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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Often times holiday weekend provide not only the necessary extra day rest but sometimes things happen that gives markets a reason to run. With Europe kicking the Greek problem further down the road and rumors of more money for Ireland is helping to ease euro debt woes, markets are running this morning and the dow futures are up over 100 points.

The dow chart actually held the support lines quite well and it looks like its time for another run to recovery highs is about to begin. 12,800 is the new top to watch when we get there. Meanwhile mlps have given up their leadership role and the 370 remains the short term resistence that will be watched very carefully when we get there. And we could get there in a hurry today given the strong open.

One tail wind for nat gas based mlps is nat gas itself which has caught a bid and is up 2% pre open. The chart shows nat gas once again successfully holding its bottom and its another ride up to the top of the trading range. 5 dollar nat gas is not impossible during this run.

Today is the last day of the month of May so end of month has a bullish edge to it. No news on individual mlps so far this morning and no upgrades or downgrades. Crude oil is rallying this morning and back over 102 bucks. Nat gas as we said is 2% higher. The dollar is down and rates are a little higher.

Friday, May 27, 2011


The week is ending quietly for stocks and mlps with an upside bias. Not much going on as we head into a three day weekend. MLPS are up about .75 on the index and the dow is up 60 points. Nat gas is moving nicely higher after selling off briefly yesterday midday. The index is still under declining moving averages around 370. Can't get a reliable signal one way or the other until we get back to full volume mode.

Heading to a soccer tournament (ugh!)!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


It is not a chart that exactly gets the heart racing but nat gas has at least stopped going down. In fact looking at the chart (using UNG as a proxy) it appears that the bottom of this chart is holding.

And as we look out on a wider chart we can see the low was first put down last November and it continues to hold. Perhaps its the arrivial of hurricane season that has bulls hopefull for some potential supply constraints.
Certainly looks like a base is being built here and mlps may be getting a bit of a tail wind from this. MLPS were up over 2 points on the index yesterday as we head toward the first holiday weekend of the summer.

News wise it is quiet this morning and there are no upgrades or downgrades. Back to nat gas it was a little higher but now a little lower. Crude was a little higher and now is a little lower but holding over 100 bucks and stock futures are flat.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not liking the action here as the index is now down 1.11 and near the lows of the day as the market pretty much treads water either side of unchanged. Energy stocks are higher as a whole but off the highs.
The 4 point opening gain disappeared in a big hurry and we are up but a small fraction right now. Most mlps are well off their highs but most are showing gains..although there is nothing special on the tape right now.

El Paso (EP) is planning to separate itself into 2 companies and that might have long term implications for El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB) though today the LP is down a small fraction. This should help them (EP) in the ability to raise capital for the LP as per the press release. It will be a tax free spin off.

MLPS will be higher out of the gate this morning and we are already seeing bids above yesterday's close. It also helps that the dollar is weaker this morning and that has put a bid under energy stocks. Nat gas was up yesterday while crude was down and nat gas is up again today along with crude by over 1%. It could be that nat gas is giving mlps a bit of a bid today.

I made the chart bigger today so we can see the selloff and the prospect for a bounce back up to 370 which is where resistence lies. We need to get above that decisively to keep the uptrend going. And 350 is where i have been looking for the breakdown place which we crossed but bounced right off from.

No news this morning to speak of and nothing of consequence with upgrades and downgrades so far. Stock futures are up by about 40 dow points and rates are a little higher. So we start higher and then lets see if sellers come in and overwhelm or whether its a rally day where strength builds.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Markets look ugly right out of the gate this morning as European woes dominate, the dollar is rallying, and crude oil is down over 2 dollars. Last week MLPS finished higher on Friday as the dow dropped nearly 100 points. The momentum from the dead cat bounced carried mlps from 347 to 366. We argued based on the chart action that 370 was going to be tough to get through and we certainly won't get there this morning.

The dow is holding support and we will be cutting through those rising moving averages this morning. Its uptrend is still intact. Rates are favorable here with the 10 year at 3.10% and the 30 year at 4.27%.

Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is selling 4 million units of Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) that it holds to some interested principals so its not dumping the shares on the tape. Energy Transfer Equity is looking down at the open. No other news to speak of and no upgrades or downgrades. And there was much on the newswire over the weekend. Crude as we said is down however nat gas is up 5 cents at 4.27. It took awhile but nat gas rallied sharply on Friday and it could be that we are getting a seasonal move ahead of hurricane season? Just guessing on my part.

Enterprise just did a small trade down 1.33 while no trades yet on Energy Transfer Equity.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Up 5 points and at 364. Its turning into a nice bounce off the 347 low. But resistence looms nearby at 370. EV Parnters (KMP) is up 2 dollars and Kinder Morgan is up as the big winners today.
The pullback appears to have been temporary and mlps are heading back to the highs of the day as is nat gas after inventory numbers.
Mlp gains eroding as selling comes into energy sector. Up just 2 after being up 4.

