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Monday, August 31, 2009


I dont won't you to think i've disappeared off the face of the earth but i've been working and running around taking care of back to school stuff. Given the slow pace of trading the last couple of weeks some time off is a necessary thing every once in awhile. And the Travers in Saratoga kept me busy late in the week at that other casino!

Okay we're lower by 2 points on the mlp index and most are down. Crosstex(XTEX) is selling assets to Kinder Morgan (KMP) which has Crosstex up a little and Kinder Morgan down a little. Stiefel Nicholas is starting Buckeye Partners (BPL) at a buy and the stock is up a nickle. Most mlps are lower by fractions to a point.

So far this correction has been very orderly and there is still no evidence to suggest that its anything other than a correction.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MLPS making a sharp reversal and are now unch after being down 3. Market doing very well also. It just doesnt want to go down.

You can see that a trip lower from here is possible and we have room to get back below 230 possibly and still be in the context of a correction. The 89 day moving average was touched not to long ago when we first broke through 225. And this morning we are down over 3 on the mlp index as energy stocks are selling off. Oil is back below 70 and nat gas is down as they wait for storage numbers out shortly.

The August pace of trading continues to slow to a crawl. No bids on the floor today is the problem as opposed to an onslaught of selling. News wise Energy Transfer Partners settles with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) but the stock is down 1 on the news. Oneok Partners (OKS) is down 1.36 and is today's biggest loser. Just a few mlps are up and led by Holly Partners (HEP) which is up 34 cents so far. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We've been in corrective mode since we hit 250 and we are straddling along the moving averages which are providing ample support. So far all this is a bull market correction and we are also dealing with late August trading desks which have all but shut down until after Labor Day.

Most mlps are moving fractionally lowever as the index is down just under 2 points in the early afternoon. No news drivers today. Everything just seems to be in sleepy mode. I am in sleepy mode as i recover from 2 days of doubles.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Well at least we got that out of the way. Whether you like Mr B or not at least the uncertainty is now out of the way and markets can go focus on everything else. The news turned futures around which were softer overnight and have now turned higher. This comes after yesterday's late day reversal in the dow which brought us back to the flat line. 9500 is one of those places where the market needs to work through as it is back to last September's high.

MLPS are doing one of their usual stair step corrections in here and we have to get to see whether the 250 level is the wall or not. MLPs seem to be resting in here letting other stocks take the lead. When your up nearly 40% on the year vs everything else its no surprise.

I've been gassing away so much about nat gas lately that i will not go into it again. There will probably be another tropical storm or two on the map in the next few days although the lead system north of Puerto Rico is likely to head up off the east coast. Click on the pic away from the circled areas and you will see a disturbance moving off the African coast which looks impressive but thats over a week or more away.

Back to mlps we dont have much happening this morning on the corporate news front and no upgrades or downgrades are being show so far. Stock futures are up over 6 points on the S&P. Crude is a little higher right now. We'll see what happens after we move away from the Bernake news and whether the markets will sell on this news or not. Right now it looks like a nice first half hour anyway.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sorry for the late first post but i have 2 full days ahead and already had a morning having to help my daughter move furniture. Very quickly before i head out for a 15 hour work day. Natural Resource Partners (NRP) was downgraded to sell by Citigroup and the stock is down 1. No other news of importance to speak of as the index is up a little less than a point right now with the dow up 62. Crude is up and of course nat gas is...well...nat gas! I blogged about the nat gas ung nonsense in the prior post. I believe nat gas is under pressure because of the possibility of seeing 3 billion plus worth of futures contracts hitting the floor if UNG is forced to liquidate thanks to the CFTC. We'll see but in the meantime the premium is expanding.

Off to teach and then to my night job...i will try and post when i can.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


All this UNG CFTC nonsense going on has made for some unusual trading in nat gas and in ung. Where they should be at a 1 to 1 ratio where ung tracks nat gas evenly we have UNG not issuing new shares and the UNG now trades at a premium.

