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Data: Baltic Exchange: Chart: Axios Visuals

The Baltic Dry Index, a bellwether of the maritime shipping industry, continues to sink and a main component has fallen below zero to a record low, the Wall Street Journal reported.

What's happening: The Baltic Exchange’s capesize index, a component of the Baltic Dry Index that tracks the world's largest dry-bulk carriers, dug deeper into negative territory Tuesday, after going negative on Friday for the first time.

Why it matters: The Baltic Dry Index is seen as representative of demand for raw materials, which can be an early indicator of increasing or decreasing global growth. The index fell by more than 90% in just a few months in 2008.

Yes, but: The index is "much more complicated than the guys on CNBC or the WSJ would have you believe," a spokesperson for the Baltic Exchange tells Axios.

  • "This is an index of freight rates. ... It’s based on the assessment at a specific time by brokers who are specialists in the various routes."
  • "It's important to remember we’re neither in the Baltic, nor an exchange."

Fun fact: The capesize index is so named because it tracks only ships too large to fit through the Suez or Panama canals that must pass through the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn.

Go deeper: Climate change is opening a new era in Arctic shipping

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
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  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.