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Friday, January 28, 2011

Dow down 115 but energy stocks are holding up well as a whole. Looks like attention is focusing on the uprisings in the middle east. MLPs are down 1.80 on the index. Yields are falling after rising this morning to 4.64% on the 30 year. Flight to "quality" probably. Crude is rallying sharply up over 2 bucks right now.

Buckeye Partners (BPL) is down three on its "secondary" but remember this is a special situation and NOT a dilution. Alliance Resource (ARLP) is up 70 cents on good earnings.Magellan (MMP) AND Holly Partners (HEP) are up a little less than half a buck as the other standout winners.
Rates are elevated as we head into the open. Also now that i've pretty much thrown in the towel on nat gas, you know its going to go back up! Watch mlps today to see how they react to rising rates.

As you all know i have been talking up the chart of nat gas lately but i must say that, after giving nat gas ample opportunity to break out of its' base, it has not only refused but the market has been pretty much going down all week. Yesterday we broke below support and i think i am going to step away for the momment. Holding a small long position after several successful trades over the last few weeks.

Using the UNL as a could go to 33 and hold..or even a trip back to the lows not impossible.

Meanwhile the GDP numbers have taken the 30 year yield to a new trading high this morning and it looks like we are breakout out of this recent base for another upleg in rates. Stock futures aren't doing too much though they are firm ahead of the open. Lets see if the rate rise takes its toll as the day wears on. The 10 year is at 3.44% and 3.50 is probably the magic tipping point in my view. And with rates ticking up MLPS need to be watched to see if they sell off in response. Still they sit just below all time highs.

Buckeye Partners (BPL) is doing an offering but it is not a secondary offering. Buckeye took over Buckeye Holdings (BGH) and now those shares are being sold. The stock is down 3 dollars in the pre market. Again there is no dilution here. So this could be a buying opportunity. And we have good earnings from Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) which is raising the distribution which they do every 6 months as opposed to every quarter like other mlps. No trades in the premarket.

The open looms ahead. Could be an important day ahead.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Interesting read from Barron's yesterday. Its on the free part of the site. Its about the fed and the implications of what happens when QE2 comes to an end.

Think about this. We're at 12,000 on the dow industrials, 1300 on the S&P, and 3.40% on the 10 year. The fed meeting is out of the way. Earnings are in full swing. And i'm frankly tired of calling for a pullback in the market of some kind. We seem to have outlawed down days. And any intra day selling lately is met with buyers that take it right back.

These 2 rate charts however, loom large over the markets though they may not know it yet. I think 3.50 on the 10 year is extremely important both technically and psychologically. The chart to me is setting up for a breakout upside move in interest rates. And my guess is that if 3.50 goes on a closing basis the markets will pay attention. MLPS gave a hint of that last week in a big one day sell off, which btw we've gotten all of that back. The index was up well over 3 points yesterday and we sit near new all time highs. We can't keep going up forever.

Teekay Offshore LP (TOO) ups the payout and is buying the rest of Teekay Offshore Operating LP that it doesn't already own. That's news leftover from last night. No headlines so far this morning and no upgrades or downgrades.

Stock futures are flat for the most part. The dollar is higher and bond yields are higher ahead of economic numbers this morning at 8:30am. Crude is down as it continues to move away from 90 bucks. Nat gas is a little lower ahead of storage numbers at 10:30am. The support held yesterday and we did another reversal. Bullish numbers could send nat gas back up in a hurry and the weather pattern is favorable into mid February.

Another snowstorm to dig out of this morning here. Got 13 inches last night making this the 3rd 1 foot plus snowstorm this winter and all in the last 31 days. UGH!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nat gas held support and is now rallying again. Bought near the low this morning.

Fed decision imminent.
The mlp index is up nearly 2 as we head into afternoon trading as the dow flirts with 12,000K and 1300 on the S&P. Critical levels and by coincidence all coming to a head at 2:15 with the fed.

Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) is up nearly 2 and Alliance Holdings (AHGP) is up 1. Nice fractional gains in Penn Virginia Resource (PVR), Natural Resource Partners (NRP) Cheaspeake Midstream (CHKM), and Martin Midstream (MMLP). Buckeye Partners (BPL) Holly Partners (HEP) and Amerigas (APU) lead the losers down a half a buck or more.

Magic time at 2:15pm.

Its that every 6 week ritual of waiting for 2:15pm for the fed announcement. Consensus says no surprises expected. Last night's State of the Onion was the usually collection of gasbags and the collective yawn that follows. Everyone is making their usual big deals about what matters to them. DUH!

MLPS finished the day a little lower yesterday and we came down into support and held so far. 350 is the important level for the index to hold but we won't get there unless we see 10 year rates breakout above 3.50% and we are at 3.37% this morning.
On the news front this morning Amerigas (APU) posts earnings numbers this morning. The stock has done quite well over the last number of months (what mlp hasn't?) and usual earnings events don't move the stock much. No othe news to speak of and no upgrades or downgrades. Btw you may not have noticed but MLPS that are downgraded by the brokerage houses don't go down much and in fact they have closed up on days of the downgrade in many cases. Even a Goldman cut doesn't seem to move them down. Either thats a sign of strength or a sign of froth.

Monday morning nat gas pre open was on the verge of a breakout and its been pretty much straight down since then. We are back testing the support zone and this needs to hold for there to be any chance of an upside breakout. I will be watching this carefully because, up until now, all pullbacks were good buying opportunities. Only each one that comes along makes it a little harder to buy back in. As always with these things, they never make it easy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We're an hour into trading this morning and MLPS are off half a point on the index after yesterday's nice 4 point plus gain. Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) was up 3 bucks yesterday and its down 1 and change today as the biggest loser. EV Partners (EVEP) is down 50 cents as runnerup loser today. On the winning side Martin Midstream (MMLP) is gaining 84 cents. Some other winners on the list but the moves are nothing worth noting.

In corporate news items, Atlas Holdings (AHD) declares a 7 cent payout while Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) announces a 37 cent distribution. Both stocks are down fractionally. Martin Midstream (MMLP) also announces its payout while Plains All American (PAA) is expanding capacity and provides details. Not much response on the stock price for Plains.

It figures that natgas has done nothing but go down since i posted about the pre market 2% rise yesterday. Support on the UNG, which has gone from 6.50 to 6.10 in a hurry is around 6.04 or so. And again as i have said many times UNG may not be the way to play this since if your timing is off, you could still lose money because its structure causes it to buy higher priced futures contracts to replace current ones making it a wasting asset. UNL may be the better way since it has its futures spread out over 12 months. So far trips to support have provided good trading opportunities.

I promised yesterday the video from CNBC's mlp profile on Strategy Session. And here it is. Worth a look and explains the relationship between mlps and long rates well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Should note that nat gas is correcting after being up nearly 2 percent pre open. Its down almost as much right now. Also noting that energy stocks outside of the mlp space are relatively weak today even though the dow is up 85 points.

Its never easy.
MLPS are melting up today with the index up nearly 5 points right now. Alliance Resource (ARLP) is up 3 dollars. Alliance Holdings (AHGP) is up nearly 2. 1 point gains in Natural Resource (NRP), Buckeye Partners (BPL), Sunoco Logistics (SXL),Williams Partners (WPZ), and Oneok LP (OKS). Lots of strong fractional gains are showing up throughout the group. Nothing outstanding on the very small list of losing issues.

Strategy Session on CNBC just did a segment on MLPS. I will post the video link as soon as it appears.
Suburban Propane (SPH) is getting a downgrade from UBS to neutral from buy. No premarket reaction yet. Also Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) is increasing its payout by a penny to 45 from 44 cents in the prior quarter.

The breakout in nat gas that (finally) occured last week is getting extended in pre market trading this morning. Nat gas is up nearly 2% in pre market trading. The cold winter continues in an unrelenting manner. Its 5 above this morning as I post. NYC is 6 above. And the weather pattern shows nothing but cold for the next 2 1/2 weeks with only the occasional moderation of a day or 2 at most.

