Bear vs Bull Market: Here’s The Difference And What To Know

In a bull market, which is a continued rise in stock prices, you’ll likely see high investor confidence and a perception that there’s a strong economic environment. As prices fall, fewer people invest and more people sell off, unwilling to risk losing money as no one knows how low the market will go. With less demand, stock prices decrease even more, which can create the same type of recursive cycle downward that bull markets do upward. The term bull market is applied to a market (especially a stock market) in which prices are, on average, rising. At any given time, the market is usually described as one or the other—with bull and bear markets alternating as part of an ongoing cycle. Inflation can occur in bull and bear markets, but it’s often more pronounced in bull markets.

Investors can accept short-term unprofitability for long-term gains. They look for companies on the path to profitability and have more patience. More people find jobs, and companies raise salaries to retain talent. As a result, most employees feel more confident about approaching their boss for a raise.

But when they do, the bear market results in an average decline of 32.5% from the market’s most recent high. During a bear market, market sentiment is negative; investors begin to move their money out of equities and into fixed-income securities as they wait for a positive move in the stock market. In sum, the decline in stock market prices shakes investor confidence. This causes investors to keep their money out of the market, which, in turn, causes a general price decline as outflow increases. That being said, a robust economy—one with low unemployment, increasing wages, healthy levels of consumer spending and production, and moderate inflation—tends to coincide with a bull market.

  1. Learn how to create a trading plan, the benefits of having a trading plan, and how it could help you improve your trading performance.
  2. Plus, the recent bank failures could foreshadow impending troubles for small businesses seeking out credit.
  3. GDP increases when companies’ revenues are increasing and employee pay is rising, which enables increased consumer spending.
  4. Historically, bear markets tend to be shorter than bull markets.
  5. As the market starts to rise, there becomes more and more greed in the stock market.

A bull market is when the stock market is in an overall uptrend over the course of months or years. Simply put, bull markets are characterized by a strong, aggressive upward move over some time. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy.

How Long Does a Bull Market Last?

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Marc is an avid runner who aims to run over 100marathons in his lifetime. The debt-ceiling raise in 2011 resulted in a 12% plunge in the S&P 500 merely three weeks after the lawmakers issued the bill. A market drop isn’t guaranteed if the Fiscal Responsibility Act is put into action but investors fear that borrowing may become more expensive as government spending levels fall. If you’re unsure of your next moves, the best financial advisors can help you make smart investment decisions and give expert advice for short-term and long-term investing goals.


We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn’t influence our assessment of those products. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn’t influence our assessment of those products. Most experts agree that a bear market is one in which securities prices have fallen 20% from recent highs, if not more, spawning widespread pessimism from investors. The difference between a bear market and a bull market is the direction of prices and the general success or health of the market. Simply put, it’s a bull market when prices are going up, and it’s a bear market when prices are going down.

On the other hand, a bearish market is when the performance of the market is on the decline. The most cut and dry answer to what is the difference between a bull and bear market. These interest rates slow down businesses, which hurts consumer spending. Some bear markets emerge because of interest rate hikes designed to counter runaway inflation. Controlling inflation prevents the costs of goods and services from rising endlessly, but rising interest rates push us closer to a bear market. The broader market declines or stays stuck during a bear market.

One of the most famous examples of a bear market takes the form of the 1987 market crash, which saw a 29.6% drop that lasted roughly three months. Bull markets can last as long as six years and sometimes longer, with an average length of five years. As a noun, bear can refer to a person who believes that market prices, especially of stocks, will decline. As a noun, bull can refer to a person who believes that market prices, especially of stocks, will increase. We have a basic stock trading course, swing trading course, 2 day trading courses, 2 options courses, 2 candlesticks courses, and broker courses to help you get started. What we really care about is helping you, and seeing you succeed as a trader.

Bear markets almost never last as long as bull markets and can create buying opportunities for investors. According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a bull market is defined as a time when stock prices are rising and market sentiment is optimistic. Generally, a bull market occurs when there is a avatrade broker rise of 20% or more in a broad market index over at least a two-month period. When stocks are rising during a bull market, it usually indicates a time of economic expansion, that the economy is strong and investors are confident. Since 1932, the average length of a bull market has remained just under four years.

During a bear market, the economy slows down and unemployment rises as companies begin laying off workers. The characteristics that make up bull and bear market types differ greatly, and determining the difference between bull and bear markets can be difficult to understand for beginner traders. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about bullish sentiment and bearish sentiment. They are both market types that are very common in the financial markets during an economic cycle. A bull market happens when the prices of financial assets increase over a sustained period of time. Conversely, a bear market happens when asset prices decrease over a sustained period of time.

Should You Buy in a Bear Market?

Many investors in a bull market will usually be rewarded for buying and holding stocks for an extended period, as these investment prices tend to rise over time. Conversely, investors who buy and hold assets in a bear market commonly experience significant losses. Bullish traders typically buy stocks when the market is trending upward and sell them off when they start to decrease in value, which leaves profits on their hands during a bull run. Bearish investors normally do the opposite by selling shares of stock after it increases in price and then buying more once it reaches its low point again. A bull market is an economic upturn characterised by increasing employment, strong economies, and increasing GDP (gross domestic product). This is the opposite of a bear market which has fewer job opportunities, lower salaries, and decreased corporate gains due to increased competition.

Bear markets are closely linked with economic recessions and depressions. Recessions are formally declared when GDP decreases for two consecutive quarters, while depressions occur when GDP decreases by 10% or more and the downturn lasts for at least two years. Are you wondering why these phases are named “bull phase” and https://forexhero.info/ “bear phase”? One of the most common reasons for this naming convention is the way these two animals ferociously attack. A bull charges ahead, thrusting its horns up in the air and a bear will use its claw to grab and drag its victim down. This movement is metaphorically the characteristic of the market condition.

The bear market occurred during what some referred to as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet sometimes the markets can behave differently from the larger trends. This is observed when we are investing in direct equity while choosing a stock. In a bearish trend there could be signs of bullish phases and vice versa. In other words, bear markets can lead to opportunities for long-term investors to put money to work.

The longest bear market took place shortly after the dot-com bubble, lasting from 2000 to 2002. While you should try not to sell during a downturn, a bear market may also provide a reminder to revisit your investing strategy once the market recovers. Even though you know a market recovery will happen, you may realize that your willingness to take on risk is less than you thought. It’s important to note, though, that even during bear markets, the stock market can see big gains.

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