JT’s DAILY (WEEKLY as of 12/9/2013) BLOG for Month Of August 2020

Note: All previous month's posts are available in the archives, as noted above. 

All postings for the month are available here, sorted in descending order - i.e. most recent at the top.

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 08/31/2020

Posted Saturday 08/29/2020 09:00 AM

Stocks posted gains every day last week, with some stock averages posting new all-time highs. The conventions are now over, and from here on out it will be a daily political slugfest. The markets have effectively ignored our divided politics, our deteriorating economics, and our urban riots, for weeks now. The question investors have to be asking themselves is how much longer this disconnect can continue. Even stock market bulls are now seeing stocks as fully valued. The answer to the question is it cannot continue much longer, but no one can define how long “much longer” actually is.

Firms on my lists scheduled to go ex-dividend in the week ahead are listed following, with ex-dividend date and yield indicated:

Realty Income (O), 8/31/2020, yield 4.59%. O pays monthly.

McDonalds (MCD), 8/31/2020, yield 2.36%.

Safety Insurance Group (SAFT), 8/31/2020, yield 4.75%. 

Kellogg (K), 8/31/2020, yield 3.31%.

Pepsico (PEP), 9/3/2020, yield 2.92%.

Kimberly Clark (KMB), 9/3/2020, yield 2.73%.

Two of the fifteen CEFs I follow will be going ex-dividend next week. Both are monthly payers.

First Trust Intermediate Duration Preferred & Income Fund (FPF), 9/1/2020, yield 7.09%.

AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund (AWF), 9/3/2020, yield 7.24%.

None of my stocks are scheduled to report earnings in the week ahead.

Upgrades, downgrades, initiations or resumptions of coverage, and reiterations of ratings reported by E*Trade last week on my stocks were as follows:

Medical Properties Trust (MPW) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Mizuho. This hospital REIT has definitely been a winner, but with the stock close to an all-time high and the uncertainty of hospital economics these days, it will have to be a better bargain than it is right now to be of interest.

MFA Financial (MFA) was upgraded from Market Perform to Market OutPerform at JMP Securities. This MREIT has just now reinstated a dividend. MFA eliminated their dividend and suffered a share price drop from nearly $8 to the $2 range, and was demoted to my Tier4 list. It may be a bargain now, but after a drop like that, I’m not interested.

Spirit Realty Capital (SRC) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Bank of America.

Digital Realty Trust (DLR) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Berenberg. DLR is a very successful Data Center REIT, but this train left the station several years ago.  

JM Smucker (SJM) was upgraded from Sell to Neutral at Guggenheim.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) was downgraded from Equal Weight to UnderWeight at Barclays. Typically, the rating comes a little late, considering RDS.B dropped from the $60’s to less than $30 since the first of this year. Just one day later, RDS.B was upgraded from Neutral to OutPerform at Exane BNP Paribas, which now considers the stock a bargain after the price drop, I suppose.

ONEOK (OKE) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Seaport Global Securities. If it turns out that the Oil and Gas sector is not done, and rebounds at least some from today’s low levels, OKE picked up at today’s price will be a winner, especially if the dividend is maintained, which currently yields over 13%.

General Mills (GIS) was initiated at Neutral at Citigroup.

Kellogg (K) was initiated at Buy at Citigroup. There is no doubt that the long-term decline of “Big Food” has been arrested by the Covid epidemic. You might have been eager to grab that last box of Cheerios on the shelf at the store during the panic buying that accompanied the onset of the epidemic, even if you hadn’t had Cheerios for breakfast in years. Competitively, “Big Food” had been getting hammered from above by boutique brands, and from below by store brand imitations, plus had been squeezed by commodity price increases. The question here is whether or not the terminal decline of “Big Food” will resume after the Covid epidemic is over.

Right now, my approach is to husband my cash and maintain a watch list of solid firms with reasonably safe dividends, and be ready to buy when the next big decline occurs. Just in case it doesn’t, I am holding on to stocks that I expect to recover, especially those that are still paying out. Remember, the patient investor is usually the most successful investor.