While indutstrial demand longer term for nat gas remains the big question, the short term issue is keeping warm. Using UNG as a proxy 6.75 looks like the next line of resistence on the chart or another 5% higher from here. After that there appears to be nothing holding it back to the low 8 dollar level.

Monday morning in MLP land and its pretty quiet this morning with no corporate news. Nothing so far on the upgrade downgrade list. Stock futures start the day flat to a touch higher. Rates are also flat to a touch higher. Crude oil is down a little by half a buck. Overall the market melt up that began in December continues with some signs that its getting long in the tooth. MLPS took a bigger hit last week than the rest of the market and now sit 10 points below new all time highs. Divergences may be setting up here so i continue to advise we watch the rate market carefully. The tipping point in my view may be 3.50% on the 10 year. We're near 3.40% this morning.

From a technical standpoint, 350 to me is the line in the sand. If that breaks then we might conclude that the bull market in mlps that began in December 2008 is least as far as the easy money is concerned. But looking back i also believe that December 2008 was a once in lifetime opportunity here. Too bad very people had money at the time to take advantage of it.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Sorry for the quiet today folks but its been busy here with another snowfall. 4 inches this time which is not bad but it keep me as busy as 15 inches. Just a quick synopsis. The market took off this morning from the get-go but since that first half hour its been struggling and the tape feels a bit soft. You don't often get full reversals on a Friday so if we do see one in the last 2 hours it might be an important technical signal to pay attention to. Nat gas has broken out and we have favorable cold weather as far as the eye can see. MLPS are up about 2 points on the index as we get back some of yesterday's 6 point loss. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and Cheniere (CQP) are the big winners today up 1 point apiece. No notable losers to speak of. Most on the losing list down small fractions.

Another storm is threatening for Tuesday of next week. UGH!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nat gas is finally getting the breakout!!! Up 3% today which is nice. MLPS have cut their losses by almost half but still down almost 6 points on the index. The dow was down 80 at one point and was higher a short time ago. Sometimes when it feels ugly, its a good time to buy for a trade. Could be options expiration stuff going on as well. Still think we're headed lower short term.
Looks like -10 was the bottom so far as we have come off that low and now down less than 8. Looks like some buyers have shown up during lunch. Tape still looks and feels like it wants to go lower.
Somebody is running for the exits here with the index down 9 points or nearly 3% at lunchtime.
The mlp index is sitting on an 8 point loss on the index as investors run from anything interest sensitive. Dow is down 60 at lunchtime.

The mlp index is down nearly 7 points and notice that we are in the support zone but i have a feeling we're headed down to that 350 bottom which will be a big test. The rising headwinds of interest rates may be finally be taking its toll. Alliance Resource (ARLP) is down nearly 5 dollars and near the lows of the day. Natural Resource Partners (NRP) is down 2.50; these are the 2 biggest and obvious losers in the group. And the list is littered with 1 point plus losers like Buckeye (BPL) Nustar (NS) EV Partners (EVEP) TC Pipelines (TCLP) and Linn Energy (LINN).

Targa Natural Resources (NGLS) is coming off its stock offering yesterday and its up 40 cents as a result after being down 2 yesterday.

The tape feels like its going to get rough later today.
The mlp index is down over 3 points and Natural Resource Partners (NRP) leads the way down over 2 points on its guidance news. And Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) is down over 3 points as well perhaps in sympathy. It was down as much as 5 points at the open. Most mlps opened fractionally lower. Kinder Morgan (KMP) is down 14 cents on its earnings.

Markets open relatively weak on the first shot out of the gate. Looking for this pullback to continue as the day wears on.

