harold Hamm wants to buy Hiland LP (HLND) at 9.50 and Hiland Holdings (HPGP) at 3.20. Hamm is the chairman of both companies. Hiland was 60 once upon a time and Hiland holdings was 30. The world we live in.

Of course its all about losing less and from that metric....we are! I post here the 5 day and 3 month chart and notice the very wide gap that has developed between mlps and the s&p 500. We are down about 2% in the last 5 days and the s&p is down over 6%. I think this is a significant developement here. We need to watch this carefully especially on the next rally when it comes. It could be....i want to emphasise could be the sign that mlps are emerging as a leadership group.

The 3 month comparison shows the cross occured around year end. I am noticing that the stronger mlps are holding well above their October November lows which is a good sign. We certainly have the issue of dealing with those mlps whose cuts are in jeopardy. I am waiting to see what happens when one of them cuts. What will the stock price reaction be? Is it priced it?

Stocks are cautious this morning as JPM Morgan announces it actually made 7 cents a share last quarter vs a zero estimate. The market was down 250 on the dow yesterday and futures are a touch lower this morning. Crude is up this morning and we get nat gas numbers later this morning. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list so far.

Snowing outside my window this morning with a temperature of 19.The arctic is a nice place!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Plains All American (PAA) is leaving the distirbution intact and is keeping its options open for the rest of the year given market conditions. Makes sense.

Dow down 300 points now and mlps down 4.
Eagle Rock (EROC) and Transmontaigne (TLP) lead the very small list of winners up 50 to 75 cents. Otherwise its a 3 point plus loss on the mlp index but the overall market is down 4+% at the down 225 or 3%ish so at least relative outperformace continues even if it means we are down less.

Oneok (OKS) Kinder Morgan (KMP and DCP Midstream (DPM) are down over 1 point each and lead the losers list. Williams (WPZ) Energy Transfer Equity(ETE) Alliance Resource (ARLP) Buckeye (BPL) Natural Resource (NRP) among the mlps losing major fractions.

Crude has turned higher by 33 cents as of this post. Very cold air heading for the midwest and northeast from now through Friday so bundle up. Nat gas now has a 4 handle!

Premarket trading this morning has Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC) up at 8 bucks which is 1.68 above yesterday's close. And why not. In case you missed it the company after the close yesterday announced it was unwinding some hedges which will substantially increase cash flow.

The company also says it expects a challenging first half and an improving second half. And it also says the distribution is safe and above the minimums to satisfy covenants. Great news for Rock unit holders. It brings the yield down under 20% assuming we trade over 7 bucks today. Does it perhaps bring more confidence into the group? Sure hope so. Do note that mlp average performance continues to outperform the rest of the market. That has been the case since the end of December. Now some of that could still be year end/new year action. But as each day passes that measure of outperformance becomes more and more relevant to our little group longer term.

This morning stock futures are lower again as we are on 5 down days in a row for the overall market (not mlps). Energy futures are higher but off the highs of the morning. Inventory numbers due out this morning with oil at 38 bucks. Could be short covering ahead of numbers. Last week energy sold off sharply after the inventory numbers.

Okay so we have a shakey market open but some distribution news which is good. Would that other mlps could step up to the plate here and get the news out. At least we'll know. But we'll know soon enough as the round of announcements will come by months end anyway. Retail sales numbers just out which are horrible so its a down open on the overall market and we'll see where it takes us.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

After the close Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC) announces it will be undoing some hedges and they will be maintaining their distribution. Eagle Rock closed at 6.31 and traded at 7.49 after the close.
Market coming off the lows of the day with the dow trying to pull even but mlps at the highs of the day now with the index up nearly 4 points.
S&P revises outlook on DCP Midstream to negative. Market did that a long time ago. The stock is still up 70 cents. Also Holly Partners (HEP) is up 4.50 on 180,000 shares of volume. No news there. Traded as high as 30.43 intraday which is amazing for an mlp when you think of it.

Sorry for the late first post but it took a little time and the market at least is not dropping and mlps along with energy stocks are rallying today. The index is up nearly 3 points to just under 195. Holly Partners (HEP) is up 2. Plains All American (PAA) and Alliance Resource (ARLP) are up 1. And we have a growing list of fractional winners.

