Boutique investment bank Dahlman Rose issued a positive research note on the dry bulk carrier industry Tuesday, citing signs that rates for merchant shipping could be strengthening.

Highly susceptible to almost any kind of news, stocks were higher across the beaten-down drybulk sector in Tuesday's trading session.

Diana Shipping

(DSX) - Get Report

closed up 3% to $16.29,

Navios Maritime Holdings

(NM) - Get Report

closed up 6% to $4.43,

Excel Maritime

(EXM)

finished 7% higher at $10.22,

Genco Shipping

(GNK) - Get Report

up 6% to $20.02, and

Eagle Bulk Shipping

(EGLE) - Get Report

up 8% to $7.32.

Paragon Shipping

(PRGN)

, ahead of its quarterly earnings report, soared 21% to $4.74, while fan favorite

DryShips

(DRYS) - Get Report

rose only modestly on the session, closing up 12 cents, or 2.7%, at $7.16.

Dahlman Rose, which specializes in banking and research for natural-resource supply-chain companies, upgraded six shippers to its buy rating: Diana, Eagle, Genco, Paragon,

Safe Bulk Carriers

(SB) - Get Report

and

Star Bulk Carriers

(SBLK) - Get Report

. Those last two stocks jumped 19% and 16%, respectively, to $7.52 and $4.14.

The firm maintained its hold rating on DryShips and Navios.

Analyst Omar Nokta wrote in his report that he and his firm had been pessimistic about the industry since last summer, mostly because of poor demand for steel, but that "market dynamics have been shifting more positively in recent weeks."

Most important for the health of the industry, he said, is that rising prices will help shipping companies meet their loan covenants, under which they'd been struggling since asset values collapsed amid the recession's severe retraction in global trade.

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