MLPS took it on the chin yesterday with an almost 5 point loss on the index. You know there is trouble when you get good news and the stock goes down. Oneok (OKS) upped its earnings and distribution guidance for 2011 and the stock traded down. Oneok also upped its distribution. After the close yesterday Natural Resource Partners (NRP) announced decent guidance but the stock is bidding lower in the pre market by at least a buck. Reading through the guidance i noticed the company says that DCF is forecast to be at the midpoint of 1.35 to 1.75 per unit. But the MLP is payout $2.16 annual. Doesn't sound to me like its a good idea to payout more than your taking in. But i will dig around to see why the disparity. Under a normal payout ratio of 90%, the distribution should be in a range of say 1.20 to 1.40 annual. Maybe there is something else going on here but before buying (or selling) that is a question that needs answered. Also the company points out there will be no increase in production this year due to a delay in a mine coming on line.

Elsewhere here is my favorite distribution hike. Suburban Propane (SPH) hikes for the 19th straight quarter from 85 cents to....drumroll please.....0.8525!!! That is a distribution hike of one quarter of one cent. Please unitholders don't spend it all in one place. And of course we have the usual earnings report and distribution hike from granddaddy of mlp's Kinder Morgan (KMP).

This morning stock futures are lower as we are showing some additional selling after yesterday. The S&P and the overall market was much weaker than the dow industrials thanks to IBM's distortion among others. Rates are a little higher this morning ahead of economic reports this morning. Crude is down. Nat gas had a good day yesterday as it keeps attempting that upside breakout.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MLPS taking gas today on the order of nearly 4 points on the index as of lunchtime. Martin Midstream (MMLP) is down 2. Oneok LP (OKS) is down nearly 70 cents in spite of raising guidance. Targa Natural Resources (NGLS) is down 1.85 on its stock offering. EV Partners (EVEP) Alliance Holdings (AHGP) and Sunoco Logistics (SXL) are all down around a point or so. Crosstex (XTEX) is unchanged on its distribution hike. So basically its a soft tape inspite of the dow being up a point. IBM is the bias there. The S&P is down over 8 points.

We have some headlines this morning with a distribution hike for TC Pipelines (TCLP) which has been one of the better MLP performers from the last quarter as it has run from 38 to 53. My guess is a little selling on the news in the short sighted short term.
Crosstex Energy (XTEX) has made a similar percentage move from 10 to almost 15 which is a nice 50% gain. And this one went to a buck in the melt down. They announce a distribution hike for the LP and a dividend hike for the GP.

Here is another one that has jumped nearly 50% in the last 6 months; Targa Natural Resources(NGLS) and they are doing what all mlps do every six months or so and that is a public offering of shares. The stock is down a buck in pre market trading.
Those are the three big news makers this morning. From last night we have some nice news from Oneok (OKS) which raises its guidance for 2011. The stock should be a nice winner this morning and open up a buck or so. Its bid up in the pre market but no trades yet.
The stock has been going sideways for the last couple of months with the mlp index. But today we may see an upside breakout. That will probably give the mlp index a bit of a boost today.

Overall markets are a little soft this morning ahead of the open despite good earnings from Apple and IBM. Goldman earnings are bringing in some selling. This rally since the mid November low is now taking us on the doorstep of 12,000 on the dow and 1300 on the S&P. I've been cautious as you well know and fighting this every step of the way the last couple of weeks. I still think at some point attention focuses on rising rates on the long end. Stock futures this morning are lower. Rates are a little lower ahead of housing numbers which are not going to be good. Crude and nat gas are up. Weather continues to remain cold in the east for the remainder of the month and another snowfall is coming for Friday. The euro is rallying as the dollar breaks down.

BTW keep an eye on the rate market. Yesterday we saw rates spike up in about 3 minutes by 10 basis points. No one was sure what spooked that market around 9:20 am yesterday but moves like that are a bit disturbing. 4.60% on the 30 year and 3.50% on the 10 year are, i believe, the tipping points for interest rate sensitive investors that could cause sellers to being moving out of MLPS, just like they came in during the rate drop last April from 4% to 2.50%. But for now, yesterday's pullback was nothing more than a little profit taking from new all time highs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Back from a long weekend and a bit of an ice storm this morning. Fortunately its above 32 degrees so the worst is overwith for me anyway. The focus over the weekend and this morning (other than the Steve Jobs obsession at Apple) is the 7 week rally in the dow and whether its time for a pullback.

