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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Steifel Nicholas just cut Buckeye Partners (BPL) to hold from buy and it starts Martin Midstream (MMLP) at a hold.

Its just today and tomorrow boys and girls and MLPS will go down as having a spectacular year as they led us out of the abyss. Now we are focused on the last of the year end distortions and the push and pull we've seen in the last 2 weeks. My gut feeling is that we may see a bit of selling into the close tomorrow in the group. But who knows really. Remember on options expiration this month we had that last half hour collapse due to rebalancing and we got it all back the next day. Maybe all the year end stuff was taken care of already.

No news and no upgrades or downgrades that i can find. So its more of the same for today. Energy numbers at 10:30am and that will drive oil. Nat gas is down a little as it hoves under 6 bucks. Bonds are flat and S&P futures are a little lower.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Its really hard to separate whats real and what isnt this time of year as we have all sorts of push and pull going on. Some people are booking profits. Some people are repositioning themselves for 2010 and the next leg; whichever way that is. Some people are playing the year end bounce. And some are doing all of the above. Yesterday we saw a little profit taking in MLPS with the index down a point and off its lows. Again its hard to discern what if anything it means and given the almost straight up move we've had in December; a down day should be no surprise.

This morning we have a slight positive bias in stock futures. No news in MLP land and no upgrades or downgrades although Wunderlich is taking Energy and Income Fund (FEN) which trades on the Amex down to a hold from a buy. The fund is an mlp fund and trades like a stock.

Not much else to say really in this holiday trading enviornment as 2009 winds down to the last few trading days. At some point i would think we will see a little volatility as the last bets are put down before the ball drops.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Welcome back and here we are in the last week of trading. We are 122 points above the Dec 24th rally low and we are up just about 100% from the 2008 low at 146! By far MLPS have been the best performing group and if you were nimble enough to avoid the disasters in the group and stayed with the big boys...then congratulations you are probably back where you started in 2007 and perhaps more counting distributions.

Now of course we look ahead and wonder what next year brings. Frankly im getting a bit nervous in here not just due to the length of the rally but the chart of the 10 year yield below as represented by the TBT which is the 10 year yield ETF. It looks to me that we are breaking out of a base and yields could be headed higher. The mlp/10 year yield spread has tightened and it will probably tighten further as yields rise. MLP distributions are due to rise next month with the payout announcements come which is a positive. Right now we're seeing a rush to year end winners and a grab for yield. Im just thinking that after this massive rally in our little group, no would would be faulted for taking some money off the table.

Not much on the news front this morning and i would expect quiet times this week as we head into New Years Day. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list. Crude is up and nat gas is up 3% in the pre market. 10 year yields are higher in the premarket.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And on and on it goes. Except for that one day re balancing act last Friday we have been going straight up for 3 weeks. The mlp index is up nearly 3 right now and we have solid gains across the board and many mlps are back to levels not seen since before the collapse. Great way to end the year!

Linn Energy (LINE) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) Nustar (NS) and Suburban Propane (SPH) are all up solidly with Linn the big winner today up 1.27. Atlas Holdings (AHD) is down 70 cents today after a 2 dollar gain yesterday.

First off sorry about no posts yesterday as i had another work day. But it was just another rally day in the land of MLPS as we continue to march along to higher highs and i guess 300 is the next important level to challenge on the MLP index. There seems to be a rush to get in to anything high yield and even the single digit mlps are getting into the act. Atlas Holdings (AHD) got a Citigroup upgrade and the stock price jumped 40% from 5 to 7 yesterday. It shouldnt be any different today as stock futures ahead of the open are higher and everything looks supportive so far. Crude is up, nat gas is down ahead of the open.

I will add to this post as headlines break.

Monday, December 21, 2009

If the mlp index is up over 6 it would be no surprise given the moves in some issues. 15 mlps are up 90 cents or more and we have Inergy Holdings (NRGP) with a nearly 2 point gain along with Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) and Sunoco Logistics (SXL). Its hard to know what exactly is going on since we had that rebalancing last Friday.