On the losing side we a few issues down led by Penn Virginia Holdings (PVG) which is down all of 30 cents. A few other losers all with small fractional losses.

We're in one of those funny periods of quiet ahead of mlp earnings and distribution announcemnets. i type DCP Midstream (DPM) is up 99 cents to just shy of 15 bucks. I think its growing increasingly likely that this mlp will not be cutting its distribution. Markwest (MWE) Atlas Pipeline (APL) have sold off 1/2 their rallies so i think those two along with Hiland (HLND) Crosstex (XTEX) and a few others a likely to see the payouts shaved.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Raymond James downgrades Hiland Partners (HLND) and Hiland Holdings (HPGP) to neutral from strong buy and those moves is taking 2 points from HLND and 33 cents from HPGP. Raymond James also cut Williams (WPZ) from strong buy to neutral and its down 1.29. Martin Midstream (MMLP) gets cut to Neutral from outperform. Same goes for Eagle Rock(EROC) and Targa Resources (NGLS). All those stocks showing fractional losses.

MLPS down with everything else. The index is down 4 points to 191 and change. Crude is down nearly 3 dollars. Kinder Morgan (KMP) and Trans Montaigne (TLP) showing fractional gains and there are a few other mlps showing upticks. But nothing to jump up and down over.

The bottom is a bumpy place and never a straight line. Its a frustrating place where bulls and bears get frustrated on an almost daily basis. And thats where i think we are right now. We also continue to enjoy relative outperformance which emerged in November; perhaps co=incidently or not with the peaks in the credit squeeze. So if yields in corporates continue to improve, it could be the more important factor driving mlps foward as i have argued in the last few weeks. The path of least resistence here is up unless the stock market completely falls apart.

Duncan Partners (DEP) has boosted its distribution last Friday which is no surprise as Dan Duncan continues to buy shares here and in Enterprise Products Partners (EPD). And we are inching closer to finding out what other MLPS out there are going to do with their payouts. Stock futures are flat to a little lower this morning. Crude and other energy showing minus signs. Crude down 2 bucks this morning. Nothing so far on the upgrade downgrade list.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Relative outperformance means that these days you lose less than everyone else which means that technically you have more money then everyone else. Just less of it. MLP index holding with a bit less than a 2 point loss as we approach mid afternoon trading.


7% Unemployment rate and like to rise some more in the coming months and the overall market is down about 100 dow points. The mlp index is down over 2 points but we are coming off yesterday's gain and relative outperformance so at least we are not seeing huge down moves in mlps along with a down market. The improvement in the credit markets makes a big difference.

No really standout movers this morning as the losers are down fractions. E V Partners (EVEP) leads the losers list down 1 and change. Thats the only 1 point loser. A few winners but they are up small fractions. Inergy Holdings (NRGP) Calumet (CLMT) Oneok (OKS) Hiland Holdings (HPGP) are among the stocks on the upside.

No news and no upgrades or downgrades. I'm going to look for a rally attempt in the overall market late this morning and this afternoon and that should carry mlps. Crude is down over 2 dollars and back under 40 bucks. Northeast and midwest heating oil users will be wise the top their tanks as bitter cold air is going to rule the weather patterns starting next week and beyond.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Really encouraging in here with the relative outperformance. Noticed that 2 year swap spreads have collapsed and that is signally improvement (relative) in the capital markets. The mlp index up nearly 2.50 and near the highs of the day. Glory!
The mlp index is up nearly 2 points in the face of the dow which is down 50 right now. Teppco (TPP) Energy Transfer Equity(ETE) Nustar (NS) Crosstex (XTEX) and Williams (WPZ) are up major fractions to 1 point.
MLPS have turned higher after being down nearly 3 points. The index is up half a point now. Most mlps are either flat or higher at this point. MLPS are responding i believe to the continued healing that is occuring in the corporate bond market. And that healing i think puts a floor under mlps and will soften any selloff in the broad tape. At least that's the way it feels right now.

Williams (WPZ) is up nearly 1 point and leads the winners list. Meanwhile 2 mlps announced INCREASED distributions. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) raises to 53 cents from 50 cents. Stock is a fractional winner today. Genesis goes from .285 to .33! Stock is flat today and yields around 13%. Nice to see the boosts for sure. Hopefully its a sign. UBS raises Buckeye Holdings (BGH) to buy from neutral. The stock is up 24 cents.