Meanwhile nat gas itself has been selling relentlessly and it has led me to wonder whether the market is pricing in a liquidation of UNG and the resulting onslaught of futures contracts that will be up for sale.

This whole situation could resolve itself in many ways including the possibility that the CFTC decideds to do nothing as far as tighter regulation ..which in my view is the way to go. The UNG, USO and others like this are the easiest ways for the average investor to participate in the commodities markets without actually buying futures. Why the CFTC would tell the small guy you cant play in this sandbox is beyond me.

The premium issue is another story and with all the talk of UNG collapsing down to eliminate the differences in price, there is one other possibility. If the CFTC does nothing, and my theory of the recent selling pressure holds, we could see nat gas rally sharply while the UNG basically does nothing until the prices normalize. Right now UNG should be about a dollar or so lower from where it is now. Is nat gas at 2.80 finally at a place where it should turn. Its been down 12 of the last 13 trading days. At some point this is got to end unless nat gas is going to zero.

They never seem to make things easy do they. BTW sorry for the lack of posts yesterday but i had one of those days where my brain was completely fried.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Crude is going to 100 and nat gas is going to zero. There is a compromise in there somewhere. There is a short covering rally for nat gas one of these days. Meanwhile the market turned yesterday and we closed higher for the most part and we start the day with a flatish tone. MLPS are opening flat this morning with no news drivers and some small fractional moves in either direction. The overall market has opened a touch lower.

Nat gas numbers out at 10:30am. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list. The overall market will be driving things. More later as i try to fix a broken pool filter. It finally gets hot in the east and the pool filter dies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nat gas never one to disappoint as we head into the close. Looks like it will be 10 down days in a row and hovering right above 3 bucks.

MLPS looking good here as the markets are confounding those in the correction camp. Dow up 80. MLP index up just a little under 1 point.
Markets quickly turned around this morning and it is typical in a bull move just how quick sentiment can get negative. 2 down days in a row and the world was about to end again. MLPS turned around are higher. Energy stocks are leading the way today with oil up and nat gas even putting its head above water.

Most mlps are moving fractionally but the vast majority of them are higher. Atlas Energy Resources (ATN) Martin Midstream (MMLP) and Holly Partners (HEP) are the bigger winners today up 50 cents or better. Not many losers and the few that are down aren't down by much.

Lots of talk about what is going on with UNG and DXO with the etfs no longer issuing new shares and that is creating a bit of a shortage. UNG which is supposed to trade on par with nat gas is actually trading at a premium by about 10%. Im not sure what to make of all this and being long in here does make me a bit nervous. I wonder if nat gas every rallies whether there could be one of these artificial situations where the price is driven higher than it otherwise would. Of course this can work both ways. Im watching carefully here for now. Ultimately its about the trade and about what nat gas does...and if it moves from 3 to 4 dollars, even if the UNG returns to normal trading values..there is upside. IMHO of course. Unless of course im missing something here. Thanks max for the post...Guys let me know if i am not seeing this properly.

Its down 9 days in a row and counting. And the sell off is pretty much been unrelenting. These low nat gas prices have certainly done damage to nat gas mlps especially the ones like Crosstex (XTEX) and Atlas Pipeline (APL). Its make or break time and i can't remember the last time nat gas sold under 3 bucks. It needs to make a stand in here otherwise its another leg down to who knows where. I am still long UNG and have been nimble enough to trade in and out of the few rallies that have occured. My average price is right at 13.

MLPS have pretty much run through the distribtuion cycle and your payouts are in your bank accounts by now. Not much happening this morning on the news front. No upgrades or downgrades. No corporate headlines this morning. Crude is down a touch this morning. Looks like we could be in a corrective mode which continues to be relatively orderly. The mlp index is holding its support area between 226 and 235. Bring on the open which will be lower.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nat gas looking to close down for the ninth straight day. Markets bouncing from the 2 day sell off and mlps are up with the index up 2 points. Almost all mlps are up but no really big moves. Most are up fractions. The leaders are Atlas Energy Resource (ATN) and Sunoco Logistics (SXL) which are up 1 or more.