After yesterday's 8 point plus gain on the mlp index and on a day where strength just built all day long (short covering?) the rally continues this morning and we're up another 3. Note that there is a lot of headroom in the chart until we get to about 370 or so where resistence lies and i am expecting that resistence to be rather formidable. The dow chart on the other hand looks much better and held support so my guess is we are going to attempt to take out 12,800 in short order.
The question is whether MLPS have arrivied at a decisive turning point and are telegraphing (rather noticeably) that interest rates are about to begin an important move higher. The key will be to see whether that 370 is a brick wall and that ultimately we head for new lows under 350 while the dow and the rest of the market keep going up.

Most mlps are up strong fractions to over a point in some cases like Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) and Alliance Resource (ARLP) which are leading the group higher. No noticable losers on the list so far this morning.

Nat gas inventory numbers out at 10:30am and they are selling ahead of the number which may mean a ride higher when it comes out (famous last words from a trader who just went long!).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The selling over the last couple of weeks has taken us back to the beginning of the year on the mlp index but i suppose that after breaking 350 yesterday, buyers could not resist and we are seeing a 7.50 gain here at lunch time. Large gains across the board like EV Partners (EVEP) which is up over 3 points and Alliance Resource (ARLP) which is up nearly 2. The gains are noteworthy but have broken the uptrend and now the test will be on this bounce to see how high we can go. What was support is now resistence and you can see the moving average lines are up around 370 or so. We will see what happens when we get there but for now i am of the opinion that rallies should be sold.

Seeking Alpha had an interesting piece on the mlp correction, what it means and what it doesn't mean. This writer has been calling for a big pullback and argues that this is not it! The correction has only brought yield spreads to the low end of the normal range and it has been helped by long rates dropping about 50 basis points in the last couple of months.

Crude is higher on inventories and energy stocks are taking it as another tailwind today as they bounce as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Down nearly 6 and at the lows of the day. 350 looms.
The race down to 350 continues with the MLP index now down nearly 4 and at the lows of the day. EV Partners (EVEP) is down 3 dollars as the days biggest loser. Nustar (NS) is down 1 and about to break under 60. Atlas Pipeline (APL) is down 1.22, and Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) is down nearly 2 points. Kinder Morgan (KMP) is losing just under 1 point.

Dow down 130 and also at the lows of the day. Crude and nat gas are lower as we head into midday.

It doesn't take much but in just a few short weeks we've gone from 390 on the mlp index to a shade under 357 and that puts us at the lows for 2011. The selloff of course began with the taxation threat news and except for bounces (which should have been sold into) the drop continues. Oddly the drop is coming as interest rates continue to slowly drop to the lows of the year so one could surmise that the market may be signalling some sort of economic dip is on the horizon. Still mlps did not exactly sell off when rates rose from last October to January as one might have expected. So i really don't want to read too much into this for the broader market outlook. But one finds it hard to ignore all the selling in commodities lately and the rising dollar as a sign that things in the economy for the second half of the year don't look all too hot.

Markets are now open and the first ticks for mlps are down. The index is down nearly 2 points and that trip down to 350 looks doable today if selling gets a little more serious. Crude is down and nat gas is down as well this morning.

Monday, May 16, 2011

MLPS are selling off now after being up this morning by over a point and change on the index. The overall market was down and made a rally attempts on the dow but the nasdaq never recovered and now it looks like sellers may take control this afternoon.

Atlas Pipeline (APL) is down 1.80 as the days biggest loser after Friday's big gains. Most mlps are down major fractions now. Nustar (NS) Markwest (MWE) Sunoco Logistics (SXL) and Holly Partners (HEP) are leading the way. Looks like 360 is not holding so eyes should next be focused on the 350 level.

Part of me puts up a headline like that hoping im wrong but Friday's action in MLPS and in the overall market was not a good one. MLPS actually opened up over 3 points before sellers quickly gained control and finished down 1.20 which was off the lows. So we start off the week at 360 on the mlp index and we are looking to open below that this morning. 350 is beginning to loom large. The overall market is holding up better as money comes out of energy stocks.

Crude oil and gasoline line are down 1.33 and 3 cents respectively this morning. RBOB gasoline peaked at 3.405 per gallon and has come off about 35 cents. So far pump prices here in the peoples republic of the state of NY have seen gasoline come off about 15 cents from the highs of around 4.30. It should never have gotten that high anyway but that's a story for another day.

Friday's standout performer in MLP land was Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL) which was up over 4 dollars on solid earnings and the company announcing that it was doing more projects that would add to cash flow and require no new equity. Atlas Energy LP (ATLS) moved right along with it and closed up 2 dollars and change.

No news this morning on the tape but there is this Seeking Alpha story on Nustar (NS) and the insider buying that has been occuring. This time it might mean something. The stock has been a chronic underperformer among MLPS and has yet to take out its 2007 high as distribution growth has been rather stagnant.