The prior leg in this rally began on August 31st and we had 8 up weeks in a row before that little mid November pullback and now we're at 7 in a row. On that basis a pullback is definitely in order and could come at anytime. But im not sure what the catylist will be. Is it 100 dollar crude? Is it buy the rumor sell the earnings? Its not Apple Computer and the Steve Jobs secrecy. I have been arguing that it could be rates. And it may be an upside breakout of 3.50% on the 10 year note. We're at 3.30% this morning. I also think that becomes a headwind for MLPS which continue their march of new all time highs and maybe 400 on the index. Its a less than 10% trip to get there. Still for me its a time for at least a breather and when it comes, it may be out of left field.

Copano (CPNO) is making news this morning as they do more to increase their NGL capacity at Eagle Shale. Buckeye(BPL) is buying the rest of Bahamas Oil Refining Company Intl that it doesn't already own. Western Gas Partners (WES) is gathering gathering and processing assets. Earnings news should be getting underway this week along with the slew of distribution hikes. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) the big boy in the group announced its 26th consecutive hike on Friday.

Market is opening flat this morning as futures are indicating at this time. Gold is up and the dollar is down. China was down 3% in Monday trade but rallied back 2% in Tuesday trade. Crude is down as they fixed the Alaska Pipeline oil leak but nat gas is up on lots of cold weather in gas using areas is forecast for the rest of the month.

The chart is still looking like a breakout is coming. Using the UNL for a proxy here, its got to get above 36.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Calumet Specialty Products (CLMT) is up 70 cents today as it raises its distribution to 47 cents from 46 cents.

Market not doing much today. Its a little higher ahead of a 3 day weekend. MLPS are up a little as well showing a .30 gain on the mlp index.

Nat gas is holding the 4.40 level on the commodity. Still waiting for that upside breakout move.

The uptrends have continued in spite of yesterday's soft-ish close and the soft-ish open we're looking at this morning. It did not stop MLPS however from making another new all time high close. And if you look at the chart, the uptrend remains intact. The last move from a breakout point happened in early September and lasted over 2 months before it corrected by going sideways.

During this move we have watched volatility shrink so the tape really feels complacent to some degree. That argument however is not one that's going to make you money if the market continues to react to any bad news by moving higher. Still at some point, a pullback to the moving average support is in order. I continue to remain concerned about rising long term yields. But so far the market just yawns at that idea. And so do MLPS.

This morning's focus is on Intel and JP Morgan as they put up good earnings which the market is selling into. No news on the MLP front this morning and have my eyes on the upgrade downgrade list as there has been action there lately. Stock futures are lower. Rates are flat ahead of economic numbers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Still waiting for the clear breakout in NAT GAS...disappointing that it hasn't happened already but support has held and so has 6 bucks on the UNG. We need to close above 6.30 on volume. Btw i remind everyone that i would not trade UNG since it is a wasting asset. You could be right and if the timing is wrong, you wont make a dime. Just look at USO vs Crude over the last year.

Markets a little lower with no determined push in either direction. MLPS off the highs but still up on the day.

The market's unrelenting melt up and the corresponding MLP meltup has taken us to new all time highs on the MLP index. And this morning we were trading over 372 on the index this morning up 1.50 as of this post. Brietburn (BBEP) Exterran (EXLP) Legacy Partners (LGCY) and Kinder Morgan are the leaders showing nice fractional gains of 50 cents or more. Most of the group is showing a nice push higher. The overall market is basically flat. No news and no upgrades or downgrades this morning either. But one should point out that the Goldman downgrades a couple of days ago did nothing to drive sellers to the exits on Sunoco Logistics (SXL) or to TC Pipelines (TCLP) as both stocks were up the day of the downgrade and both remain higher. When a downgrade to sell doesn't send prices lower, you know the tail winds are very strong.