Maybe. Seems to me that yesterday everyone began to sell ahead of what will be an absolutely hideous employment number tomorrow. So unless the number is catastrophic, this may get all priced in. But yesterday was a reminder that it ain't all straight up. The mlp index is starting the day at 194 and i still argue we have room to get to 220 in the short term. But as Bruce posted yesterday in the comments section there is certainly reason for caution.

This morning we are not seeing followthrough in stock futures as they are flat to a little higher while energy futures which also got hit hard yesterday are a little firmer. Weather may become a factor in the US over the next 2 to 3 weeks as it turns very cold to bitter cold across much of the midwest and northeast. That could be a driver for heating oil and nat gas futures; something to watch anyway.

No upgrades or downgrades yet and no corporate news items so far this morning.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

We are moving with markets today which are down. Not a surprise in MLP land given the up moves recently so we are giving stuff back. Crude is down nearly 6 dollars as of this post.

The mlp index is down 4.65. Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) is down 2. Crosstex (XTXI) is down 1.50 and so is Atlas Holdings (AHD. Most mlps are down strong fractions to 1 point.

Only 7 issues are up small fractions including Nustar (NS) Calumet (CLMT) and Semagroup Partners (SGLP) which by the way is just under 5 bucks these days.

I mentioned yesterday that this rally has a much better feel to it than any rally attempt in the past year.

One nice thing about this rally and a very encouraging sign is the movement in the single digit priced mlps as the number of those has been literally cut in half almost overnight. This leads credence to the idea that hedge funds over owned and vastly oversold this generally underowned group. The result has been some astounding moves in both directions.

I put up these 2 charts of the amz index verses the s&p 500 and i would like to point out that we are at a crossroads here.

Notice that in the last 3 months we have outperformed the S&P and we are about to cross here on the 6 month chart. A positive sign in my view. We had a rally back in October which took us from 160 to 220 in a hurry and i think we should be able to get to 220 on this rally phase as there is much more breath and firepower to it. We may have a shot to get to 240 if the dow rallies to the top of its range which is around 9600 and breaks above that to challenge 10,000. Also i believe it is wise to see where mlps are priced today relative to their last ex-distribution date. Yahoo historical prices will take you right to the ex-dis date for easy comparison. If the stock price is equal to or higher than it was back in November than i think its a good bet that the company will maintain its distribution. Atlas Pipeline (APL) for example has doubled from its low and it is still half of what it was back in November. Is the market forecasting a 50% distribution cut? And speaking of cuts Constellation Energy Partners (CEP) has rallied to 4.51 and they have already told us their distribution is being cut to 13 cents. That stock now yields 11% based on the new rate. Could it be that the market is signalling a long term bottom here? The stock has almost doubled from its low.

This morning we have slightly weaker stock futures and slightly stronger energy futures. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is doing a share offering and they are a big weight in the mlp index so we may have a bit of a downside distortion there. Since they trade over 20 dollars i guess they are taking advantage of the price rise. Not many mlps have the stock price to pull this off. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list so far this morning.

Thanks to the rally my accounts are back to their 2004 levels! Weeeee!!!!! I guess judging from what some people are going through...thats a good thing! I'll be happy if i can get back to 05 on this upleg.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The mlp melt up continues as Hiland Partners (HLND) adds another 3.74 and closes at 11.99. Thats a triple from the pre Christmas lows under 4 dollars! And Hiland Holdings (HPGP) has doubled to 4.60. Glory! I'm still long from the low 5's.

The number of MLPS with single digit handles has declined from 22 to 13. Crosstex (XTXI) was up 2.34 and closed at 6.87. That one could have been gotten under 3 dollars last week. Atlas Pipeline (APL) is back over 10 dollars.

After the close Enterprise Products Partners is down 1.22 as it has taken the opportunity of the stock price rise to sell some equity. 8.6 million shares coming to market. At least they don't have to go to the debt market.

