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Tuesday, January 31, 2012


MLPS which have been pulling back over the last few days are a touch higher for now as 10 year rates push to 1.80 and look to challenge that 1.69 intraday low from last August. Meanwhile markets are setting up for what appears to be an outside reversal day. After opening 60 points higher the dow is now down 70 points on weak economic news. Chicago PMI is down to its lowest levels since last August and might be putting recession back on the table..

Still the dow chart says the uptrend is intact and the dow needs to crack below 12,000 to take out all the support levels we watch. So far now its just end of month profit taking and nothing more.

Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) and Kinder Morgan (KMP) are up about 50 cents apiece and make up for most of the gain in the mlp index which is also up about .50. Most mlps right now are either flat or fractionally lower. Inergy (NRGY) is back over 18 on earnings news which we knew were going to be light. The company pointed to a possible distribution cut last week which took the stock from 23 to 18.

Energy stocks are weak as a whole as Exxon earnings were in line but disappointing to some. Nat gas has stopped going up and is down hard today as it resumes its trip to zero.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Monday morning blues here in the markets as we are back on Euro focus with another one of their silly summits where nothing gets accomplished. Dow down 100 points right now which is in order considering the unrelenting run we've had since January 1st. Nustar (NS) got a downgrade from Citigroup to neutral and the stock is down 1.50. Inergy LP (NRGY) which is down 50% from its highs is up 44 cents as of this post. It lost over 4 Friday on the probability fo a distribution cut coming. The mlp index is down 2.58 right now as the pullback from 400 continues. Also Kinder Morgan (KMP) continues to pull back from near 90 and its down over 1 point today.

Overall, markets are due for some correction here. Whether this evolves into something more serious depends on news items beyond our control. Europe, Greece, Portugal, etc all making noises with no deal in Greece and the buzzards circling around Portugal. MLPS are as extended as anything else out there that has rallied. The VIX has spiked above 20 and it will be interesting to see if it can hold above there. Crude is down. Nat gas is up as it continues its dead cat bounce rally from down around 2.20.

Friday, January 27, 2012

MLPS are down over 6 points and money rushes out. Kinder Morgan (KMP) is down 2.57 and Inergy LP (NRGY) is down over 4 points as the threat of a distribution cut looms. Since the stock price here has been cut in half it seems that the company plans the cut the distribution in half. The company did an IPO of its midstream assets a few months ago. You wonder whether that was such a good idea.

Dow down about 85. Nasdaq is up a couple. The tape is feeling the pull and tug and looks sloppy overall in here.
Inergy (NRGY) has broken below 20 and is down 3.11.

In a time when MLPS have been the stars of the market, one mlp diverged from that pattern and began selling off back in May and has been almost been cut in half. Inergy (NRGY) this morning announced its distribution (which had no increase) but more importantly is what the company said in the press release.

"management and the board of directors of Inergy are evaluating a reset of the quarterly distribution to a level that is supportable by the cash flow expected to be generated from Inergy’s businesses in the near term."

Reset means a cut. In the mlp world the one commandment is thou shall not cut the payout. And when you look at the stock price haircut, the market is telling us that the reset may be rather large.

Also moving down this morning by 2 points is Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) which was on its way to 90 bucks when we get this technical note from Carter Worth who tells us that Kinder Morgan technically is trading at an unsustainable level. The stock is taking a 2 point hit and we now have the mlp index down almost 5 and under the 400 market on the index. Looks like a long overdue pullback is occuring in mlps. As long as the overall trends remain in place however any pullback is a another buying opportunity.

Markets overall reversed yesterday and this morning we are a little lower on a soft GDP number. The tape still holds a positive undertone to it and until we see a decisive move downward, the uptrend remains intact. Volume however remains a sticking point in this rally as it continues to spiral downward. At some point that might matter but we are still not at that particular point.

Sorry for the lack of posts this week but sometimes this stuff does burn you out a bit.

Monday, January 23, 2012


It the day after the Giants win of the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP! so i hope you will forgive me for this late first post. Markets of course have been ignoring everything over the last 3 months and the rally has continued marching higher but we have reached a point here where it will be break out or brickwall. The mlp index which has been strong all through this rally phase continues being led higher by Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) which is up 1 and at another all time high. The index is trying to scale above 400 on a closing basis and its up over 3 right now.

