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Barometer Stock

A stock in a well-known or highly-regarded company in a given sector. The performance of a barometer stock is considered to be an indicator of the performance of its particular sector or industry. The term "barometer stock" is chiefly British; in the U.S., the primary term is bellwether stock.

Bellwether Security

A stock or other security that usually leads the direction of its industry or sector. For example, if a stock begins a bullish or bearish trend a little bit ahead of other stocks, it may be said to be a bellwether security. It should not be confused with a bellwether issue.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


A security that tends to lead the market and signal the general direction of future price movements. An increasing price for a bellwether stock is considered a bullish signal for the overall stock market.
Case Study Securities maintain their bellwether status for varying periods of time. The common stock of General Motors Corporation was considered the stock market's bellwether for many years, until the American economy transitioned from manufacturing to computers and information management and GM's status was supplanted by the stock of International Business Machines. IBM stock's perch as a market bellwether was subsequently replaced by the common stocks of Microsoft and Cisco Systems, two major players in the new Internet economy. The 30-year Treasury bond served as the bond market's bellwether for nearly two decades, until the 10-year Treasury note took its place in the early 2000s. Unlike stocks that lost their status because of their company's products or services, the 30-year bonds were replaced as a benchmark because the U.S. government redeemed a large portion of its long-term debt, causing the 30-year bond to lose its important status in the bond market. The Treasury announced in late 2001 that sales of the 30-year Treasury bonds would be discontinued.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


A market bellwether is a security whose changing price is considered a signal that the market is changing direction.

It gets its name from the wether, or castrated ram, that walks at the head of a shepherd's flock. The distinctive tone of the bell around the wether's neck signals the flock's position.

There's not an official list of these trend setters, or market barometers, and they do change as the overall markets and the fortunes of individual companies change.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
'It's a bellweather. People may not know much about the issue, but they now know there's something wrong with what Israel is doing there.' But, Craig added, 'The part you don't see in the paper is the siege of Gaza, which is always there, the basic injustice.' Yet Israel's attempt to isolate Gaza from the world, and the unprecedented destruction of its 2008 attack ('Operation Cast Lead', which killed over 1,400 Palestinians), has only brought more attention to Gaza's plight.
New directors elected to the CUNA board include Paul Hughes, Greenville Federal Credit Union and Michael L'Ecuyer, Bellweather Community Credit Union.
Considered the trendsetter and bellweather trade show for the home, household and contract textile industry, Heimtextil (January 11-14, 2012), will feature a wide range of textiles for bed, bath and table to product ranges for windows, upholstery, floor, wall and sun protection.
Earlier this week high street bellweather John Lewis posted an 18% drop in profits, with its Waitrose arm hit by the soaring cost of food products.
And employment at temp firms, a bellweather for future permanent hiring, fell.
21 Bellweather Way, Suite 112,
The data is significant since it includes coverage of the bellweather spring/summer selling periods, Memorial Day weekend and Fourth of July.
Although the steak may not have been the most creative choice, it certainly is a bellweather for a restaurant's food and I am sad to say this one was distinctly underwhelming.
For the civil rights movement, the church was the bellweather. It was the organizing force at the grassroots that changed the political wind and brought about the change that politics had failed to achieve.All of us -- Presbyterians, Jews (of all persuasions), Muslims --felt that wind blowing in Minneapolis.
and Nelson, C.A., eds., Integrated Earth and Environmental Evolution of the Southwestern United States: Bellweather (Geological Society of America), p.
In most countries, where the media is the bellweather for matters of public concern, governments watch "Letters" pages and respond like swooping hawks to any criticism.