Down 8 days in a row...doesn't this chart look like a bottom is being put in? Unless of course we break below 12 on the close and collapse lower. If that happens it might be a signal that the economy may not recover.

We settled with a 5 point loss yesterday after settling there earlier in the day and then just mulling around those levels. We are right in the area where the correction could stop and turn up again. In a worst case scenario we could head down to 226ish at the 89 day movning average.
The weekly chart is showing support around the same areas and notice that the 34 week moving average is about to cross over for the first time in over 15 months. This is another positive sign for the longer term..assuming of course this actually happens. But we are in an area where there is a lot of support to keep the uptrend intact.

Not much on the news front this morning as the month of August continues to move right along. No upgrades or downgrades showing up. Oil is a little lower and natgas has now of course turned a little lower after opening higher. Nat gas is back down to its low of around 12 on the UNG and 3.20 ish on the futures. Again of these days.....!!!!!

Finally here is something that should give you a bit of a laugh.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We're in the area of moving average support as the selloff accellerates a bit today. Down over 5 on the mlp index. All mlps and gps are down and we have a slew of 1 point plus losses in the likes of Exterran ((EXLP ) Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and the leading loser is Alliance Resource which is down nearly 2. No surprise really and probably long over due. We could make a case for 225 on the mlp index on the downside but i would think that would be as far as this correction takes us. Any breach of that and its because something more sinister is going on.

On the end of a three day weekend here so i will be back to normal blogging tomorrow.

Friday, August 14, 2009


That map you see above is a computer model forecast 10 days from now. It shows a hurricane in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Below we see the nat gas chart which continues to look like a chart thats making a bottom. Of course I've been pushing that meme since July 1st and so far we have done no better than trade in a range on the UNG with 12 at the bottom and about 16 at the top.
I cant imagine nat gas getting any cheaper than it already is unless the economy completely falls apart. One of these days. MLPS are correcting in stair step fashion and you can see we are hugging just above the moving average support lines. So far all it is is a correction in the bull trend. At some point the primary trend will resume unless of course we are at the beginning of a new trend. Never a dull mommnet.

This morning is looking like a typical Friday which means not much movement after the open. Summer weekends are dwindling down to a precious few especially this summer here in the northeast which has not been very good weather wise. Crude is flat. Nat gas is showing us a few pennies of rally. Stock futures were a little higher and now have turned flat.

The tropics will be cooking as mentioned earlier so for the latest on whatever is going on here is the latest sat pic and the hurricane center main page.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The mlp index is down by half a point after being up earlier but most of the big mlps are down fractionally causing the drag. Markwest (MWE) is losing 1 on its stock offering. Otherwise most mlps are in a range of plus 50 cents to minus 50 cents. Nothing stands out as we wait for the market which is holding up well considering the horrible retail sales number.

Nat gas inventories were less bearish than usual but that matters nothing as nat gas just cat get out of its own way...basically flat on the day right now after being higher earlier.

Markwest Energy (MWE) is joining the long list of mlps doing a public offering which given the 40% price rise in mlps and a doubling of the price of this one off its lows and you should not be surprised. The stock is down over 1 in the pre market. The behavior lately of mlps doing equity offerings is that they tend to do nothing for a week or two afterward and then resume their march upward. So many mlps have come to the well in the last few months ( and some have come twice) that the good news is they may not come to the well again for the rest of the year.

I wasnt too crazy about the close yesterday technically but that was just one day and this morning we will start higher although the futures came off sharply when retail sales showed a drop. Still the market looks like it wants to rally and 9500 on the dow is resistence in my view. MLPS are flooring near its rising moving averages so 250 now looms as the short term top to get through.