JT

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 08/24/2020

Posted Sunday 08/23/2020 10:00 AM

Stocks ended the week mixed, with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ indexes posting modest gains, the NY Composite index finishing with a small loss, and the most-watched index, the Dow Industrials, ending the week almost exactly where it was one week earlier. The news flow was dominated by the Demoncraps pseudo-convention, and the week ahead will likely be dominated by the Repugnats pseudo-convention. The economic data releases have likewise been a mixed bag, although the ill-managed “stimulus” package, plus the actions of the Fed, appear to have delayed the impact of the economic slow-down, much of which has been imposed by state and local governments, with questionable motives.

While a number of firms most affected by the Covid outbreak have reduced or eliminated their dividends, most of my stocks continue to pay out on schedule, at least so far. Firms on my lists scheduled to go ex-dividend in the week ahead are listed following, with ex-dividend date and yield indicated:

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), ex-dividend 8/24/2020, yield 2.64%.

Prudential Financial (PRU), ex-dividend 8/24/2020, yield 6.53%.

Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM), 8/26/2020, yield 0.77%. WPM is obviously not a dividend play, but rather a wager on precious metals prices, a wager that is currently paying off, if WPM was acquired before the Covid epidemic.

NextEra Energy (NEE), 8/27/2020, yield 1.98%. NEE is a wonderful utility, but at the current price/yield, it is hard to believe shares bought at today’s price will be a good investment. NEE is a classic case of great company, poor stock investment.

Kraft Heinz (KHC), 8/27/2020, yield 4.63%. KHC has been granted a reprieve, compliments of the Covid and the resurgence of staples, but the long-term potential is questionable.

AGNC Investment (AGNC), 8/28/2020, yield 10.33%. This MREIT pays monthly.

Century-Link (CTL), 8/28/2020, yield 9.08%. CTL was moved to my Tier4 list after the most recent dividend cut, but has stabilized for the moment. If one owns it, I recommend a HOLD, but if not, based on the history, I can’t recommend buying it.

STAG Industrial (STAG), 8/28/2020, yield 4.47%. This REIT has held up well, but with the changes occurring in response to Covid, I have concerns about all property REITs, not just shopping centers, theaters, and restaurants. STAG pays monthly.

Barrick Gold (GOLD), 8/28/2020, yield 1.09%. The big news on GOLD is that Buffet has recently become a shareholder, a move that shocked the investment world. Same comment above on WPM applies to GOLD.

Prospect Capital (PSEC), 8/28/2020, yield 14.12%. The yield is likely too good to be true, or at least sustained, for this monthly-paying BDC.

Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (BEP), 8/28/2020, yield 3.75%. A rare find, an MLP with a soaring share price over the last two years. One look at a five-year stock price tells you all you need to know, as far as the potential for BEP. (Hint: there much potential for further big gains, as seen since 1/1/2019.)

Realty Income (O), 8/31/2020, yield 4.59%. I bought back into the “Monthly Dividend Company” on 3/23/2020, at the best price seen in years. Even though I promised myself I would hold long-term, and not be tempted by a short-term gain, I folded on 8/6/2020 and cashed out, after realizing I could realize over five years’ worth of dividend income in less than five months by selling.

McDonalds (MCD), 8/31/2020, yield 2.36%. Every time I look at a stock chart for MCD, I am reminded of a fundamental investment axiom, “no one has ever lost money betting on poor dietary choices being selected by the American consumer”.

Safety Insurance Group (SAFT), 8/31/2020, yield 4.75%.  

Kellogg (K), 8/31/2020, yield 3.31%. I almost bought this consumer staple last fall, when the yield was nearly 4%, but at that time the outlook (pre-Covid) for “Big Food” wasn’t that favorable, so I didn’t pull the trigger. Just an example of how precarious and unpredictable investing in stocks can be, no one knows what the future holds at the point when a decision has to be made.

None of the 15 CEFs I track will be going ex-dividend in the coming week.

Only two of my stocks are scheduled to report earnings next week, JM Smucker Co (SJM) on 8/25/2020, and Greif (GEF) on 8/26/2020.

Upgrades, downgrades, initiations or resumptions of coverage, and reiterations of ratings reported by E*Trade last week on my stocks were as follows:

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B) was upgraded from Neutral to OverWeight at Piper Sandler. Shell holders were “Shell-Shocked” by management’s panic-driven decision to slash the dividend a couple of months ago, a move that was not telegraphed nor in any way expected, based on decades of history.

