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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dow and MLP index have now turned higher after being down sharply earlier.
MLPS are doing well today overall and have rallied back to almost unchanged from a 2 point loss. The dow dropped to minus 130 on the Chicago purchasing managers and those losses have been cut in half. End of quarter buying i guess continues to provide support. Frankly the bearish data numbers gives more fuel for bulls as they keep looking for a recovery and the only option is to buy.

The vast number of mlps are between minus 25 cents and plus 25 cents as of this post, well off the lows of the day.

The third quarter scorecard is pretty good in here. MLPS are up about 10% for the quarter which is nice. We are relatively firm this morning as we go into the last 3 months of 2009. GDP numbers were flat which was pretty much in line. Stock futures this morning are higher so at least we have a nice start of the day.

EV Partners wasted no time with its equity offering as it makes another purchase of assets yesterday. EV is bid even with yesterday's close. No trades there yet. Steifel Nicholas starts Duncan Partners (DEP) at a hold. Always love those holds which usually means "go ahead you hold while i sell."

Oil is up this morning and nat gas is down. Nat gas fell after the ADP numbers which were pretty weak. November gas is at 4.75. I'm no longer playing nat gas with UNG because of the roll ups and contango (higher prices going out on the futures curve) . Better to play it with nat gas mlps and or nat gas stocks.

Sorry for no posts yesterday. Had my hands full with stuff. Back to normal today

Monday, September 28, 2009


Looks like the Q3 markup is underway with the dow up over 130 this morning. The mlp index however is struggling a bit here up just a small fraction. The 250 level on the charts seems to be a wall that is becoming ever more formidable to penetrate as the days pass. I havent given up yet but i am beginning to wonder given the groups stellar performance this year whether Q4 might see folks book profits in the group and go elsewhere. Just putting the idea out there; not married to it quite yet.

Ferrellgas (FGP) put up earnings numbers this morning with a wider loss than forecast. The stock is up a nickle. Nustar (NS) is up just under 1 dollar and Atlas Resource (ATN) up 1 and change are the 2 biggest winners. Linn Energy (LINE) the biggest loser down 75 cents and its trading like an offering is coming or is about to get underway. Otherwise despite the flat move on the mlp index most mlps are actually showing fractional gains and very few are down.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stock futures have turned lower along with oil after durables. Nat gas is still up a couple of ticks.

Its not a big offering. Just a couple of million shares but E.V Partners is going to the well again which is a smart thing to do as their unit price has done well lately so why not take advantage and raise money. It looks like it will take a dollar or so off the price this morning once trading starts. Nothing so far in the pre market.

Nat gas has suddenly come alive as the futures price approaches $4.00 from the depressing 2.50 a few weeks ago. I continue to notice relative strength moving into gas related mlps and gas related stocks in general. I have moved out of UNG now that it came back to about where i paid for it and shifted into some nat gas plays like Penn Virginia(PVA) and Exterran Holdings (EXH). We'll see how this works out but for now i'm riding the wave.

MLPS finished down a couple of points yesterday as we continue to hover just below the 250 resistence. Still no sign of a top but the longer we stay below 250 may lead us to conclude that it might be the top of the new range.

Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list so far this morning. Crude is bouncing a little after dropping nearly 6 bucks in 2 days. Stock futures are a little higher. End of quarter approaches so my guess is we could see one of those one day big rallies in response as anyone who is short covers. On the other hand for mlps all the weird trading around options expiration last week suggests that most of the end of quarter stuff has already occured.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Sure feels that way this morning with futures higher. The dow industrials was staring 10,000 right in the face yesterday afternoon around 3pm before selling off. But now we are higher this morning in futures so it looks like its nothing but profit taking. The fed still has the green light flashing at the markets so the rally continues.

MLPS held up quite well yesterday as they finished only slightly lower at the close. This morning Boardwalk Partners (BWP) gets an upgrade from Morgan Keegan to outperform from market perform. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is doing a notes exchange with Teppco (TPP) as it gets ready to complete its merger. Not much else happening on the corporate side.

Nat gas is up this morning ahead of nat gas numbers and futures are looking at 4.00 after being down at 2.50 a few weeks ago. Crude is lower after being down 3 bucks yesterday. Dow futures called up 55 points as of this post.

The mlp chart is straddling that 250 mark and we are still waiting for that decisive move higher to breakout the next leg up. Maybe today? End of quarter looms next Wednesday.