Still all and all and excellent day in mlp land as we hade into the close.
If you were wondering why the big selloff late Friday wonder no longer as the mlp was rebalanced as K-Sea (KSP) went out and Holly Partners (HEP) went in. Those distortions continue this morning as the index is unchanged but almost every mlp is up and many are up sharply this morning making back much of their Friday losses. All the major mlps are up strong fractions and some over a point including Oneok (OKS) Inergy (NRGP) and Suburban Propane (SPH). Looks like a good day ahead.

It was only a matter of time after being up 9 days in a row and a move from 265 to 283, mlps sold off sharply in the last hour on Friday. Now we did have triple witch expiration which probably played some havoc here in some fashion along with year end factors and likely a few other things going on. But a correction was due and no big surprise. It continues to be in the context of this stair step advance we have been in since last Decemeber. And we are coming up on the one year anniversary of the 176 bullback from which this rally began. Markets are firm this morning so we'll see soon enough if this was just a one day decline or if we need to touch the 34 day moving average again around 268.

The overall tape as measured by the dow touched its 34 day moving average on Friday and bounced. Markets are firm this morning and it looks like we will have a positive bias to the overall tape for this week into Christmas. No mlp headlines this morning so far and no upgrades or downgrades.

Sorry for no posts last Friday as i had my hands full working hours while i can. Plus we had a huge snowstorm this weekend here and i have 25 inches of snow to dig out of. All this winter weather has nat gas roaring and nearing the 6 dollar mark. Crude is up a touch this morning as well. Rushing around as Christmas approaches; always a busy time!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

MLPS have been heading higher as the overall market remains lower. The index is touching 281 right now and the outperformance continues on a relative basis. Inergy Holdings (NRGP) is up 1,03 and is at an all time high. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) is up 55 cents and is also at an all time higher. Some of the beaten down mlps like Crosstex (XTEX) and Atlas Pipeline (APL) are up strong on a percentage basis. Almost looks like the January effect coming early in here.

Some fractional losers but nothing that gets the heart racing in panic. Nat gas is very strong and adding additional support here. The dollar is ripping higher on the euro and the dow is now at the lows of the day down about 130.

Eight up days in a row and a break of 280 which came with relative ease. But we have to ask ourselves a question here and that is when will there be some sort of a pull back. When we look at the chart we can notice a couple of things. One is that this is the longest stretch in the March rally without a pullback to the 34 day moving average which sits at 266. Also we are 15 points above that average. On the other hand the MACD indicator just went to a buy and is no where near overbought yet. Clearly money continues to pour into the group so if and when a correction comes it will be sharp and swift.

This morning we have Oppenheimer cutting Spectra Energy (SEP) to market perform from outperform. Not much else happening this morning in on the corporate news side. Crude is down but nat gas is up. Nat gas has inventory numbers later this morning and they will probably show a drawdown as cold weather across the US dominates for the next few weeks. Big rally in the dollar this morning which has stock futures lower.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Shooting for 8 up days in a row and 280 on the mlp index. This has occured in the face of crude just ending a 9 day losing streak and nat gas rallying to 11 month highs! Nat gas is off just a touch this morning and crude is higher ahead of 10:30am inventory numbers. MLPS are getting chased by year enders starved for yield. And dont forget mlps are up 57% year to date and a total return closer to 67%! And if you were in the right mlps you could easily be back to pre 2008 levels! What collapse?