Chevron (CVX), which thus far has held the dividend steady, was downgraded from OverWeight to Neutral by Piper Sandler. All I can say is what I’ve said before, the “analysts” issuing the ratings only look at the share price, not the overall value as an investment, including dividends. The feckless management team at Shell is rewarded with an upgrade, while the team at Chevron, which increased the dividend at the beginning of 2020, and as noted has held it steady throughout the Covid epidemic, is rewarded with a downgrade. Go figure!

Exelon (EXC) was downgraded from Neutral to UnderPerform at BofA. Incidentally, Bank of America has dropped the reference to Merrill Lynch in their new name. Apparently, they finally recognized the value of the Merrill Lynch name (zero), a venerable institution driven into the ditch by clueless management and acquired by BofA at a fire-sale price in 2008.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was upgraded from Sell to Hold at Tudor Pickering. OXY has declined from $80+ in mid-2018 to $13 as of last Friday, and the dividend is history. For this performance, the CEO was rewarded with salary increases and bonuses over the same time period, and because of the tremendous drop in the share price, OXY has actually received upgrades recently.

Hoegh LNG Partners LP (HMLP) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Stifel.

JM Smucker Co (SJM) was downgraded from Equal Weight to UnderWeight at Morgan Stanley.

NuStar Energy LP (NS) was resumed at Neutral at BofA.

Crown Castle International (CCI) was downgraded from OverWeight to Equal Weight at Wells Fargo.

Ventas (VTR) was downgraded from Strong Buy to OutPerform at Raymond James. Apparently RJ still likes VTR at current prices, just not as much as when the price was lower.

Welltower (WELL) was downgraded from OutPerform to Market Perform at Raymond James.

Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) was downgraded from OutPerform to Market Perform at BMO Capital. BMO may be expecting the end of the surge in gold and silver prices.

Eaton (ETN) was initiated at Hold at Berenberg.

Emerson Electric (EMR) was initiated at Buy at Berenberg.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was upgraded from UnderWeight to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

It is hard to generate much enthusiasm for investing in stocks these days, just about any position you might take is nothing more than a crap-shoot. Between the Covid epidemic, the political uncertainty, and the various disparities between the stock market and the real economy, it has never been more difficult to evaluate investments, it seems. It does seem likely that inflation, long dormant, will make a comeback, and taxes at all levels can only increase from here. Another concern has to be the unprecedented levels of public and private debt, which reaches truly astounding levels when you include entitlements and pension promises. This is not the time to ignore the reality, one must continue to pay attention, painful though it may be. My advice is to retain a higher than usual cash position, stay on the alert for opportunities, and strive for maximum diversification.

JT

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 08/17/2020

Posted Sunday 08/16/2020 01:30 PM

Stocks gained over-all last week, with the blue-chip indexes leading the charge, while the technology-dominated NASDAQ lagged for a change, but still managed a small gain for the week. The economic news continues to show steady improvement, surprising most pundits. The political news continues to dominate the headlines, with the big news being the Dems VP candidate choice. The “sky is falling” media continues their biased reporting, with their evident disappointment shown at any hint of positive news which they cannot suppress.

Speaking of positive news, yet another batch of my stocks have announced upcoming dividends, detailed below. The ex-dividend date and yield as of Friday’s close are shown.

Welltower (WELL), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 4.36%.

Horizon Technology Finance (HRZN), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 9.62%. HRZN is a monthly payer.

Blackrock Capital Investment (BKCC), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 13.20%. Note that BKCC is a Tier4 stock, not recommended, and the outsized yield is compliments of a $3.03 share price.

Chevron (CVX), ex-dividend 8/18/2020, yield 5.71%.

Main Street Capital (MAIN), ex-dividend 8/18/2020, yield 7.50%. This top-quality BDC pays monthly.

Pitney Bowes (PBI), ex-dividend 8/20/2020, yield 3.28%. This terminally-doomed stock has recently shown signs of life, with the need for snail-mail suddenly being recognized. It will remain on Tier4 for now, but it could conceivably return to Tier3 if it holds recent gains, and the dividend is maintained.

Hershey Co (HSY), ex-dividend 8/208/2020, yield 2.20%. Betting against chocolate is almost never a winning bet.

Gladstone Investment (GAIN), ex-dividend 8/21/2020, yield 8.60%. This shining star of the Gladstone group of investment firms pays monthly.

United Parcel Service (UPS), ex-dividend 8/21/2020, yield 2.51%.