That said one has to consider that we have been up up pretty much on a straight line since the mid November bottom and mlps have broken out of their 2 month trading range. A pull back to moving averages should come at anytime but im not sure what the catylist will be to send prices lower. So until otherwise shown..the path of least resistence is higher.

Just finished the snow digout and its no fun doing it once a winter let alone twice. 17 inches this time as the NYC area looks like Buffalo.

At least the dog likes it!! He gets to bodyslide wherever he wants.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My first chance today after finally finishing the big dig out of 17 inches. And that was on top of the 15 we got the day after Christmas. Markets are firm with the dow up 85 and just off the highs of the day. MLPS are up over 370 on the index so the rally continues and i suppose with a bullish backdrop 400 is not out of the question at some point this year. Alliance Holdings is up 1.50 as today's biggest winner. Morgan Stanley downgraded Regency Partners (RGNC) and Magellan Midstream (MMP) and the latter is down over 1 as today's biggest loser. The melt up continues as today they heaved a sigh of relief that the Portagul bond auction didnt go down the tubes.

No surprises from the fed's beige book really so markets are holding on to their gains.
Digging out of a 17 inch snowfall here...mlps up about a point with the dow up 100. Lots of shoveling to do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This morning we have a Goldman Sachs call on diversified pipelines. It is downgrading the group due to valuation, relative outperformance, and a less positive view on natural gas. Specifically it downgrades Sunoco Logistics(SXL) to neutral from the conviction buy list. And it downgrades TC Pipelines (TCLP) to a sell. Both stocks have had great runs. It is also raising Buckeye Partners (BPL) to a buy and putting it on the conviction buy list. It is also upgrading Plains All Amercian (PAA) to neutral from sell. And its raising El Paso Partners (EPB) to buy from neutral. It remains neutral on MLPS as a whole. So there you have it folks. Goldman who always has everything figured out (and makes tons of money) has mlps all figured out.

Both charts of Goldman's new buy pics look okay. EPB did a stock offering a month ago and that's why you see that gap on the chart. Buckeye looks like its building another base as it prepares for at least a move back to the recent high. Market permitting of course.

Also in the news this morning is Markwest Partners (MWE) who is coming to the well with a public offering of 3 million shares. The news came out last night and the stock is down 1 and change this morning on the dilution. Btw no premarket trades on the other issues mentioned at least so far.

The market is starting the day on a firm tone with futures up about 5 S&P points. Crude is higher and nat gas is flat. The dollar is flat to a touch lower against the major currencies and rates are starting the day higher ahead of the first of three auctions. Today its the 3 year which normally goes well.

Another snowstorm is looming for the northeast and it looks like another foot plus event. So that means getting ready for it this morning. The liquor cabinet is empty!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Very quiet for a Monday morning here in mlp land. There are no news items up this morning for any of them. So i guess its another day where the market will lead the group around. We start the morning at the very top of the range and just ticks below all time highs. MLPS have been in a range between 350 & 366 since the beginning of Novemeber and the longer it takes for a decisive breakout and a new upleg, the more one must consider if the top is in at least for the intermediate term.

But until we break down below the bottom range at 350 you have to give the benefit of the doubt to the bullish resolution. But as always with these things, they make you nervous.

As i said earlier we have no news and no upgrades or downgrades so far this morning. Crude is up and nat gas is down before the open. Stock futures are 6 points lower on the S&P. Rates are flat but Europe's problems are the chatter this morning. We're into the second week of trading for 2011 and i suspect that sellers may at least try to take em down this week. Btw another snowstorm looms for the northeast for Tuesday night into Wednesday as i thank God for snowblowers!

