We hope energy investors left the Las Vegas Strip last week not with a gambler's mentality, but one of increasing optimism after attending this year's MLP and Energy Infrastructure Conference (MEIC - hosted by the MLPA). While the AMZ index was on a real “heater” to start the year, there's been a lull in the (price) action as of late. Still, the conference's tone was more positive than in recent years. In today’s Stat of the Week we’re providing thoughts on: 1) recent stock performance; 2) the public/private valuation disconnect; 3) evolving capital llocationphilosophies; and 4) how to bring generalist and retail investors back to the group. What will help midstream equities break through? The AMZ index had a hot start to the year, gaining ~12% in January. Since then, midstream equities have been at a "cold table" for nearly four months. Almost halfway through the year, the AMZ index is now up nearly ~16% YTD.