3M Co (MMM), ex-dividend 8/21/2020, yield 3.54%. This blue chip has been a bargain since the beginning of 2020. If it continues to recover, the bargain aspect will slowly disappear. Considering it was trading in excess of $240 at the start of 2018, today’s price of $166 still looks pretty good.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), ex-dividend 8/24/2020, yield 2.73%. I still worry about the talcum powder lawsuit exposure, but the market does not seem to share my concerns.

Prudential Financial (PRU), ex-dividend 8/24/2020, yield 6.23%. PRU is being hurt more by the extremely low interest rates than by excess life insurance payouts caused by Covid. Similar to MMM, PRU is recovering, and likely will exit bargain territory soon.

The following CEFs I track will also be going ex-dividend this week:

Cohen & Steers MLP Income & Energy Opportunity Fund (MIE), ex-dividend 8/18/2020, yield 8.53%.

Cohen & Steers Quality Income Realty Fund (RQI), ex-dividend 8/18/2020, yield 8.58%.

CBRE Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund (IGR), ex-dividend 8/19/2020, yield 9.60%.

Miller Howard High Income Equity Fund (HIE), ex-dividend 8/21/2020, yield 7.23%.

All of these are monthly payers.

None of my stocks will be reporting this week.

Upgrades, downgrades, initiations or resumptions of coverage, and reiterations of ratings reported by E*Trade last week on my stocks were as follows:

Kimco Realty (KIM) was upgraded from Neutral to OverWeight at Piper Sandler. Most REITs, other than the most affected sectors, have held up well lately. But commercial real estate is undergoing major changes in demand (read that as reduced demand) that is likely to be permanent. I don’t expect KIM to restart dividends anytime soon.

Pan American Silver was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Deutsche Bank. Silver prices retreated last week, it remains to be seen where silver will go next.

Nucor (NUE) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Argus. NUE may have gotten ahead of itself, rebounding from under $30 to $46 and change since the March lows.

Barrick Gold (GOLD) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Canaccord Genuity.

Enbridge (ENB) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Citigroup.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was upgraded from UnderWeight to Neutral at JP Morgan. I still believe OXY will eventually recover, but it could be a long wait, and by recover, I mean back up into the $40’s or so, with a respectable dividend. I doubt OXY will ever see the $80’s again.

Ventas (VTR) was upgraded from Sector Perform to OutPerform at RBC Capital, and from UnderPerform to Inline at Evercore ISI. VTR and WELL had long been considered the best health care facility REITs, and even though they reduced their dividends, they both have respectable yields now, compliments of the drop in their share prices. I think now would be a good time to add shares of either one, but note, this is not a “bet the farm” recommendation.

The once in a decade bargains available last March are long gone, and most stocks are slowly recovering, excepting those in the sectors most affected by the Covid epidemic. Right now, there is more market uncertainty than usual, which I would distill into two major question marks; who will win the upcoming election and what changes will that bring, and what will occur regarding the virus, and what will be the near-term and long-term effects. We have already seen some giants fall, such as GE, and we may see some more before “normalcy” returns, if it ever does.

JT

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 08/10/2020

Posted Saturday 08/09/2020 09:00 PM

One week into the fray since restarting this blog, it wasn’t a bad start. The Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 indexes posted gains every day last week, while the NY Composite and NASDAQ indexes posted gains 4 days out of 5. The nay-sayers point out that the unprecedented amount of stimulus spending, combined with actions of the Fed, has masked the economic statistics and boosted the stock market artificially, and that stocks are due for a downturn, which may exceed the March lows. Certainly, sectors most affected by the pandemic are not participating in the rally, which makes the performance of the stock averages even more surprising.

Stocks on my revised lists going ex-dividend this coming week are as follows:

Entergy (ETR), ex-dividend 8/12/2020, yield 3.55%.

ExxonMobil (XOM), ex-dividend 8/12/2020, yield 8.01%.

HealthPeak Properties (PEAK), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 5.28%.

Eaton (ETN), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 2.99%.

Enbridge (ENB), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 7.40%.

Smucker JM Co (SJM), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 3.24%.

Emerson Electric (EMR), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 3.01%.

Exelon (EXC), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 3.93%.

Duke Energy (DUK), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 4.46%.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 4.30%.

Pan American Silver (PAAS), ex-dividend 8/14/2020, yield 0.54%.

Southern Co (SO), ex-dividend 8/14/2020, yield 4.68%.

