Updated from 7:01 a.m. EDT
Despite its importance in signaling current global growth trends, the Baltic Dry bulk index is hardly talked about by financial media pundits.
The index, managed by the Baltic Exchange in London, covers dry bulk shipping rates and is an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea. Taking in 26 shipping routes measured on a time-charter and voyage basis, the index covers supramax, panamax and capesize dry bulk carriers carrying a range of commodities, including coal, iron ore and grain.
Basically, the index signals how global trade and growth are currently fairing. And with the index down 30 or more consecutive days in a row, many market participants feel that global growth is indeed slowing.The Baltic Dry index hit a high of 12,500 in July and is now trading at 1,809. Has global growth really slowed by 90%? On Stockpickr.com, we created the Baltic Dry Index 101, portfolio that looks at stocks most dependent on the index, including Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE - Get Report) and DryShips (DRYS - Get Report). Most directly, the index measures the demand for shipping capacity vs. the supply of dry bulk carriers. It's impossible to call a bottom in the index, but many of it stocks are cheap and worth looking at. To read more, visit Stockpickr.com.