Not much else going on this morning. Energy is higher with oil near 72 bucks. Nat gas once again is testing its lows and is going nowhere. Inventory numbers for nat gas will be out at 10:30am and for the most part i think nat gas is trading down this week into the nunbers so shorts may take the opportunity to cover. One of these days. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list but i would continue to use downgrades as an opptorunity to go long. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is the latest example as they were downgraded earlier this week and the stock sold down to under 41 and is looking to open over 43 this morning. You have to be nimble but it is doable.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We're continuing that trip down to the moving averages in stair step orderly mode (so far) and we came close to touching the 34 day support. These things always seem to happen when something else is going on. Maybe its the fed meeting. Still the trend higher is intact. Energy is the focus when the oil numbers come out at 10:30am Nat gas continues its decent this morning which of course we know is going to zero. Free nat gas everyone!

I sold out my position in National Resource Partners (NRP) after its earning last week and took a small loss. I just felt that given the underperformance my money would be better off elsewhere. This morning Wells Fargo downgrades the stock to underperform. Me selling and Wells downgrade are purely coincidental. Western Gas (WES) doubles its earnings and calls its performance "strong" which is a nice thing to accomplish given the world we live in.

Not much else happening this morning. Stock futures are flat right now and i would expect markets not to do much until the fed announcement at 2:15pm.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

237 on the mlp index is the moving average support line and the index right now is at 240. That support line could be touched soon.

News flow is a bit heavy this morning as we have earnings to chew through. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) announced earnings last night and so did EV Partners (EVEP). They reported a 2% decrease in distributable cash flow which caught my attention. Conference call going on right now. Markwest Energy (MWE) reports quarterly numbers and updates us on Marcellus Shale. Finally Boardwalk Partners (BWP) is doing another offering of shares; 7 million worth coming to market. And finally we have the GP of Enterprise (EPE) reporting earnings.

In the land of downgrades we have Morgan Stanley (MS) downgrading Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to market perform from outperform. Lately these downgrades have been a buying opportunity. Stock is down 1.50 before the open. So we have corporate issues to move prices this morning. Also as we open this morning nat gas has just taking a hit of selling along with stock futures.

Okay its a down open by over 2 points on the mlp index being led lower by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) as its down nearly 3 right now. EV Partners(EVEP) is down fractionally at the moment so earnings seem to be priced in. Boardwalk (BWP) is down 1 on the offering. Right now most mlps are lower with mainly fracitonal moves.

The tropics are heating up but right now the energy market just shruggs and nat gas goes down.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pretty quiet day so far with the mlp index down a few ticks and being on either side of unchanged. Half of the universe of mlps are flat to higher and the other half a little bit lower. Nothing really outstanding on either side of the ledger so we crawl along on what looks like a consolidation day; unless of course buyers or sellers take the upper hand late in the day.

Mon day morning and we have another weekly adventure ahead of us. We finished last week down as the last of the ex-distribtions worked their way through (barring the one or two still pending) . We have hit a wall at 250 on the index and we could still venture down to the moving averages below. We've done that before in this rally phase so it would be no surprise if that were to happen. Those support lines are not that far below us so it would not be that painful if we went there. Those points have been buy areas this year and there are no indications that has changed.

Some news drivers this morning as earnings are out from Regency Partners (RGNC) and we also have numbers from Atlas Energy Resources (ATN) which is increasing its reserve estimates from Marcellus shale. Wachovia is downgrading DCP Midstream to market perform from outpeform in upgrade downgrade land. So there are some individual drivers that will impact these mlps. The moves have been to buy the rumour sell the news on many mlps in this quarterly cycle. No premarket moves at this time.