Welltower (WELL), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 4.33%.

Horizon Technology Finance (HRZN), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 9.88%. HRZN is a monthly payer.

Blackrock Capital Investment (BKCC), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 14.34%. Note that BKCC is a Tier4 stock, not recommended, and the outsized yield is compliments of a sub-$3.00 share price.

For that matter, dividend cutters WELL and RDS.B both have a decent yield even after their cuts, again compliments of substantial share price declines from earlier in the year, before the pandemic.

The following CEFs I track will also be going ex-dividend this week:

BlackRock Debt Strategies Fund (DSU), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 8.48%.

BlackRock Enhanced Equity Dividend Trust (BDJ), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 7.99%.

CBRE Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund (IGR), ex-dividend 8/17/2020, yield 9.69%.

Nuveen Real Asset Income and Growth Fund (JRI), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 10.36%.

Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT), ex-dividend 8/14/2020, yield 7.45%.

Gabelli Dividend & Income Trust (GDV), ex-dividend 8/14/2020, yield 7.01%.

BlackRock Energy and Resources Trust (BGR), ex-dividend 8/13/2020, yield 11.00%.

All of these are monthly payers.

Earnings season is winding down. Stocks on my lists scheduled to report this week are listed following, by date.

8/10/2020

Barrick Gold (GOLD), Duke Energy (DUK), National Health Investors (NHI), NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL), Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

8/12/2020

Cisco Systems (CSCO), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM).

8/13/2020

Algonquin Power (AQN).

Upgrades, downgrades, initiations or resumptions of coverage, and reiterations of ratings reported by E*Trade last week on my stocks were as follows:

Covanta Holdings (CVA) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Stifel.

Pitney Bowes (PBI) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at National Securities.

Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI) was downgraded from Strong Buy to OutPerform at Raymond James.

ONEOK (OKE) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Argus.

United Parcel Service (UPS) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Standpoint Research.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) was upgraded from Sector Weight to OverWeight at KeyBanc.

Freeport McMoRan (FCX) was downgraded from OverWeight to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Emerson Electric (EMR) was upgraded from Market Perform to OutPerform at Cowen.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was resumed at UnderPerform at Credit Suisse.

Digital Realty Trust (DLR) was initiated at Hold at TD Securities.

The economic and market news from this point will be dominated by the political discourse and the pandemic for the rest of this year and beyond, everything else is secondary. The future, always unknown, can take so many paths from here that the best strategy may be to do nothing in many cases, as far as stocks are concerned. I’m holding on to stocks that are paying decent dividends, even if the price has fallen, and taking some profits on some buys that I made in March when prices were too good to pass up. Other than a couple of downtrodden midstream partnerships, there is very little that I consider attractively priced right now. My basic strategy as outlined in my website is the right strategy, at least for me, in this environment. That is, strive to maintain a solid dividend income stream, and take advantage of market mis-pricing to buy and sell at attractive prices when they come along.

JT

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 08/03/2020

Posted Saturday 08/01/2020 10:00 AM

As promised, I am restarting my regular weekly publication, focused on my investing approach and updating with news and developments regarding the stocks on my lists. I had hoped by this time there would be more clarity on what to expect from the market and the economy, but as we all know, things are very much still to be resolved.

As for my lists, I have updated them, with changes as follows.

Tier1

One addition, AQN, Algonquin Power, a Canadian utility, and three demotions to Tier2, RDS.B, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, WELL, Welltower, and XOM, ExxonMobil. RDS.B and WELL both cut their dividends, and with the energy crash, the sustainability of XOM’s dividend is questionable. ,

Tier2

RDS.B, WELL, and XOM were added, as noted preceding.

Three demotions to Tier3, another demotion all the way to Tier4, and a drop.

ET, Energy Transfer LP, has dropped in price precipitously, as a court ruling requires an operating pipeline to shut down. VTR, Ventas reduced the dividend and likewise has sustained a severe price decline. VOD, Vodafone has also sustained a major price drop. All three continue to pay out, but the sustainability is questionable, and they are now on Tier3.

KIM, Kimco Realty, eliminated the dividend, and was demoted all the way to Tier4.

STOHF, Equinor ASA, formerly STO, Statoil of Norway, was no longer seen as an alternative to high-priced US Oil firms, and was dropped.