Okay this morning we have no breaking headlines in MLP land and no upgrades or downgrades. Stocks are opening higher as we chew through data and the fed decision later today.
And here is the MLP weekly chart where the moving averages continue to cross and it appears on this chart that 300 on the index is not out of the question.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

UBS just cut Inergy Partners (NRGY) to neutral from buy. The stock is down 75 cents.
MLPS continue to move right along and are at the highs of the day up 1.20 and nearing 279 on the index. Fractional gains continue and many mlps have added to morning gains. Support coming from rising energy particularly nat gas which is up sharply and the need for yield. Ever since that broad Barrons piece a few weeks ago its been nothing but higher for the group as a whole.
MLPS doing well today as the nat gas rally is very supportive. The index is up about 1 point and over 278 in a flat market. Most mlps are flat to fractionally higher. Teekay Offshore (TOO) and Williams Partners (WPZ) lead the way higher with 50 cent plus gains. Genesis (GEL) Ferellgas (FGP) and TC Pipelines (TCLP) are showing small losses among the thin list of losers.

The march upward continues.

Our upleg in this leadership position continues. In fact if you look at the dow chart below vs the mlp chart above we have been clearly outperforming and that is taking more and more mlps back toward not only 52 week highs but all time highs. Notice on the dow chart that we've touched the 34 day moving average and bounced right off so 2 steps foward 1 back continues with no signs of a change in this pattern.
Nat gas is up another 12 cents this morning which is beginning to help some of those mlps that have been teetering on the edge and have never climbed out of the abyss. No corporate headlines this morning and no upgrades or downgrades. The dollar is rallying as interest rates rise. Inflation numbers were a little hot this morning. Crude is up as it tries to get back over 70 bucks.

We get ready for the open. A short correction in mlps is in order and 265 is the logical place to go if we sell off....and right now thats a big if!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Off the highs but still up over 2 points. Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) up 2.60 as the biggest winner. No news that i can see. Oneok(OKS) is off its high and is up a little over 1 point.
A gain of 2.60 on the mlp index as we are approaching 280! Amazing really when you think about where we were a year ago. Fractional to 1 point gains in many mlps. Oneok (OKS) and Inergy Holdings (NRGP) are the big winners today.

Inergy LP (NRGY) is down on a downgrade but only by 30 cents. Only a couple of issues are lower and mostly by pennies.

Market overall looks firm but not exactly running away higher. Nat gas is the word of the day as those stocks are moving sharply higher in response to Exxon Mobil buying XTO. This should keep natural gas mlps firm.
XTO Energy (XTO) getting bought by Exxon (XOM) has put a bid under all things energy so look for a sharply higher open in the whole group and MLPS should lead nicely.

Standing by for a higher open.

We are approaching a 100 point gain on the mlp index from 1 year ago. In fact if you take it back to the 146 intraday low and we're talking 130 points or just about a double in the index and then add to that 4 distributions. So we not only continue to lead but the index itself is probably back at a place where we can say that the bear market damage has been pretty much undone. However there are a number of MLPS that have not rallied at all and if you held those or still do, its much more difficult to see this view as fact. Still we have many mlps at or near all time highs...not just recovery highs!

This morning we have Wunderlich cutting Inergy LP (NRGY) to a hold from a buy. Inergy and Inergy Holdings (NRGP) are sitting at all time highs. No other news on the wires this morning. Stock futures are higher ahead of the open. Oil is down under 70 bucks and this stock rally continues in the face of falling crude and a rising dollar. Nat Gas is up again this morning as the US is facing some very cold weather at the end of the week and next weekend especailly in the eastern states.

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days as i have been working double shifts with minimal computer access. Add to that a few Christmas parties and..well you get the picture. Back to normal this week.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

f.y.i. doing double shifts this week so the postings have been a bit light. I will try and post something later if i can get access which is never easy.

Thought it was time to look at the MLP weekly chart and notice that through all of this rally that began a about a year aog, it is only now that the moving average lines are crossing and sloping higher which is a good thing. The 34 week moving average is now positive for the first time since mid 2007 and the 55 and 89 week moving averages are about to cross. These are all good things and bode well for 2010. Now a correction down to the moving averages themselves could occur at anytime but if that happens, as long as they hold then we are still bullish on the group.

