Traders no longer know what to make of the surge in shipping stocks. Is a crash imminent? Image source: Getty Images.

What happened

Wednesday was a great day to be a dry bulk shipper -- or own a dry bulk shipping stock, or almost any shipping stock, as it turned out. But already, things are starting to turn dicey.

As you probably recall, shipping concerns Globus Maritime Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLBS) and Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHIP) both scored big gains earlier today. Both largely held on to their gains at day's end, with Globus closing up 188%, and Seanergy 50%.

At the same time, bulk carrying stalwarts such as Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: NNA), Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK), and Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX) joined in the fun. At one point, Navios had risen as high as 15%, Star Bulk came close to hitting 12%, and Diana nearly 21%. Later in the day, however, those gains began petering out. Among this second group, only Navios ended the day with more than a 10% gain (10.4%, to be precise). Meanwhile, Star Bulk saw its gain cut in half, to just 6% -- and Diana Shipping actually booked a loss, down 2.7% at day's end!

So what

Diana's decline Wednesday may be instructive. The shipping stock rally that began with a turnaround in pricing on the Baltic Dry Index just ahead of the presidential election and gathered steam after Donald Trump won the White House, may be hitting the shoals at last.

Crucially, the one dry bulk shipping stock that we haven't mentioned yet -- but must -- is one that sat out the action entirely on Wednesday. Since the election of Donald Trump, shares of DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS) had surged an incredible 1,500%  through close of trading Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, the Nasdaq called a time out and suspended trading in DryShips stock.

Now what

Nasdaq has asked DryShips to provide insight into why its stock has enjoyed such remarkable gains in such a short period. DryShips apparently failed to respond to the Nasdaq's inquiry by day's end, however, as its shares never resumed trading. What's more, the exchange says officially sanctioned trading in DryShips shares will remain suspended until DryShips "has fully satisfied Nasdaq's request." 

That's not preventing investors from day-trading DryShips after hours, however. Indeed, according to Yahoo! Finance data, there was a brief frenzy of trading activity in DryShips stock immediately after close of market, with the shares attempting to rise 64% in seven minutes.

On one hand, that probably sounds optimistic for whenever DryShips shares receive permission to begin trading freely again. On the other hand, it confirms that the craziness that began last week continues to infect these stocks. When trading ultimately does resume, it could just as easily end in tears as in cheers.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.