Shipping stocks were largely down Tuesday on the heels of a report that ship owners may anchor the largest number of vessels since the 1970s.

GAC Solutions, which provides services to the shipping industry, told Bloomberg that about 1,000 container and commodities ships are anchored with no cargo and that hundreds may be harbored for months or years.

Shares of Excel Maritime Carriers ( EXM) were recently down 6.1% to $6.01 ahead of the company's fourth-quarter earnings report. Analysts expect earnings per share of $1.04 on $123.53 million in revenue.

In a bit of good news, General Maritime ( GMR) shares got a boost Tuesday after an analyst at JP Morgan upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral. Shares were recently rising 3.1% to $8.24.

Elsewhere in the sector:

DryShips ( DRYS) shares were down 6.9% to $4.76.

Eagle Bulk ( EGLE) shares were down 4.8% to $4.35.

Genco ( GNK) was falling 5.2% to $13.20.

Diana Shipping ( DSX) was down 3.7% to $12.74.

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