MLPs Finish January Positive, But Stocks Winning

The Alerian MLP Index finished January up 1.34%, the 13th positive January in the 17 years from when Alerian’s data starts, or 76% of the time.  Not since 1999 has the MLP Index started the year with a positive month and finished the year with a negative total return.  That may sound great, but consider that the MLP Index has gone up in 118 out of 192

MLP Week Thoughts: More ProPAIN for NRGY Investors

MLPs had a flat week, despite a sharp rebound in natural gas prices, and despite the Alerian MLP price index breaking through 400 for the first time ever.   The Fed’s mid-week announcement that it would keep interest rates extra low through 2014, helped push MLPs and other assets higher through Thursday. A sharp sell off Friday of 1.5% erased all

Winners and Losers: Natural Gas Hope, Propane Despair

The story this week, until NRGY blew up (figuratively) on Friday, was natural gas prices bouncing 14.5%.   A combination of (1) curtailed dry gas production announcement from Chesapeake, (2) some happy talk on natural gas as the clean answer from President Obama in his State of the Union Address, and (3) how low gas prices were last week helped ensure the

The Danger Zone: When Margin Investing Is OK (Not Right Now)

This post is going to be a little off the very beaten path of MLP talk.  On a day when the fed says low interest rates will be around until 2014, the MLP Index hits fresh all time highs, and euphoria is back en vogue, people aren't probably looking for me to tell them how great MLPs are for the 50th time.  So, why not shake it up a bit and talk a little

Week Thoughts: How Low Can Nat Gas Go?

The answer to the above question is: I don't know.  Nobody does, although safe to say it won't go negative...  The more interesting question is: how long before it recovers? And is that time period measured in months, quarters, years or decades?  I'm betting years at this point, and I'm not alone... In the meantime, low natural gas prices are not a

Winners and Losers: MLPs Shake off Leaking Natural Gas

The Alerian MLP Index reversed course this week, and is now riding a 5 day winning streak after going up 3 days, then down 5 days to start the year.  MLPs traded inline with the S&P 500 this week, which was also up each day this week, and closed up 2.0% week over week. Variable distribution MLPs were the big winners again (for me that group is

MLP Implications of the Latest Annual Report from Joint Committee on Taxation

Concerns over the potential for MLPs to be taxed as corporations arise periodically.  The concerns come in waves, often during times of political uncertainty.  The waves crested in the middle of 2011, when congressmen and senators were throwing out all manner of half-baked ideas for lowering the massive public debt in this great-ish country of ours.  MLP

MLP Week Thoughts: January Defect

MLPs had a rough week, down 1.8% in a week that saw the S&P 500 rise 0.9%.  After almost a month without an MLP equity offering, there were 3 equity deals this week for a total of more than $900 million, including a $611 million offering from LINE (only the 3rd $600mm+ follow on deal ever).  The brief respite from equity offerings was very nice,

Weekly Winners and Losers: Natural Gas Deflating Fast

The story of the week was natural gas dropping 14.4%.   That, combined with almost $900 million in equity issued by MLPs, helped keep MLPs down relative to stocks.  Variable distribution MLPs, particularly fertilizer MLPs had a good relative week, particularly RNF (up 5.1%), which benefits from lower natural gas prices as its primary raw material