Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What?: Shares of Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ:VNR) popped more than 12% today thanks to the rebound in oil prices. The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude rose to $57 per barrel, and for a little added sweetener, the NYMEX price for natural gas increased 2.5% to $3.70 per million BTU.
So what?: I guess this is what happens when oil prices give the slightest hint that they are done dropping, because there was no other tangible event that related to Vanguard's prospects. While investors will certainly welcome that 12% pop, it is only a small silver lining for the punishment that has been doled out in recent months to Vanguard shareholders.
If you are wondering if this signals that oil prices have found the floor, I'm sorry to say there is simply too much happening in the oil markets to be sure whether this is the end of the slump.
Now what: This stock spike and the roughly 13% jump on Tuesday are likely just a bunch of noise in the market. Looking at the longer term, keep in mind that 68% of Vanguard's production comes from natural gas, and 70% of its oil production is hedged at $91 per barrel for all of 2015. So even though shares have climbed quite a bit this week, it could still be a good time to get in on a relatively well-protected upstream MLP that might be getting unnecessarily beaten down because it has the word "energy" in the industry description.
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