Friday, January 07, 2011

MLPS are a shade higher right now by a fractional gain on the index as we head into the last hour. The dow lost 100 and has clawed its way back to an under 40 point loss as of this post. Bonds are rallying ahead of a weekend and the Jets play the Ravens tomorrow. Bring on the weekend!
Energy looks like the last to let go here as the market is selling off. The dow is off 75 points. MLPS are now a little lower but not far off the flat line. If the selling continues look for it to spread into energy related stocks this afternoon.
Several rally attempts this morning and they have all failed so far. Now watch to see if the sellers take control.

MLPS up over a point and hovering under new all time highs. Fractional moves are the rule so far this morning.

The big employment numbers gave a little something for everyone and futures started flat, moved around a little, and now are a little higher as we head into the open. So now that the broad news item is out of the way, markets will being to look around for another catylist, and frankly im not sure what it will be. The charts continue to be pretty tough to figure with this very tight range and upward bias that has gone on for a month. Needless to say that if stocks rally today, MLPS have a shot at making new all time highs. Interest rates are behaving this morning so far so no worries there, at least so far today.

Nat gas pulled into its moving average support yesterday after initially rising after the inventory numbers. Apparently everyone was long going into the number so the selling took hold. But if those support lines hold, it will further support the contention that the bottom is in, and we can run to 5 dollar gas (6.75 UNG).

No news this morning on the mlp front. A lot of coal stocks are on the upgrade downgrade list as anal-ists adjust targets but no coal mlps are mentioned. Nat gas is flat after being down earlier. Crude oil is higher. The open is straight ahead.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Nat gas was a nimble play this morning. It ran on the inventory news and was able to sell out at the highs of the day on UNL (got the high tick) on most of my position but now we have sold off. Im debating about whether to jump back in with a point plus spread. But the overall market tape is feeling a bit soft especially in energy plus the bond rally thanks to Europe woes gives me a little pause.

MLPS not doing much. Flat on the day with the index down a little. E V Partners (EVEP) and Legacy (LGCY) are up on the upgrades and Alliance Resource (ARLP) is up one and change. But most of the moves are plus or minus small fractions. Buckeye (BPL) and Atlas Holdings (AHD) are both down about 70 cents as the two biggest losers.

RBC is raising its views on Legacy Partners (LGCY) lifting the target price to 34 bucks. and on EV Partners (EVEP) to outperform. EV Partners is showing a few trades at 40.30 this morning. Not much else is happening this morning in MLP land where it looks like a flat open in the group. Yesterday we closed a little higher and we are back to withing one solid push to a new high close. The slow melt up in the overall market continues with stock futures a little higher this morning. Jobless claims were about in line. Its all about the employment number tomorrow and i think the market has a good number already priced in. Crude is down ahead of the open and nat gas is up. Nat gas numbers out at 10:30am and i think that market runs on any bullish number. Also weather continues to show cold for the next 2 weeks.

My primary concern for MLPS remains rising rates. The 10 year is near 3.50% and i think the market will take notice if it solidly breaks through that level. Not much else happening this morning. The open looms shortly.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Apparently the new congress must have passed a law banning sell offs because the overall tape just does not want to go down. Dow is up 45 after being down this morning. MLPS are a little higher on the index as energy stocks, which were lower earlier, are now a little higher on the day. Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) and Natural Resource Partners (NRP) lead the way up major fractions. Coal stocks in general are up sharply today on a good demand outlook. Still think we are moving through the early January noise that is typical in markets.

Interest rates are at the highs of the day. The 10 year is at 3.47% and the 30 year is at 4.54% up 16 and 10 basis points respectively on the very strong ADP report. I would think at some point markets will start paying attention to this but we are not at that point yet.

Nat gas is having one of its sharp pullbacks today and its right into the moving average support area.

Also noting that the slope of the 34 day moving average is positive and beginning to crossover to the bullish side. Nimble traders can use this as a logical accumulation area however you must be nimble and this is not a long term hold.

This morning's very strong ADP report has sent rates higher this morning up 9 basis points and it appears we are starting the next up leg here in the march to higher rates and lower bond prices. So far this morning MLPS haven't reallyu noticed and neither has the rest of the market. The dow is flat and so are mlps. No big moves in individual issues this morning as the moves have been contained in a tight small fractional range. Alliance Resource Holdings (AHGP), Oneok (OKS) and Penn Virginia Resource (PVR) are the three showing losses of greater than 50 cents. But none of this is news driven.

