Bellwether

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Bellwether'

An event or indicator that shows the possible presence of a trend. The performance of certain companies/stocks and bonds are considered by analysts to indicate the condition of the economy and financial markets because their performance is well-correlated with a trend. Bellwether companies are usually the market leaders in their respective sectors.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS'Bellwether'

A bellwether stock is a stock that is used to gauge the performance of the market in general. For many years General Motors was an example of a bellwether stock, hence the saying, "What's good for GM is good for America." Similarly, a rapid decrease in available steel may indicate economic recovery, since steel is used in manufacturing and building.


The word is a combination of "bell" and "wether". Shepherds would often hang bells around the necks of the sheep that led the flock in order to determine where they were in the fields.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Indicator

    Indicators are statistics used to measure current conditions ...
  2. Bellwether Stock

    A stock that is believed to be a leading indicator of the direction ...
  3. Barometer

    A compilation of market and economic data that represents a general ...
  4. General Motors (GM) Indicator

    An indicator based on the theory that the performance of U.S. ...
  5. Marginable

    Definition of "marginable."
  6. Securities-Based Lending

    The practice of making loans using securities as collateral. ...
Related Articles
  1. Active Trading

    Eight Items That Impact Daily Trades

    Find out which factors can help you squeeze more profit out of each position.
  2. Retirement

    Economic Indicators To Know

    The economy has a large impact on the market. Learn how to interpret the most important reports.
  3. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining Price Targets

    A price target is what an investment analyst projects a security’s future price to be.
  4. Investing Basics

    Understanding Buy Stop Orders

    A buy stop order is an order to buy a stock at a specific price above its current market price.
  5. Investing Basics

    Explaining Bond Ratings

    A bond rating is a grade given to a bond to indicate its creditworthiness.
  6. Investing Basics

    Explaining Absolute Return

    Absolute return refers to an asset’s total return over a set period of time. It’s usually applied to stocks, mutual funds or hedge funds.
  7. Options & Futures

    How to Make Money by Trading Index Options

    Index options are less volatile and more liquid than regular options. Understand how to trade index options with this simple introduction.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Do Stock Splits Cause Volatility?

    Since stock splits decrease the stock price, do they also increase volatility because shares are traded in smaller increments? Investopedia examines assumptions about this increasingly common ...
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard MSCI EAFE

    Learn more about Vanguard's index-shifting, low-cost and non-U.S. market exchange-traded fund: the FTSE Developed ex U.S. Markets ETF.
  10. Investing

    Some Overseas Markets May Prove More Resilient

    Though global markets sold off and have continued to slip in recent days, stocks in Europe and Japan are still faring better than their U.S. counterparts.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the stock market react to changes in the Federal Funds Rate?

    The stock market reacts to changes in the federal funds rate in various ways depending on where it is in the business cycle. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the requirements for being a Public Limited Company?

    The requirements for an entity to be considered a public limited company (PLC) include registration requirements, establishing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I place an order to buy or sell shares?

    It is easy to get started buying and selling stocks, especially with the advancements in online trading since the turn of ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between the return on total assets and an interest rate?

    Return on total assets (ROTA) represents one of the profitability metrics. It is calculated by taking a company's earnings ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Nanny Tax

    A federal tax that must be paid by people who hire household help (a babysitter, maid, gardener, etc.) and pay them a total ...
  2. Dog And Pony Show

    A colloquial term that generally refers to a presentation or seminar to market new products or services to potential buyers.
  3. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  4. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  5. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  6. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!