Okay so it's Monday morning with stock, oil, and nat gas all lower on the morning. The dollar is down against most currencies and rates are flat to a touch lower.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

i guess i'm not locked out of blogger as some folks have been. Looks like a google issue somewhere. Hope it gets resolved.

Back to normal blogging Monday as i am over this nasty headcold/laryngitis etc etc etc. Right now stock futures look soft ahead of the open.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Morgan stanley downgrades ETP to hold from buy. Stock down more than 2.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Down 7 points on the mlp index and energy stocks are taking it especially hard today. Crude oil is down 4 dollars and under 100 again. It looks like the top is in short term. Dow is down 150 at this time. Alliance Resource (ARLP) is down 2 and change and is the biggest loser. Oneok (OKS) is down nearly 2. And we have a list of sizable 1 point plus losses.

Fast money seems to be getting out of energy so last week's sell off is certainly not over. Watch the 360 level which is last week's lows.

The headline is the question of the day certainly. Its easy to see when news items about possible taxation hit the tape and ever since then MLPS have sold down. The one day bounce of 6 points we got last week was just that, a one day bounce. It seems that now that we have this taxation threat looming overhead, whether real or percieved, it probably means that uncertainty now hangs over the group and any upticks should probably be sold until this gets sorted out. We're down 4 points this morning on the index and energy stocks as a whole are getting sold pretty hard so far today.

Raymond James has a habit of making mlps move when they make a ratings change and we are seeing that this morning with Inergy Partners (NRGY) which is down nearly 2 dollars on a downgrade from strong buy to buy. Lots of 1 point plus losers on the tape this morning including Alliance Resource (ARLP) Oneok (OKS) Markwest (MWE) and Sunoco Logstics (SXL). Many other mlps like Nustar (NS) Natural Resource (NRP) Williams (WPZ) and Atlas Energy LP (ATLS) are losing major fractions. And of course on a day like today the winners list is miniscule.

Crude oil inventory numbers came out bearish and that is causing the selloff to get extended. MLPS are now down 5 points and at the lows of the day. Nat gas is also down after being up yesterday.

Done with jury duty for 6 years (amen) but have been battling a severe head cold the last 5 days. Post wedding blues i guess. Not fun when your head is full of water and oak pollen is everywhere.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mlps up a few ticks as I sit here in the jury room bored to death! Bringing my laptop tomorrow.

Upticks are on the board this morning as we await the open. Commodities are getting a bounce this morning with oil up 2 dollar plus, nat gas is up, and stock futures are a little higher. MLPS had a nice 7 point plus rally Friday and actually finished near the highs of the day while the rest of the market came well off the highs by days end.
Last week's sell off took us down to 360 for the third time this year. The drop last week had quite a bit of momentum behind it and we will be looking to see if the Friday bounce was just that or we are going to go back up to the highs near 390. What we don't want to see today is a down close as that will probably mean the sell off isn't done yet.

Transmontaigne (TLP) announces earnings this morning with conference call to follow. Numbers look in line and the stock has been a solid performer. One other news item this morning comes with Regency Partners where Baird is starting the stock at an outperform and a 31 dollar target.

Lots of fun for me today as i have jury duty on top of dealing with a major league allergy attack. Guilty as send me home please?

Friday, May 06, 2011


After yesterday's nearly6 point loss on the index and a close at 363. We did see a trip down below 360 at one point yesterday before a bounce late in the day. The momentum down has been pretty intense and given that tax threat, the speed of the drop should not be a huge surprise.

We have opened up 2 points on the index as the overall market opens up over 100 points. Drivers this morning on individual issues include upgrades by Citigroup on Altas Pipeline Partners (APL) and Oneok (OKS). Citi is raising its target on Oneok to 97 bucks!. Wells Fargo ups Natural Resource Partners (NRP) and that stock is up over a buck this morning. Buckeye Partners (BPL) puts up earnings numbers and a distribution increase. The stock is up fractionally. And Crosstex (XTEX) is up on earnings as it beat by a nickle. And as i finish typing the mlp index is up 7 points and back over 370!

Employment numbers were very good so stocks are up and rates are up. Crude which crashed yesterday is down fractionally today but nat gas is up 1%. Yields are higher on the jobs number. Looks like we are going to undo yesterday's losses today and maybe a little bit more .

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Crude and nat gas are really getting hammered here. Crude is down 9 dollars or 8% and nat gas is down 7% on the day. MLPS still off the lows but still down over 7 points on the index.
MLPS down 7 points on the index after being off 9 at the lows of the day. Suburban Propane (SPH) put up earnings but mentioned that macro economic conditions are causing issues. Stock is down 3 dollars as the days biggest loser. Lots of 1 to 2 point losses on the board and earnings news not acting as a catylist for higher prices. Crude is down nearly 6% and nat gas is down sharply as well.

Okay im getting close to my derby pick. Im am liking Nehro!