Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Bellwether


Quick Summary of Bellwether

someone who assumes leadership of a movement or activity.

What is the dictionary definition of Bellwether?

Dictionary Definition

  1. The leading sheep of a flock, having a bell hung round its neck.
  2. Anything that indicates future trends.
  3. A stock or bond that is widely believed to be an indicator of the overall market’s condition.

Full Definition of Bellwether

A bellwether stock is a stock that is generally viewed as an indicator of the overall market or sector direction. IBM, for instance, is a bellwether stock in the computer sector while Intel is a bellwether stock in the chip sector. A bellwether stock is considered a market trendsetter. Since a bellwether stock is widely perceived as an indicator of market direction, when a bellwether stock in any sector slips, the entire sector may see an overall drop in prices. Conversely, when a bellwether stock goes up in price, an entire sector may ride upon its coattails. Bellwether stocks are generally considered to be blue-chip stocks and are typically heavily-traded. The largest bellwether stocks (i.e. Wal-Mart, GE, etc.) are viewed by some investors as a gauge for the entire economy/market.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Bellwether. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
March 01, 2024
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Bellwether. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: March 01, 2024).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Bellwether. Retrieved March 01, 2024
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Bellwether are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 25th March, 2020 | 0 Views.