MPW, Medical Properties Trust, was promoted from Tier3 to Tier2.

Tier3

ET, VTR, and VOD were added from Tier2, as noted preceding, and MPW was promoted from Tier3 to Tier2, also as noted preceding.

Six stocks were demoted to Tier4, having eliminated their dividends. These were FCX, Freeport-McMoRan, MRCC, Monroe Capital, OXY, Occidental Petroleum, PK, Park Hotels, MFA, MFA Financial, and VET, Vermillion Energy.

Two new stocks were added, MPLX, MPLX LP, and ORCC, Owl Rock Capital.

Tier4

KIM, FCX, MRCC, OXY, PK, MFA, and VET were all added as noted preceding. Additional distressed stocks to be followed for a time are BKCC, Blackrock Capital, CTL, Century-Link, CVA, Covanta Holdings, GE, General Electric, MMLP, Martin Midstream LP, OCSL, Oaktree, PBI, Pitney Bowes, and WPG, Washington Prime Group. BKCC, CTL, CVA, MRCC, OCSL, and PBI all are still paying out dividends as of this update, but sustaining the payouts looks unlikely.

Stocks continue to be extremely volatile, with favored sectors, such as technology, health care, mega-cap blue chips, and precious metals pushing ever higher, while sectors devastated by the pandemic continue to languish. Examples are travel and hospitality firms, restaurants, airlines, hotels, casinos, and related REITs. Energy firms have been crushed by a perfect storm of over-supply combined with demand destruction, plus a global price war for a time, with even the most solid oil majors and transportation partnerships experiencing precipitous price declines. As an unexpected second wave virus outbreak has caused reopening plans to be put on hold, the outlook continues to be uncertain.

As can be seen from my reorganization of stocks on my lists, a number of my stocks have been exposed as being vulnerable, especially my Tier3 group. For the most part, my lists have been reasonably predictive, as far as indicating the relative safety of stocks.But the nature of the pandemic and the undue effect on certain sectors has caused some firms to encounter difficulties that I had thought were very safe. I will continue to monitor developments, and there may be more adjustments to the lists than usual during the weeks ahead.

Stocks on my lists scheduled to go ex-dividend in the week ahead are as follows:

NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL), ex-dividend 8/5/2020, yield 17.64%.

NuStar Energy LP (NS), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 11.22%.

Martin Midstream Partners LP (MMLP), 8/6/2020, yield 0.99%. Note that MMLP is on Tier4, with a share price of $1.89, and a dividend of ˝ cent per share.

Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 9.94%.

Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 17.09%.

MPLX LP (MPLX), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 15.07%.

Energy Transfer LP (ET), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 19.71%.

Unilever PLC (UL), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 2.92%.

Hercules Capital (HTGC), ex-dividend 8/7/2020, yield 11.59%.

American Electric Power (AEP), ex-dividend 8/7/2020, yield 3.22%.

Two of my monthly CEF payers will also be going ex-dividend next week:

First Trust Intermediate Duration Preferred and Income Fund (FPF), ex-dividend 8/3/2020, yield 7.23%.

AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund (AWF), ex-dividend 8/6/2020, yield 7.42%.

As most readers know, I’m restarting my web posting in the middle of earnings season. Stocks on my list reporting next week are listed by date:

8/3/2020

MPLX LP (MPLX), Realty Income (O), Williams Companies (WMB).

8/4/2020

Ares Capital (ARCC), Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP), Emerson Electric (EMR), Exelon (EXC), NuStar Energy LP (NS), Healthpeak Properties (PEAK), Owl Rock Capital (ORCC), Plains All American Pipeline (PAA), Prudential Financial (PRU).

8/5/2020

CenturyLink (CTL), Energy Transfer LP (ET), Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI), Pan American Silver (PAAS), Park Hotels (PK), Welltower (WELL).

8/6/2020

American Electric Power (AEP), Iron Mountain (IRM), Alliant Energy (LNT), Apollo Investment (AINV), Main Street Capital (MAIN).  

8/7/2020

Kimco Realty (KIM), Ventas (VTR).

I will start tracking upgrades / downgrades on my stocks next week, and report them beginning with my next posting.

The next few months will be consequential, no doubt. Things look somewhat grim at this point, but one thing differentiates stocks from bonds, metals, and other investments – companies are managed by people, and they can and do make changes (usually) when they recognize they are barreling towards the precipice.

JT