News of the messiah's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline Project has existing pipeline stocks attracting cash, especially those with rich distributions and dividends. No new pipeline just makes the ones that exist that much more attractive. Meanwhile the dow industrials are approaching 52 week highs and its either going to make for a beautiful obvious triple top formation or we are the point where we will breakout above it and head for dow 13000 or even higher.

The 10 year yield has broken above 2% which is at least a sign that the safety trade is beginning to come off. Also we have the vix now at 18 which is telling us that fear is quickly disappearing. So all is right with the world at least for now. Pullbacks intra day have been very shallow. And the market doesn't seem to care even if Google is taken out and shot. So let the rally continue as we watch this area for longer term clues. For MLPS its 400 or bust! We're at 399 as i type.

Spectra Energy (SEP) is announcing a distribtuion hike which is the only news of note this morning. My God even nat gas is rallying today. Overnight it traded as low as 2.25 so this is a long overdue dead cat bounce.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Perfect example of what an ugly chart looks like!

MLPS seem to making another assault on 400 on the index. Earnings and distribution hikes are kicked off by Kinder Morgan (KMP) who put up earnings yesterday and another distribution hike. Usually these things are pretty much priced in to the equation and we might see a little selling on the news. MLPS will pretty much follow the overall tape which continues to just rally along. And while MLPS are near the top of the range, the rest of the market seems to be playing catch up

The dow is near the two tops of 2011. This will be a critical area for the markets overall. Are we putting in a major top here? If you believe that the economy will continue to improve than the answer to that question is no. If you believe that the world is about to begin another circling of the drain, the answer is now. Its that simple folks. For now the path of least resistance is higher.

Definitely circling the drain is nat gas which is down another dime and sitting at $2.41! The non winter and unending supply has simply caused prices to crash.
This is about as ugly as a chart gets. This is what free fall looks like and there is no sign of a bottom whatsoevr. An oversold bounce is due after being down 7 days in a row and 11 out of 13. But who knows when that comes and what the catalyst is. Crude oil now sells for over 40 times the price of nat gas. 20 used to be the wall!

Markets are set to open a little higher and my guess is buyers will push the tape up as the day wears on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Late first post but this is what happens after a holiday weekend and you have to come back from a nice weekend with the deer in Pennsylvania. The market began by playing catch up to Europe which of course rallied after the S&P downgrades last Friday. The downgrades themselves are utterly meaningless to the markets and if I were S&P, Fitch, and Moody's, i would recognize that their downgrades continue to come pretty late in the game. The dow industrials ran up 150 but are now up about 100 points. The tick (net uptics/downtics) has been running negative much of the day so far so sellers are around here. Financials aren't rallying today for the most part thanks to Citigroup and its earnings (so called) so we watch the tape for signs of a top in the October rally. Each attempted top has been aborted and we have gone on the new highs but only marginally so. Except for the dow industrials and the mlp index we are barely above the October 24th high. So i figured lets put up some charts and see what they are telling us.

The nasdaq 100 is making its 5th attempt to break out above 2400. Either this is a monstrous top being formed or we will breakout decisively out of a long base that goes back to the beginning of 2011. The S&P 500 meanwhile hasn't even gotten back to its 2011 highs yet and it is struggling here at 1300 even.

The MLP index meanwhile has taken out its 2011 high and remains in an uptrend although it is only break even since January 1st. Its attempt to rally to 400 has failed and it looks like its mounting another try. Its up 2 on the day today being led by Kinder Morgan (KMP) which is up 1 ahead of earnings.

The last chart i thought was pretty interesting and that is the index of nat gas stocks. Now to look at nat gas today it is down 5% and sits at an amazing $2.45. We have been told by so many experts how 3 dollars was the wall. Well guess what? We are closer to 2 than 3 thanks to endless supply and a non existent winter in the US this year. That base at 620 doesn't look likely to hold here if the commodity itself continues to circle the drain and demand overall continues to contract.

