Why Eagle Bulk Shipping Stock Soared 31% Today

By Markets Fool.com


Eagle Bulk Shipping stock is going up -- but what's supporting it? Image source: Getty Images.

Continue Reading Below

What happened

Shares of Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE) are up sharply in Friday morning trading, rising as high as 31% before falling back to a (still respectable) 23.3% gain as of 11:45 a.m. EST.

So what

With no company-specific news to explain the rise, investors are forced to cast their eyes about, in search of a reason why the stock has suddenly become so popular -- but you needn't look far.

Eagle Bulk is, you see, a shipper of dry bulk cargo -- coal, grain, cement, and so on. As such, its fortunes are tied to the rates that it, and other bulk shippers, can charge for transporting this type of goods. Luckily, on the other side of the Atlantic, there happens to be a readily accessible information source that will tell you these rates: the Baltic Dry Index (BDI).

Continue Reading Below

And right now, the BDI is flashing green, with rates up 6.9% since Donald Trump won the election, and up 22% since late October.

Now what

You may have noticed I didn't tell you the exact value of the BDI. (It's actually 974 "points"). The reason for this is that the number doesn't seem to mean much, except as an indication of where rates stand relative to where they stood when the BDI was first published (as the Baltic Freight Index) on Jan. 4, 1985.

Back then, the BDI was given an arbitrary valuation of 1,000 points. Thus, numbers greater than 1,000 (such as the 11,793-point high hit on May 20, 2008) indicate that dry shipping is a really profitable business. Conversely, numbers lower than 1,000 (such as the all-time low of 290 points hit on Feb. 10, 2016) indicate the business is downright lousy.

Right now, the BDI's score of 974 points shows that the shipping business is starting to get back to normal. That's great news for Eagle Bulk Shipping investors, and probably the reason why Eagle Bulk Shipping stock is doing so well today.

10 stocks we like better than Eagle Bulk Shipping
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Eagle Bulk Shipping wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of November 7, 2016

Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own shares of, nor is he short, any company named above. You can find him onMotley Fool CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handleTMFDitty, where he currently ranks No. 336 out of more than 75,000 rated members.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.