And finally for your enjoyment! The Government Can!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Yesterday Crosstex Energy (XTEX,XTXI) got a big goose as Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to market outperform and the stock shot up about 10%. When your stock is around 5 bucks thats about 50 cents or so and the goose continues today in the pre-open. Actually we noticed a change in leadership toward the nat gas/coal mlps recently. Take a look at Natural Resource Partners which traded with a 17 handle and is back over 21. Alliance Resource (ARLP) has gone from 33 to 37. Those mlps turned as natgas put it a significant bottom 2 weeks ago and that rally continues as natgas is up 15 cents this morning. If nat gas breaks 4.00 on a closing basis it could be meaningful for mlps which have been rendered to single digit land because of depressed nat gas prices.

We are waiting for what should be another firm open as we wait for the fed at 2:15pm and what they have to tell us. No corporate news this morning and nothing so far on the upgrade downgrade list. Stock futures are higher pre open and of course those weekly oil inventory numbers are due out at 10:30am.

Should be an interesting day as the market wants to get to 10000 on the dow and its within striking distance. MLPS want to clear 250 which it can do pretty easily with a firm tape.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The dow chart is marching upward, so have mlps but i'm waiting for the index to clear this 250 level. We've had 2 back to back intra day reversals with a lower open and a higher close so my best guess would be that the next significant move will be up and back to the 270 level. Of course all of this comes together with a fed meeting and the approaching end of quarter. So there are lots of currents and cross currents at work here. Still a higher open is at hand this morning with stock futures nicely higher pre open.

Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) will be a 1 point drag at the open as it trades in the pre market. Teppco will be down also as it is linked in its merger. Enterprise is doing a public offering of over 7 million shares. Also in the news this morning Magellan (MMP) is folding Magellan Holdings (MGG) back into Magellan Midstream (MMP) and that process could end this week.

Crude oil is up this morning and back over 70 dollars. Nat gas is higher as well. The dollar is weaker. So we wait for the open.

Monday, September 21, 2009


We continue this bull move higher on the overall markets and MLPS with no sign of a top yet. Friday's trading was very strange indeed and it leads me to believe whether we saw some end of quarter nonsense in mlps a little early. Someone took advantage of a 5 point selloff in the index as of 3:10pm Friday to cover shorts and in a violent way. The index closed up Friday on the day.

Monday morning brings us a bit of the blues in the overall market with weaker futures but nothing tragic by any means. A stronger dollar is putting pressure on oil or at least that is the excuse this morning. Nat gas is only down slightly as it continues to hold its own after the climax low at 2.50 a few weeks ago. No corporate news and no upgrades or downgrades so far.

Not much else happening really of consequence. Summer is almost over. Hurricane season has been a big dud in the Atlantic basin. Some of the longer term weather trends (beyond 7 days) show it turning colder across the midwest and northeast as we begin to shift focus toward winter months and its impact on energy prices.

Bring on the open and lets see what the day brings us.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Correction. The mlp index settles unchanged on the day.
MLP index settling out down just 0.62. Don't ask. I have no clue.
Huge short covering rally in MLPS as losses continue to get cut rapidly. The index down about 2. It was down 5 at 3:20pm
Right after i posted a rally in mlps took hold and the index went from -5 to -3 in about 5 minutes.

One of those days today but let me catch up. The mlp index is down nearly 5 points in what looks like another one of those sharp one day corrections. However what i am having a difficult time grasping here is that this is options expiration and we had a similar event happen last month. Why options are having an impact here is beyond me. They list options on many mlps but they hardly trade. This to me is one of those head scratchers. This did not happen in July so this is the second month in a row...and now of course that we have discovered this...guaranteed it wont happen the next time around, especially if you set up a trade to take advantage of it.

Magellan Midstream (MMP) leads the losers list down 150. Energy Transfer Parnters (ETP) and Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) are down over a point along with Teppco (TPP) Oneok (OKS) and Buckeye (BPL). Winners are few but Markwest (MWE) and Martin Midstream (MMLP) are up fractionally.

Nat gas is rallying and will close a the high for the week which i believe is bullish for next week and it looks like that 2.50 climax bottom was it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Thought i might take a look at the weekly charts here to get a sense of where we are and where we might be going.

