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August 9, 2011

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Ranking: Biggest MLP Index Moves in History

I was inspired by this post from Josh Brown at The Reformed Broker Blog that showed the top 20 worst days (in point losses) ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and how the last few rough days ranked.  So, I decided to go through the brief history (index dates to 1996) of the MLP Index (AMZ) to see how many times the index has dropped more than 5% as we did yesterday, and how many times the index has risen more than 5% in a day.
It turns out the MLP Index has dropped more than 5% 14 times since 1996, including yesterday’s 7% decline.  9 of those 14 occurred during the six months from September 2008 through March 2009, with the last one before yesterday occurring March 2, 2009.  Yesterday’s decline ranks second in terms of points lost, and 3rd all time in terms of percentage loss.
So, given how far MLPs fell, its appropriate that today, we appear on track for some even more rare than a 5% decline: a 5% rise in the MLP Index.  That has only happened 9 times before today.  7 out of those 9 times occurred in the six months between September 2008 and March 2009, with the last one prior to this one happening on March 12, 2009.  Today’s rally, should it hold (numbers below are as of around 11:30 am), it would rank second all time in terms of point gains, and 6th in terms of percentage gain.

I hope you bought MLPs yesterday, or at least held on to the ones you had.  Because MLPs overall lack in trading volume, they tend to have these dramatic moves during times when liquidity is sucked out of the markets.  But as they showed in 2008, these businesses are much more stable than their unit prices…
Disclosure: The information in this article is not meant to be financial advice, we are not your financial advisor and I am posting my comments for informational purposes only. 

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