Stock futures are a little lower this morning. Oil is also a little lower and natgas is a little higher. We have the tropics being watched as activitiy is beginning to develope, although it is far away from the Gulf of Mexico. Also computer models are showing increasing tropical activity over the next few weeks although who knows about the specifics. Nat gas will hopefully have something to trade higher on since nothing else seems to work.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Stronger employment numbers have put some gas in the tank this morning and futures have turned sharply higher ahead of the open. Its Friday which means the usual slower pace of trading. MLPS had one of those sharp down days yesterday being off over 6 at one point before coming back to minus 4 on the day. All sorts of distortions with ex distribtuions being the primary driver here; some people buy these things just for the payout and then sell. If we have reverted back to normal trading patterns we will work through all this in the next few days and then move on.

Crosstex Energy (XTEX,XTXI) has been one of the victims of this downturn as the charts show. Not pretty and no bounce off the lows in single digit land. Earnings news came out last night and the company updated and raised guidance. This of course is not a bad thing however we have no indication if and when the distribution will resume and that ultimately will determine whether can ever truly recover. If that day every comes this one could move to double digit price land in a hurry. It could be a longer term lottery ticket for the braver among you.

Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) also put up earnings numbers last night. This is another one that has been victimized going from 50 to in the land of the 7 handle. No sign of a distribution here anytime soon. Inside the press release we have this.

the Partnership will not pay any further distributions for the remainder of 2009. Beginning with the first quarter 2010, Atlas Pipeline may pay distributions if, pro forma for such payment, its senior secured leverage ratio, as defined in the credit agreement, is less than or equal to 2.75x and minimum liquidity, as defined in the credit agreement, are satisfied.

So we have to wait on this one. Another potential lottery ticket if the market improves. Atlas has a firm tone in the premarket with some trades even with yesterday. Nothing yet on Crosstex.

Your stock price goes up you do a public offering and here comes one from K-Sea LP (KSP) and the stock is down 1.60 in the premarket.On the upgrade downgrade list Wunderlich raises its target on Legacy (LGCY) from 15 to 17 and is keeping it at a buy.

Energy is firm this morning with stock prices ahead of the open. Interest rates are higher and the dollar is rallying. The open looms.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A trip below 240 came to a grinding halt and we are one point above the lows. Still down 5 on the mlp index.

The 34 day moving average on the mlp index is around 236 and rising. If we get there i would be using that as a buy point especially if comes in a big spike down. Its worked already twice before and right now the trend is your friend.

It looks like a bottom but i've said that before about nat gas. Still one of these days....!!!! Getting to re-accumulate a position today as 2 of my price points have been met so far.
MLPS are down 3.50 on the index but really its hard to tell how much of this is actual selling vs just heavy profit taking from a big move combined with ex-distribution trading. My feeling is that it is the latter on a lot of these mlps. Also nasdaq mlps when they go ex-dis trade the change without any adjustments. For example Exterran Partners (EXLP) is down 2 bucks but nearly 50 cents of that loss is the ex distribution. Almost all mlps are down so far today.

Natural Resource Partners (NRP) isnt down by that much on its about 40 cents and it was actually up for awhile earlier. Perhaps the statements about a bottom in the coal market are putting support underneath this one.
Keeping an eye on nat gas this morning as we seem to be selling ahead of what is supposed to be a bearish number. Setting buy points on the UNG below 13.60 in case we see a spike down..and then a reversal! I have it all figured out don't I! Now all we have to do is get the market to follow my suggestion.

Down after a flatish start for mlps. Nothing tragic however.

Looks like we are at another one of these steps on the mlp chart which will lead to another pull back to the 34 day moving average or we can just another leap upward on the quest for 260-270. Hard to say which way we'll go and it will depend of course on whether the markets tail wind continues to blow.
One of the things that i do is teach pilots and dispatchers basic meteorology and one thing i've learned is that the stronger the headwind the better the performance on takeoff and landings. It provides better lift. So perhaps from the standpoint of the economy, the headwinds at this point can continue to provide lift for us in this bullish enviornment. What can i say. I've come off a double shift and lack of sleep. Im thinking deep this morning!

