The answer is … The Baltic Dry index, which is up 225% on the year. At one time many felt like this index was a good indicator of global growth or lack of. Then a period of time came when many believed that the shipping industry became overbuilt and this index lost its value as a leading indicator.
Is this rally a reflection of global growth, an oversold bounce after a massive decline or just noise? Is this strong rally part of the reason interest rates shot up so much, or just noise?
Many look at the Baltic & Shanghai index as reflecting global conditions of the largest population on the planet. As we finish 2013, both of the Baltic & Shanghai find themselves at key price points that could say much about where they might be a year from now.
Noise or important message? If one uses these two to guide positions in the S&P 500 over the past couple of years, they come closer to being noise than substance. A breakout from these key resistance lines could be a positive global indicator. We will see if these two happen to breakout and what impact they might have on portfolio construction and lagging commodity performance in 2014.
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This article is brought to you courtesy of Chris Kimble which appeared at Advisor Perspectives.