First off notice that the moving averages that i like to use which are the fabulous Fibbonacci numbers of 34,55 and 89 are still inverted. Of course we are looking at weeks here but only now are the 34 week moving averages beginning to cross over. Of course the daily charts have done this awhile ago. Implications? Well for one thing it shows you just how much damage was actually done and that it has taken us 1 year to get back to 250...and we need to get back to 270 to be even with early August 2008. At least we have taken back September levels. It is of course going to take longer for the weekly charts to repair themselves then the daily but it is still telling us that the longer term trend (out a year or so from now ) may not be up. Still forever optimists we continue to ride the rally that began in March and it goes for however long it goes. The path of least resistence remains higher. MLPS broke out above 250 yesterday which is significant and argues for a move back to 270. This will probably be co-incident with a dow move back over 10,000.

We're up .70 on the mlp index so far today as we consolidate a bit from yesterdays market gains. Energy continues to lead and nat gas is holding up very well today after inventory numbers. They could have sold them down on the news just for the sake of profit taking but they haven't so far. Most mlps showing fractional gains.Exterran Partners (EXLP) is the biggest winner so far up 70 cents. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) is down 80 cents as today's biggest loser.

No corporate developements today of importance and nothing appears on the upgrade downgrade list for the time being.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


250 looms just above us on the mlp index and yesterday the dow broke out to a new trading high so i guess it is reasonable to conclude we could be heading for 10,000 on the dow. The mlp index can get to 270 on such a move so i would be looking for a breakout at anytime to the next level. Note that the mlp index is up 100 points from that sad sad day a year or so ago when we broke under 150.

Oppenhiemer is on the horn this morning as they upgrade Spectra Energy (SEP) to a buy. Not much else happening corporate wise or anal-ist wise. I noted yesterday that nat gas suddenly has come alive and seems to be driving mlps on this go around. This continues this morning. Nat gas is up another 11 cents as of this posting and it seems that we might be heading for $4.00 gas. Thats not to say we could head back to 3 first in a hurry but there is still lots of headroom for nat gas to move up in here. Crude is a little lower as inventory numbers are out later this morning. Stock futures pointing higher at the open as the dow looks at 9700 as the next step on the stairway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Markwest Energy (MWE) has entered into a deal with Chesapeake Energy (CHK) as they build a second processing plant in Marcellus Shale and the market likes this with Markwest up 60 cents. It leads a list of fractional winners as the mlp index is up about 50 cents so far today. I've noticed that Nat gas mlps have moved to the front line in the last few days as a bottom may be in on natural gas. Its up again today..3 out of the last 4 and over 3.30 now..after that horrific trip down to 2.50. Nustar (NS) is up over 52 again after cutting estimates last week. Natural Resource (NRP) is back over 20 and Alliance Resource (ARLP) is back over 35. Nat gas may be emerging here as the driver for the next leg up.

Checking the UNG chart it is clear we are finally bouncing after a long hard hideous decline. And make no mistake this is nothing but a bounce so far. But there is a ton of headroom and Natgas as proxied by UNG has a right to get back to the low 14's under ideal conditions. Btw since the announcement late last Friday of new shares coming to market the premium to NAV has shrunk to about 6% which is far more acceptable. I would expect that the shrink further in coming days. We still have that CFTC ruling that looms in the background. But ultimately its about nat gas. Nat gas is nicely higher pre open this morning adding to gains to yesterday's rally. And it was very good to see nat gas close yesterday higher than it did last Thursday, which was the first bounce off the low.

As nat gas rallies it could be the new catylist for MLPS which appear to want to at least challenge the recent high around 250. Technicals on the MLP chart are shouting buy again in here so with the wind at our backs the path of least resistence is higher.

Ladenburg Thalman is busy this morning and is issuing buy ratings on Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) Quicksilver Gas Services (KGS) and Boardwalk Partners (BWP). This should give those issues a little goose at the open. No other corporate developements this morning. Crude is a little higher and stock futures are flat to slightly higher.

Monday, September 14, 2009


The china trade war trade overnight is moving a few things around or its just a reasonable excuse to take some money off the table after an up week. No matter MLPS look like they are about to challenge the top of the recent range at 250. Right now odds favor a breakthrough and that means we get back perahps to the 260-270 range with was the base for a long time before last September's breakdown.

Regency Partners (RGNC) has a headline this morning as they continue to expand in Haynesville. Nothing else is happening this morning on the news front and on this early post there are no upgrades or downgrades yet.