What are we to conclude from all this? Well for now it seems rather ambiguous. The market continues to rally overall in the face of Europe. The economic numbers here are not exactly ramping up. Energy stocks as a whole seemed to be rolling over as the same money gets moved around from group to group. MLPS continue to do okay. Earnings and distribution annoucements begin this week and increases are already priced in. Still 6% yield continues to attract cash against a 10 year at 1.85%. Short term the market appears to want to go higher, but at some point you have to ask yourself whether any of this is sustainable given what is going on out in the world. And i keep asking myself the same question. If the world is getting better, why oh why is the 10 year still under 2%? As for MLPS, our bull market here began in December of 2008 and has begun its 4th year. No sign of a top, at least not yet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Here is what the left thinks of the collapse in nat gas prices. They are not happy.

Markets trying to rally back with the dow down 60 and mlps are now up on the day for the first time in 6 days. Bulls still in control.
Everyone seems to know that S&P is going to cut ratings across the eurozone. I guess they are waiting for the market close. Dow off 101, Nasdaq down 22, MLPS down about 2.
Dow cut its losses in 1/2 as we head into lunch. No news yet on S&P downgrades. MLPS down 1.50 on the index which a is off its lows of minus 2. Euro down 1.5 cents off its low of down 2 cents. Should be a fascinating afternoon. The way the tape has traded lately, don't be surprised if the market runs toward unchanged by days end.

Markets were due for a pullback and they are getting one in a big way this morning so far with the dow down 135 and mlps down nearly 2 points. A S&P downgrade of Europe appears imminent according to news sources. Now lets go back to last August. The S&P downgrade of the US came in Early August which took the S&P down from 1250 to 1100 in a hurry. Now comes word that the Greek haircut would be forced instead of voluntary which means default as negotiations breakdown. The Euro is down 2 cents on that news. So now we've come to some sort of breaking point. Is the rally that began in October over? Now as i type we have Reuters reporting that S&P has downgraded France.

Meanwhile the mlp index is down 6 days in a row after reaching 396. Energy stocks as a whole have been selling off since the year began as money seems to be going from last year's winners to last years losers. Net net this is not good as we are basically moving the same chips around the table with no new money coming in.

Attention continues to center in energy on the implosing of nat gas which went from holding 3 bucks to 2.65 in a hurry. Energy producers who have been going head first into nat gas may have earnings issues (see Chevron). MLPS seem to be suffering from the money flow out of energy but getting support from the collapsing 10 year yield which is heading fast to 1.80% and it looks like we will retest 1.69% which we got to last October.

On the coporate side Copano did a public offering of shares so its down 1.40 right now. Not much else happening here. No upgrades or downgrades. Targa Natural Resources (NGLS) took the distribution up again by 3%. We should be hearing from the bulk of mlps next week.

Dow and MLPS just off the lows of the day here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Overall market boring. Energy lower. Mlps down 1.50 on the index. Snooze!


We opened up, then turned down, then turned up, then turned down again but not by much in either direction. MLPS were up..then down 2 pts on the index and then back to near the flat line. Energy stocks as a whole have been selling off for a few day as nat gas continues to implode to under 2.70. It seems that nat gas is dropping because we have so much of it that we are actually exporting cheap energy for others to use! MLPS seem to be suffering from rotation money moving out and into other things. The market is up 20% since the October low but we are about where we are since late October. So for all the movement we really haven't gone anywhere.

Most mlps are churning fractionally in either direction of unchanged as there are no corporate drivers out there. Noticing now that crude and gold are coming off their highs of the day. The Euro is up 1 cent against the dollar because apparently they had a couple of good bond auctions so all their problems are solved.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Nat gas continues its unrelenting march to zero..under 2.80 now. Mlps down 1.50 as energy stocks sell off. Market overall flat to a little lower. Tape still has a firm feel to it. Im beginning to believe that outside of a tragedy, the market has discounted most of europe's problems.


We saw mlps charge right out the gate in 2012 with a run to 400 on the index however we seemed to have hit a wall here at 397 and we are down 4 days in a row. It could be just a simple matter of a rotation being caused by the year end pile in. Or perhaps we are seeing something more important after 3 years of solid upside and market leadership. The first test comes at the rising support lines we see down around 380. Until we get there my sense is that this is just a temporary sell off we are seeing.

Citigroup chose this morning to raise price targets on a bunch of mlps including Magellan (MMP) Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL), Enbridge Energy Products (EEP) Tesoro LP (TLLP) and Spectra Energy Partners (SEP), Kinder Morgan (KMP) Plains All American (PAA) Oneok LP (OKS) and a few others. Virtually all of them are down except for Kinder which is unchanged. Usually target changes dont do much for price appreciation as they pretty much restate the obvious uptrend. So markets being efficient most of the time sell off on the move. No other important news of note on the corporate side.