El Paso Partners (EPB) hits the wires this morning with positive 2010 guidance. Also this morning earnings from Ferellgas Partners (FGP) which beat by 6 cents. Conference call to follow this morning. Those are the corporate drivers this morning. No other news items and no upgrades or downgrades

Stock futures are higher this morning and it looks like we may begin another one of those 2 steps up in this 2 up 1 down pattern. We continue to have trouble around 10,500 but with mlps now at 270 and leading, we could be poised for another upside breakout in our group. Note i have been cautious up in here lately and there are seasonal factors at play. But since the Barrons piece Monday favoring MLPS among other things, we continue to enjoy good relative strength.

One of the year end trades to watch for is the tax loss selling that is evident in the single digit MLPS that have issues. These could be setting up for big bounces once tax loss selling is done. Once that pressure comes off we could see some nice moves in those MLPS that have option like prices. I;ve been building a position in Crosstex (XTXI) in trying to play this seasonal bounce but remember you have to be in the right one and there are never any guarantees in these sorts of things.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


We just sit above the uptrending support lines for the markets and mlps but mlps continue relative outperformance here as the index is at new highs for the move. MLPS in fact have been up the last 2 days with the overall market down. The broad Barrons piece over the weekend favoring yield instruments like mlps continues to influence buyers and my guess is that will continue for awhile longer.

Not much happening this morning. No breaking corporate headlines and nothing on the upgrade downgrade list so far. Nat gas has rallied nicely since late last week as very cold weather is set to move in to the US for probably the rest of this month. This could be the first real rally in nat gas that can hold and that could give support to nat gas mlps. Crude is up this morning after breaking below 75.

The month of December has alot of cross currents at work which makes trading difficult. I would expect this push and pull to continue. Watch those support lines as they have held since March. A break of them would spell trouble.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Im still a little concerned with all the struggling the markets have been doing up here in this 10,500 dow..mlp 269 though admittedly yesterdays mlp performance was pretty good. This morning the markets are soft and so are mlps. We have some news. Calumet Specialty Partners (CLMT) is doing what other mlps have done with a double digit stock price...a stock offering. It is down 1 today on the news. Deutche Bank cuts Teekay Offshore (TOO) to a hold from buy. The stock is down 43 cents today. There is an mlp conference today so there might be some news when some companies make their presentations so we should pay attention during the day. Nustar (NS) among other is making noise today.

Nat gas is exrending its rally today as the recognition of winter is descending on that market while crude is down. Energy stocks as a whole are under pressure today. So it looks like a soft day ahead and barring any tragic mis-steps it should be contained.

Monday, December 07, 2009

MLP index up 2 points right now with the dow up 30. Nat gas is up 8% as cold weather spreads across the US and maybe the buffoons in Copenhagen might not do anything on so called global warming. Lots of stories available here to fill you up on climate change.

Magellan Midstream leads the winners list up 75 cents and at another new high. Oneok (OKS) Suburban Propane (SPH) and EV Partners (EVEP) among the list of fractional winners. Losers are few with small moves except for Inergy Holdings (NRGP) which is down 1. But that one has been a big winner and is just off all time highs.

Push and pull continues. Interesting that the dollar is up and gold is down hard and equities are not selling off.

Doulble shifts kept me busy last Friday so i apologize for the lack of posts. We saw the markets rally big on the better than forecast employment numbers, sell off midday and finish firm. Lots of push and pull back and forth here. MLPS having a tough time breaking out above 267 and the longer it takes, the more concern i have that this rally may have run its course. For now however until we see a clear reversal of trend and a break of those uptrend lines the path of least resistence remains higher.

This morning we are seeing markets starting off flat or a little lower. MLPS are getting pushed and pulled around by all sorts of forces. There is a broad front page piece in Barrons that it may be time to swap out of bonds and into preferred shares, utilities, and mlps. You need to be a subscriber to read the piece. Otherwise there is no news this morning on the corporate side. Breitburn(BBEP) has been involved in a lawsuit with Quicksilver (KGS) which will probably come to trial next year. Quicksilver announced today that its dropping its lawsuit against Breitburn directors.

