The stock market may have had a strong week, but we are nowhere near out in the clear. For one, SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) has failed to recapture new highs, remaining stuck below strong overhead resistance at the 210 level. The more important indicator, however, has been weakness surrounding market-based indicators of global economic health.
DryShips offers ocean transportation services for dry bulk and petroleum cargoes, and profits directly from shipping rates derived from the Baltic Dry Index. Due to its reliance on Baltic Dry rates, DryShips' stock price closely correlates to the index. Over the last year, company's stock price has fallen 93%, from $3.00 to now just $0.16 per share. The collapse in commodity prices, due in large part to an economic slowdown in China has incited such a decline.
In fact, this week Baltic Dry rates fell to its lowest levels since 1985. Furthermore, falling demand for industrial metals, such as copper, have also weighed on shipping rates, as well as been an indication of continued global economic weakness. Copper has come to be known as Dr. Copper over the years, as it correlates to the true health of economic output in the world economy.
Since the summer of 2014, the price of copper is down nearly 60%. Falling global manufacturing output, especially in East Asian countries, has lessened the demand for both industrial metals and energy-related commodities.
The steep losses in both DryShips and copper signal that the global push towards easing monetary conditions has done little to strengthen the true underlying economy. Asset prices might further inflate in coming months, but until the global economy can provide fundamental justification for such increases, we need to call the rally what it really is, a bubble.