We have lots of earnings to chew through this morning. Leftover last night we have good numbers from Plains All American(PAA). Not so good numbers from Natural Resource Partnes (NRP) which lowers guidance for the year. A line in the press release is worth noting where there are signs of a bottom in the coal market. El Paso Partners (EPD) puts up earnings and we have reports from Genesis (GEL) and Williams Partners (WPZ). Targa Resouces (NGLS) has earnings on the table and Exterran Partners (EXLP) puts earnings up that has some things to chew through.

Linn Energy (LINE) has earnings this morning and they also announce they are buying some assets in the Permain basin. Distributable cash flow here is at 1.21 x which is a nice number to see. Also nice to see that mlps are stepping up to the plate again and doing some deals. Linn is up 40 cents in the pre market. Inergy LP (NRGY) is down 1.50 and trading actively in the premarket as they are doing a public offering. Its their second public offering in 6 months as they take advantage of the rise in unit prices. And why not! I would look for some more coming to the equity well over the next few weeks as mlps take advantage of unit prices that in some cases are at 52 week highs.

Stock futures are higher this morning and we have nat gas up ahead of the nat gas inventory numbers at 10:30am. Always a mover there. Tropics are still relatively dead but one of these days it will wake up.

MLPS seem to be behaving the way they used to in normal markets which means that we tend to sell off a bit as we move through distributions and the action the last few days seems to confirm this. The open approaches.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Down 4 on the mlp index but we were down much more as today is a big ex distribution day in MLP land and that is impacting prices. Still the drop is not entirely surprising given the magnitude of the move.

On a double shift today so blogging is a bit light. Back to normal tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wunderlich is cutting Buckeye Partners (BPL) and Buckeye Holdings (BGH) to marketweight from equal weight which counters Morgan Stanley's move. Also we have Morgan Stanley cutting Sunoco Logistics (SXL) to marketweight from overweight.

Yesterdays closes above 1000 on the S&P and 2000 on the nasdaq are inviting a little giveback and profit taking this morning but the dow has 9500 right above it which is that spike peak back in September of 2008. We'll see what happens when we get there. That line could be a place for a consolidation correction.

The mlp index is getting adjusted this morning for distributions so its starts the day at 248.32 after being up 3 yesterday. This morning we have earnings from Inergy LP and Inergy GP (NRGY,NRGP) all on one press release! Oneok LP (OKS) has earnings due after the close. And of course we are continuing a round of ex-distributions today and tomorrow.

The tropics are going to heat up on the Atlantic side any day now and there is a wave in the far eastern Atlantic which will bear watching along with a disturbance on the African coast about to move off. This could be a driver for nat gas which ran back to 4 dollars yesterday. Crude this morning is down about a buck after getting over 71 bucks yesterday.

Morgan Stanley is cutting Plains All American (PAA) to equal weight from overweight but it is raising Buckeye Partners (BPL) and Buckeye Holdings (BGH) to overweight from equalweight. The latter 2 moved sharply higher yesterday so this may have been priced in to a degree. Lately the downgrades have been good opportunities to buy shares from panic sellers which is typical when your in bull mode.

Stock futures are softer this morning but nothing tragic so lets bring on the open!

Monday, August 03, 2009


We are starting the day strong with S&P futures up over 9 points and we have oil and nat gas up nicely pre-open. So its a higher start to the day barring a catastrophe between now and 9:30am, Dow chart is looking at 9500 as the wall which takes us back to last September.

We of course in MLP land have gone above last September's high and it appears that we are aiming for 260-270 which likes only 10% above where we are now. Tail winds continue so no change in the outlook.

Holly Partners (HEP) is aquiring assets from Holly Corp (HOC) which goes right to the bottom line. This morning we are waiting for earnings from Nustar (NS,NSH) and Magellan (MMP,MGG) and i will post when they cross the wire. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list.

Tropics are still quiet but one of these days we will see something impact energy prices for traders in the short term.

Sunday, August 02, 2009