Given that it tracks the cost of shipping goods around the world, the Baltic Dry Index is often looked to as a leading indicator of the global economy. However, if the global economy was anywhere near as volatile as this index, we'd all be a lot more stressed. While the index is considerably higher today than it was a year ago, it has been on a wild ride. Following the 49% decline back in the Summer of 2009, the Baltic Dry Index rallied 113.5% before once again falling 44.5% from November through February. Since then, the index has rallied 51% and is up 8% in the last week alone.