Overall the market is as always Euro focused with the Euro trying to hold 1.27 this morning. The dow is down about 40 points and the nasdaq is down a couple. Energy stocks seem to be extra soft so far this morning. Chart wise we are at the absolute top of the range as the S&P is back to the highs it back in the October rally. 1292 was the wall yesterda and we are at 1287 as i type.

Natural gas is absolutely circling the drain. 3 dollars was supposed to be the absolute bottom but markets have a way of proving absolutes aren't exactly as absolute as you think. Nat gas is down 4% this morning to 2.80 as it continues on the road to being free!

Monday, January 09, 2012

MLPS down nearl 4 on the index. Looks like some rotation coming out of the year end pile up so its back to 390 on the index. Kinder Morgan (KMP) Enterprise (EPD) and some other heavyweights in the group are down major fractions to a point or so. The market meanwhile is higher with the dow up 40 and the nasdaq up nearly 10 after struggling near the flat line all day.

Not much is happening today of consequence. The euro is rallying up .75 of a cent which probably is putting a bid under markets as a whole.

Its the first full trading week of 2012 so we are finally done with all the holiday trading distortions. Today marks the 5th trading day of the year and there are some who follow the notion that first 5 days of the year dictate the kind of year we are going to have. Not sure if that has any value other than chance. Meanwhile with the market up for early 2012, MLPS have broken out of its recent range and continue to head to 400. Everything seems to be playing into mlps hands here. The 10 year remains under 2. The 10 year/mlp yield spread continues to remain above 3. Tops have come usually with spreads under 2 (pre 2008). Money continues to rush into any stock with yield. So far i see no signs of that changing.

The dow chart continues to move higher and it looks like it wants to go to 12,600-12800. Europe continues to churn but no one seems to care right now. The euro is up this morning on Merkel/Sarkozy saying nothing new. Euro stocks are flat to a little lower ahead of the open.

Back to mlps this morning, no news and no upgrades or downgrades. Stock futures are a few ticks higher. Crude is flat and nat gas continues its march toward zero.

Friday, January 06, 2012


400 doesn't really mean anything other than its a nice round number but mlps did break out above 390 so the bull run continues here entering its 4th year. Markets continue to appear to take the path of least resistance which is higher. The tape feels pretty firm as selling continues to be met by eager buyers. The euro is imploding but overall markets seem to have de coupled from the euro for the time being. Still I can't help but feel something is lurking out there.

Kinder Morgan and Enterprise Products Partners are near all time highs along with Oneok and Plains All American. No worries until the tape gives us something to worry about. Dow down 25, nasdaq up 6 as of this post.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


Sorry for the lack of posts but im up in new hampshire for the primary. Manchester is really a nice town. Cold with snow flurries!

Closing in on 400. Will have a full post in the morning.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The selling appears to have abated and we are back up over 200 after pulling back to up 170 on the dow. MLPS are up over a point on the index as oil continues its 4 dollar run higher. Even nat gas isn't down today which is miraculous in itself.
Since 11am the tape has gotten a bit heavy with a negative tick which may mean sellers may lean into this rally this afternoon. We are already off the highs of the day. MLPS broke out to a 3 point gain and new all time highs but the gain is down to a fraction now.

Dow was up 260 now up 210. Nasdaq was up 60 now up 45.

We begin today in breakout mode in the markets. Stock futures are opening above resistence which has held the rally back for the last 3 months. MLPS however which were among the better performers of 2011 open up above 390 and in new all time high territory. And while there are no individual news drivers this morning, the drive to anything with yield continues. Oil is up 3 dollars to 101 on Iran worries and nat gas is taking a breather this morning on its way to becoming free as it hovers around 3 bucks.

In pre market action Oneok LP (OKS) which did well last year is up nearly a dollar and at new all time highs. Kinder Morgan (KMP) is also up nearly a point in the pre market. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) is up 50 cents before the open. So its going to be a multipoint up open for mlps and after ISM at 10am, gains have a chance to get extended substantially if the overall market builds on its rally.

Not much else to say after a long weekend other than to point out that all the gloom and doom of Europe is continuing to become noise in the background as we seem to be going our own way.