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August 6, 2012

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MLP Winners & Losers: Jobs Save the Day

MLPs were flat this week on a total return basis, amid mostly disappointing earnings releases, volatile commodity prices (propane up 1.4%, ethane down 4.6%, oil down then up, natural gas up then down), and an equity offering.  Natural Gas futures were down sharply this week, after hitting $3.21 on Monday, its highest level since January 10th of this year.  Thursday’s weak storage report sent natural gas futures down 7.9% on Thursday alone, accounting for the bulk of the 10.1% drop from Monday to Friday.

Oil was saved by a monster 4.9% Friday move of more than $4 per barrel.  It was an exciting end of the week for the stock market as well, with the S&P 500 up 1.9%, more than 25 points, on the better than expected jobs report.  But with the 1.5% drop through Thursday’s close for the S&P 500, that 1.9% gain meant only a 0.4% rise week over week.

SXL was the big winner this week after announcing a 9.9% distribution increase on wide crude differentials and demand for its crude pipelines in the mid-continent.  NRP was the biggest loser, hitting its 52-week low on Friday, and is now down 30.5% (24.5% including distributions).

As mentioned above, coal MLPs have had a rough go, and dominate the bottom 5.  NKA, despite a bad week, still leads all MLPs on the year.  CQP, which continues to hit milestones on its quest to be the first LNG export facility.  MLP Index is up 4.3% on the year, mostly just on distributions.

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