Markets this morning are soft as stock futures and gold are down but off the lows. Crude oil is down but nat gas is up UNG is going to start issuing shares again which is causing the premium to collapse to the net asset value this morning. StilL waiting to find out what the CFTC is going to do here. Looks to me like a little selling early and then we'll see if buyers step up to the plate.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Regency (RGNC) announces a pipeline expansion. Only headline breaking this morning.

Looks like a higher open in the group. Nat gas extending gains. Gold breaks over 1000k.

I put forth the possibility that we could be seeing a trading range developing between 230 ish and 250 ish on mlps which would make for a nice sideways consolidation from what has been a very good 2009 (granted its off 2008) and now its time to test the top of that range. The dow is breaking out above 9600 and now it seems we could make a real run to 10,000 on the dow.

Fridays in MLPS are never exactly a river of corporate news and today is no different really. Plains All America (PAA) is done with its secondary and if your bought the new issue at 46.60 you are already in the money! That action speaks volumes here that secondaries in our group are being met with demand and then higher prices. Its a measure of bullishness. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list.

Nat gas staged a powerful rally yesterday with a run of 40 cents and back over 3 dollars. The UNG chart looks like its in one of those technical rally modes so there could be more upside here. But nothing on the chart suggests anything other than a bear market bounce is underway. Still it appears sellers may at least be temporarily out of firepower and that the path of least resistence for now is higher. There is still the issue of the UNG premium to net asset value. It is down to 10%. Im still long but i would not use this to initiate a position in nat gas until the CFTC decides one way or another what it plans to do about position limts. Ultimately its all about what nat gas does from here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


When you look at the mlp chart this morning one thing that comes to mind is the possibility that we have entered some sort of sideways consolidation. Short term 235 has held so it is logical for a trip back to 250 on the index to see if we can take it out. If we dont maybe its time for a bit of a rest. And going sideways in a 15 point range on the mlp index between 235 and 250 would not be a bad thing. Bear in mind i put this out there as a possibility, These are the sorts of things that you can see in hindsight but are tougher to pick out when they are actually happening.

MLPS opened higher this mnorning. We have oil and nat gas numbers out leter this morning which will drive trading as usual. In the news this morning Sunoco Logistics (SXL) is annoucing a pipeline purchase. Also this morning we have a secondary offering from Penn Virginia Holdings (PVG). None of the money is going to the company as they announced about a month ago that these are shares privately placed that are being sold. Not much else happening. Nustar (NS) is down again today. They have been under pressure since the 8k 2 days ago. It came out in the Barclays Investor Conference. Exterran Partners (EXLP) Martin Midstream (MMLP) and Magellan (MMP) lead a list of small fractional winners. No big moves so far this morning.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Plains All American is down 1 on its stock offering. No surprise there. Nustar is down 1 and change. No news but the 8k is out on its Barclays presentation and apparanently there is something there someone doesn't like. Nustar Holdings (NSH) is also down a fraction.

Otherwise after a down open the MLP index despite the drags is up 1 and small change at lunch time. Markwest (MWE), Teppco (TPP) Oneok LP (OKS) and Alliance Resource (ARLP) are up major fractions (50 cents or more). Most mlps are flat to higher at this stage of today's gain.

Energy as a whole continues to lead. Oil is up again and nat gas is making a run back toward the 3 dollar level.

I was at work last night on my walk and when you walk many things cross your mind. And one thing that crossed it was trying to remember the last time i bought stock to see it go down the next day by a couple of points. Well i get home last night after picking up shares in Plains All American (PAA) yesterday at 48 and see the news of a stock offering. The stock of course is down at 46.50 this morning. Oh well...i should have been thinking about the last time you bought a stock to see it up a couple of points the next day. As for the offering when you have the stock price power..why not sell shares!