The mlp index was over 200 for most of the day but had to settle for a close just under 200 as the market sold off a bit in the last hour. Still i like the feel of this rally on the tape and mlps seem to be taking a leadership role in here. So far they are bouncing hard from the extreme oversold conditions of December. The rally in my view has legs and has more to go.
The mlp melt up continues as Hiland Partners (HLND) adds another 3.74 and closes at 11.99. Thats a triple from the pre Christmas lows under 4 dollars! And Hiland Holdings (HPGP) has doubled to 4.60. Glory! I'm still long from the low 5's.

The number of MLPS with single digit handles has declined from 22 to 13. Crosstex (XTXI) was up 2.34 and closed at 6.87. That one could have been gotten under 3 dollars last week. Atlas Pipeline (APL) is back over 10 dollars.

After the close Enterprise (EPD) is down 1.22 as it has taken the opportunity of the stock price rise to sell some equity. 8.6 million shares coming to market. At least they don't have to go to the debt market.

The mlp index was over 200 for most of the day but had to settle for a close just under 200 as the market sold off a bit in the last hour. Still i like the feel of this rally on the tape and mlps seem to be taking a leadership role in here. So far they are bouncing hard from the extreme oversold conditions of December. The rally in my view has legs and has more to go.
The mlp melt up continues as Hiland Partners (HLND) adds another 3.74 and closes at 11.99. Thats a triple from the pre Christmas lows under 4 dollars! And Hiland Holdings (HPGP) has doubled to 4.60. Glory! I'm still long from the low 5's.

The number of MLPS with single digit handles has declined from 22 to 13. Crosstex (XTXI) was up 2.34 and closed at 6.87. That one could have been gotten under 3 dollars last week. Atlas Pipeline (APL) is back over 10 dollars.

After the close Enterprise (EPD) is down 1.22 as it has taken the opportunity of the stock price rise to sell some equity. 8.6 million shares coming to market. At least they don't have to go to the debt market.

The mlp index was over 200 for most of the day but had to settle for a close just under 200 as the market sold off a bit in the last hour. Still i like the feel of this rally on the tape and mlps seem to be taking a leadership role in here. So far they are bouncing hard from the extreme oversold conditions of December. The rally in my view has legs and has more to go.

MLPS continue to benefit from the tremendous compression in prices during December and we continue to rally from there. 200 seems to be the first wall but we have tail winds this morning with stock futures up. Energy futures are higher going into the open and we have no corporate developements.

I have some personal stuff to deal with this morning so upon return i shall update.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Gains getting cut in half on the mlp index in the last hour as the broader market sees some selling coming in. Nothing tragic and i guess there is a bit of a wall at 200.
Of course we all doubled up our positions in order to take advantage of this massive january rally which is occuring in mlps especially in the low priced issues. Any of you out there want to share your successes please do so in the comments section.

Hiland LP (HLND) touched double digit land at 10 bucks!

The charts are looking a little better. Looks like we can take out 200 (maybe today) and 220 on the weekly chart seems do-able.

Hiland Partners (HLND) is at 9.35 up over 3 today for a 51% daily gain!!!!
Gains continue to build. Up over 10 points now on the mlp index. No mlp or gp is down that i could find today and we continue to build some nice big percentage gains. 16 mlps and gps are priced under 10 dollars which is down from 22 just a few weeks ago. So at least we are seeing mlps like Markwest (MWE) Exterran (EXLP) DCP Midstream (DPM) move solidly back into the land of double digit handles.

Using my price theory about the safety of the next distribution mlps like Copano (CPNO) Atlas Pipeline Partners and Holdings (APL,AHD), Markwest (MWE) are trading far under where they were when they made their last payouts. I am going to try to put a table together to break this down further.
A melt up of sorts in MLPS with the index up 6 points. On ly 5 mlps are down small fractions; everything else is up. E V Partners (EVEP) leads the winners list up 2. Up 1 to 2 points and also big percentage winners include Hiland Partners (HLND) Atlas Holdings (AHD) Markwest (MWE), Other leaders up 1 or more include Oneok (OKS) Buckeye (BPL) and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP).

One thing that crossed my mind as i was doing my 6 miles was trying to figure out who will hold on to payouts and who won't. One clue might be to look at stock prices of a particular MLP today and what the stock price was back last October when the stock when ex distribution. If the price is equal to or above that price then its likely that the company will hold the payout. For example Crosstex LP (XTEX) is at 5 dollars right now. At the point of the last payout cut the stock was at around 9 dollars. So this indicates to me that another cut is coming.