In the energy complex this morning crude is down but nat gas is up 4% as colder than normal weather takes hold in the northeast and midwest and it will likely hold in place for the rest of this month. Stock futures are flat. Gold is down another 25 bucks after Fridays 60 dollar plus implosion as the dollar rallies and that rally is extending itself today.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Not much happened yesterday other than a slight pullback. Crude took a 2 buck hit yesterday which put some pressure but the group itself was mixed for the most part. Now this morning Crude is back up a little under half a buck as we wait for nat gas numbers. Stock futures are a little higher to start the day.

Inergy LP (NRGY) is up 1.50 on premarket trades and the bids are there as well. I dont see any newsdrivers but its acting like an upgrade from a major brokerage (are there any of those left standing????) or something. Otherwise its a pretty quiet news morning with year end trading dominating the push and pulls in the group. Found this on Magellan Midstream (MMP) which has been hitting 52 week highs lately. Nothing new being mentioned; just a quick read.

I guess its all about tomorrow's employment numbers and i doubt anyone is expecting anything good which leaves the door open for another leg up.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I dont want to keep making much ado about the 270 level on the mlp index but it would be nice if we can finally clear it. We have been having some trouble making headway and thats because MLPS themselves have been taking advantage of the rally you see on this chart to sell new equity. Regency Partners (RGNC) is the latest to join the parade as it puts 10 million units on the market this morning. The stock is down 1 in the pre market. Also Regency will be at the RBC MLP conference on December 18th and has put up a slide presentation for your viewing.

We have a downgrade this morning of Boardwalk Partners (BWP) based on valuation. The stock is cut to marketperform. Not much happening so far this morning on the news front. The energy markets are lower this morning. Stock futures are a little lower after yesterdays gains. Gold is over 1200 an ounce this morning.

I just want to go back to the 270 level issue. 270 was an important wall where back in 05-06 we spent time building a base before launching that final assault to the 340 all time high top. So this is a logical place to find resistence. Year end issues are also beginning to play here with a push and pull in both directions. Of course we shall watch the situation carefully.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Markets are moving right along to dow 10500 while mlps are going nowhere today and thats mainly due to the Kinder Morgan (KMP) 1 point of downside drag.

Fractional gains on the board for a number of issues with the list split about in half. Downside movers have them confined mostly to small fractions. Duncan Partners (DEP) is down 40 cents is the biggest loser other than the above mentioned KMP. On the other side Calumet Specialty Products (CLMT) and Buckeye Partners (BPL) lead the winners list with gains of 50 cents or more. Williams Partners (WPZ) continues to rip the cover off the ball up another 85 cents at 29, Was a 26 handle just last Friday.

Last hour on the first trading day of the month approaches.

Kinder Morgan (KMP) will be a bit of a drag this morning on the MLP index as they are doing a publick offering of 4.5 million shares as indicated by this 8k filing. Kinder does these offerings a little more frequently then other mlps but any investor who rode the ride in this one would be sitting at all time highs right now and enjoyed fabulous payouts along the way. The stock is giving back 1.50 in the pre market this morning.

Linn Energy (LINE) has a deal on the table this morning as its buying a 150 million in assets. The release says the assets are a good strategic buy with 20 years of potential reserves. The stock is bid a little higher in the premarket.

Not much happened yesterday other than the push and pull in both directions. Clearly the Dubai story has had minimal impact so far and unless there is another shoe to drop there markets are going to continue to trade in the stairstep uptrend. Stock futures are higher this morning by nearly 9 S&P points. Crude is higher nat gas is lower and the dollar is losing ground today against the Euro and Pound...all of which lately has been good for US equities.

Back to mlps if the market trends continue through year end 2 forces will be at work here. One will be the year end buying pressure of stocks of this top performing group..up over 50% plus distributions vs those who might like to book those profits before 12/31/09. My guess is in the bullish uptrend the former will overpower the latter. MLPS look to clear 270 on the index but Kinder Morgan (KMP) will definitely be a drag today on the index.