Of note, Plains All American, Buckeye Partners and Enterprise Products Partners all sold senior notes in the last couple of days...perhaps the feeling is that rates have bottomed and better to get a good rate now before we have to pay more down the road.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


We traded solidly above new all time highs yesterday only to close just under it as a few sellers arrived in the last hour. Still it was a solid up day for the first trading day of the year. The overall market closed up 100. But the star of the day was Natural Gas which broke out of its triple bottom base on huge volume. And this morning the run continues as we at at 6.40 on the UNG pre open. Target is 6.75 looking at the chart.

BTW as i have mentioned i use UNG or UNL as illustrations that represent the nat gas contract. When i trade nat gas i use UNL as its a 12 month futures contract unlike the UNG which is front month loaded. In contango (when back month futures contracts sell for higher prices) its a wasting asset. UNL is a 12 month mix of futures gives you a much less wasting asset. But this is for short term trading purposes only and not for long term holds. If you believe in rising nat gas prices you are much better off in stocks. The next thing to look for here is a pullback to the moving averages as they rise and begin to cross to a positive slope. For mlps, this rising nat gas price is another tailwind.

No news of consequence this morning in MLP land and no upgrades or downgrades so far. Stock futures are a little higher. Crude and as mentioned nat gas are higher. The dollar is lower and gold is taking a hit this morning; down 14 bucks as of this post. Interest rates are flat so far as we wait for economic numbers and the fed book later today.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Looks like a convincing breakout in Nat gas this afternoon as shown by the UNG. Natgas up over 5% today.
Nat gas is breaking out now at 6.29 on the UNG; up 5% on the day. Dow is up at the highs of the day up 123. Nasdaq up nearly 50. The MLP index is up 3 and off the days highs.
Alliance Resource (ARLP) Buckeye (BPL) Natural Resource (NRP) and Sunoco Logistics (SXL) all up 1 point or more as the mlp index surges 4 points and well into new all time high territory. Most mlps are up fractions or major fractions. Good solid start so far and no notable loser;, the few that are down are down pennies for the most part.
We got the up open and the MLP index is up over 2 points on the initial surge over 366 and at new all time highs. Interest rates are higher and nat gas is surging nearly 4%. Now lets see what the day brings.

MLPs are going to open higher this morning and probably at least tick to new all time highs, at least during the first hour. The sideways consolidation of the last couple of months against the top of the range and with strong futures heading into the open this morning, its pretty much a no brainer that we could open close to 366 and go from there.

The dow chart is a little more ambiguous since we have been on a slow melt up since mid December and i just wonder what happens after the strong open today. Are sellers who have been asleep since mid November arrive to take some profits? Or does the run continue.

The easiest chart in the group as far as i'm concerned is nat gas as we have a triple bottom in place and nat gas is trading up 3% right now. That puts the UNG up around 6.20. A 6.25 or higher close on increasing volume and we have a breakout in the chart. So at least from the first go the bulls are in charge. S&P futures are up 11 and the Dow Futures are up 90.

Ferrellgas (FGP) is buying Bennett Gas which is the first mlp deal of the year. Terms were not disclosed. No other MLP news so far this morning. Nothing on the upgrade downgrade list so far. The dollar is higher against the major currencies. Crude is up 83 cents as of this post. The 10 year closed Friday at 4.33% after a year end last day rally. Thats being undone this morning as we sit at 4.39%. The first challenges there will be a close above 4.50% and a run to 4.80% for the 30 year and 3.75% on the 10 year.

Hope everyone's Christmas and New Year was terrific and thank you very much to those of you who used the Amazon and Mystic Monk Coffee links to do your shopping! Also thanks to those of you who hit the tip jar. Its helped with a few bills and very much appreciated.