On the other hand E V Partners (EVEP) was at 18 at the last distribution and its 18 now. So the stock action indicates no cut is coming. It may not be fullproof but i will be looking around later for more clues.

And so it begins really today as everybody is back to work. I have to tell you i am so glad the last 2 weeks are over with. By the time New Years arrives i want the holidays to just go away. We have been in rally mode since Christmas and the mlp index starts the day @ 188.59. With the energy complex firming and rates in treasuries actually rising i would think the rally can continue and maybe we can get the index above 200 in the short term

News this morning from Eagle Rock (EROC) as they bring in a new CFO. Otherwise all is quiet on the corporate front. No upgrades or downgrades yet on the list. The dollar is rallying sharply as gold is down 25 bucks. Stock futures are a little softer but not by too much. We certainly have a lot of headroom in here so i would think the path of least resistence is higher. I would also expect to see a continued rise in prices of the low price mlps (under 10 bucks) until it becomes clear what happens to distribtuions. And those announcements loom in the weeks ahead.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The year in review!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Going into the close with the dow at 9040 and the mlp index up nearly 13 points.

I should also add the Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) and Markwest (MWE) are each up a point and a half making for big one day percentage gains.
An across the board rally today. The mlp index is up 11 points to 187 as the dow is up 200 and approaching 9000. Every mlp and gp is up except for Crosstex (XTXI) which is down 20 cents but it had a big gain Wednesday.

Nustar (NS) Plains All American (PAA) Oneok (OKS) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) Natural Resource (NRP) Teekay (TOO) Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP)and Buckeye (BPL) all up 2 points or more. 1 to 2 point gains in Boardwalk (BWP) Magellan (MMP) Energy Transfer (ETP), Teppco (TPP) Kinder Morgan (KMP) Alliance Resource (ARLP) Inergy Holdings (NRGP) Exterran (EXLP) and a number of others.

As Bruce says the rally is probably suspect but its better than the other way. And if this is the beginning of a big market contra trend move then we have a ways to go before we get to a short term top. Remember its only the 1st day of 2009 and we have to wait until the middle of next week to get a feel for how much firepower this rally has.
Crude was down over 3 dollars earlier and has now pulled even. Natural gas is higher.
2009 BEGINS!

Its day one and we start the year at 176.29. We started 1/2/2008 at...are you ready for this...301.13 so we have 125 points of decline...0ver 40% on the index and we only need to go up about 50% or so to pull back even. Good luck! We have a lot of questions ahead of us and we have to tackle those questions rather quickly.

First off will be the fate of distributions which in a few short weeks will be announced. We pretty much know which ones the market hss already told us are getting cut. All you have to do is look at the prices and their yields. And it is amazing to me as i look at some of the message boards how many people have their head in the sand about this. Someone for example was opining on the Hiland LP (HLND) yahoo message board about getting the 76 cent distribution next quarter. Wnen paying out the distrbution wipes out 1/4 of the equity value of a stock by just going ex-distribution..then Houston we have a problem here. This is but one example. However as i have pointed out before, the game this quarter will be figuring out which ones cut by less than forecast coupled with a rally in junk yields. That condition will be a real short term money maker.

The mlp index chart is about as ugly as you will ever see it. We have immediate challenges above us as we approach moving averages. 180 is the first hurdle. Frankly i would prefer a long grinding basing action which frustrates everyone and we go nowhere fast in either direction.

This morning we had stronger stock futures earlier but they have weakened. The energy complex is sharply lower on the back of Wednesday's gain. The dollar is up. Rates start the year near zero. Maybe that's the trade short treasuries...which seems to be where everyone is going.

MLPS that are trading at call option prices showed some movement Wednssday. Crosstex (XTXI) for example was up over 1 dollar and that's a lot for a stock that started the day with a 2 handle. I would look for more moves like that over the next week or so as we see a January effect of some sort. No corporate headlines this morning as we might as well make it a 4 day weekend. I would not read too much into what ever happens today. We need 5 days or so of trading to get a feel for where we are going short term.