The mlp index continues to behave nicely and the technicals look like they are about to go to a short term buy again in here as we straddle the movning averages and hold...and then follow the market higher. Noticing some shares for sale below the close on Nustar (NS). No news and no trades so far. Could be a downgrade but i dont see anything on the list yet. I dont see much else going on here this morning

Stock futures are a touch higher. Energy is higher including nat gas which is going for 3 up days in a row after 20 of 21 down. Maybe we can get futures back over 3 bucks.We'll keep our eye on the tape for any breaking headlines.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

We are higher but nothing major moving in the group as the losers are few and only shedding pennies but the winners are numerous yet they are only up fractions. Crude oil is up over 3 dollars ahead of opec and even nat gas can't help but follow. So there are tailwinds that are helping things today. The index is up 1 and change and sits right around the 240 level.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Let me say that i have been following the horseracing game since Secretariat. I remember many great horses along the way. Every year horseracing fans hope for that one special horse that can sweep the triple crown. Since 1978 when Affirmed did it there has been a drought. We've seen many horses with potential for greatness sidelined or retired due to injury.But once every generation a horse comes a long that avoids the pitfalls and sets down a course to achieve greatness. And in my view Rachael Alexandra is that horse. What she has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. I was there at Saratoga Saturday and the rafters of the grandstood shook from the noise of the crowd in a dramatic stretch drive that will be forever remembered. Take a look and enjoy...And after winning 9 races this year...5 grade one races...she is not done. She is coming back next year as a 4 year old. I can hardly wait.

Okay back to MLPS and back to something resembling normalcy it looks like all the sellers sold in the last 2 weeks as markets are sharply higher this morning. Crude is up nearly 2 dollars and nat gas which closed up meaningfully for the first time in months Friday is flat. There are pre opening bids on many mlps above last Friday's close. There are no corporate developements this morning so far and nothing on the upgrade downgrade list yet.

It will be interesting to see if MLPS resume their leadership position that they assumed last Christmas. MLPS have pulled back in the last few weeks into moving average support which has held beautifully. It indicates to me the bull move remains intact. We need to take out 250 decisiviely so we can get back to 270 but that only happens in my view with DOW 10000 or higher. Formidable goal but not impossible.

Friday, September 04, 2009


There is a holiday weekend that we should all enjoy. The labor numbers suggest many will enjoy being off since they have no job to be off from. Nat gas is on an almost uninterrupted march to being free. And Rachel Alexandra makes a run against older boys in Saratoga tomorrow in the Woodward! So off i go and put worries away for another day. It isnt every day the greatest filly since Ruffian is running at a race track and i plan to be there.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


With the dow loss yesterday MLPS actually held up very well. We don't have to worry about a Lehman unwind like we were facing about a year ago. So yesterdays mlp index loss of 2 points was just another day as we straddle those fabulous uptrending moving averages. No signs of any breakdown yet. Also funny how the calander turns September and the market just drops...a little too easy in my view. Everyone can't be right!

Quiet out there with corporate news and i would suspect it would be for the rest of the week as we cruise into Labor Day. Energy and stocks are a little weaker ahead of the open and of course Nat gas is shooting for down 18 out of 19 days which in itself is astounding that there has been not even a reflex rally of any kind. 2 dollar nat gas can't be good news but a bit of contrary news. My best friend Steve who has a record a mile long of being a contrary indicator is switching from heating oil to nat gas this week. A bottom if there ever was one!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The market fell apart after 10:30 with the dow dropping almost 200 in a hurry. MLPS followed but they are only down 2.50 at this point and off the lows. Frankly its one of those sharp pullbacks in a bull move and the mlp index continues to behave pretty well in my view. Still holding above the moving average support.

Plains All American did a note offering but S&P had some nice things to say about their debt situation and the mlp is up a quarter among the few winners today. Nustar (NS) Markwest (MWE) and Penn Virginia Holdings (PVG) are down strong fractions to a point among the leading losers today.

Nat gas is shooting for down 18 out of 19. Nothing new here.
Btw just for laughs UNG has been down 16 of the last 17 days ...and of course there is a fabulous premium thanks to the CFTC.

The open arrives shortly.

We're at the point where the last leg up least when you look at the chart support moving averages. This is a logical place to buy or at least has been 2 other times so far in this bull move. Remember this move for MLPS began back in December and double bottomed in March so we've had longer upside. My guess on the overall market is that since we've been on the lead the market turns after we've topped. And so far no sign of that. That is of course unless we break below the 89 day moving average.

Btw we are well above the 200 day moving average and have been for quite awhile. And it took us a year to undo the Lehman damage.

This morning is quiet on the corporate front with no headlines and no upgrades or downgrades so far. In the who cares department we have another possible tropical storm organizing and this one has a shot to head into the Gulf Of Mexico if it developes. Of course the nat gas market will drop to zero on the news. Vacation paced trading continues. Its like watching paint dry.