bull market


Definition of bull market 

: a market in which securities or commodities are persistently rising in value — compare bear market

Examples of bull market in a Sentence

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But that announcement came just before the historic 2017 bull market for cryptocurrency came to an end, and the company’s stock has slumped since. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Nasdaq Says It Will Delist Long Blockchain, the Iced-Tea-Turned-Bitcoin Company," 20 Feb. 2018 At the same time, the bull market in stocks stalled. James F. Peltz, latimes.com, "Higher interest rates are spurring a subtle shift to cash investments. But don't expect to get rich," 22 June 2018 The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 25% last year as the 9-year-old bull market in stocks rolled on. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Wall Street bonuses jump 17% to average of $184,220 in 2017," 26 Mar. 2018 The market correction does not mean that the bull market in stocks — which have been roaring since March 2009 — is over. Matt Phillips And Tiffany Hsu, New York Times, "Stocks Plunge as Market Enters ‘Correction’ Territory," 8 Feb. 2018 Since the current long-term bull market in equities began in 1982, the nominal value of the U.S. stock market has climbed at a compound annual rate of 9.7%. Tom Saler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tom Saler: The connection between corporate profits, public incomes is imprecise, at best," 12 Jan. 2018 The phenomenon most responsible for the epic bull market now in its 10th year isn’t FOMO—fear of missing out—but TINA—there is no alternative. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Would Cam Newton Buy Stocks Now?," 22 May 2018 There may well be a final upward leg to the bull market in stocks. The Economist, "Even stockmarket bulls are more cautious than at the start of the year," 12 July 2018 But as one of the greatest bull markets in history took off, professional stockpickers struggled to generate adequate returns. Hugh Son, Bloomberg.com, "Wall Street’s Big Banks Are Waging an All-Out Technological Arms Race," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bull market.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bull market

1858, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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The first known use of bull market was in 1858

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bull market


Financial Definition of bull market

What It Is

A bull market is a period of several months or years during which asset prices consistently rise. The term is usually used in reference to the stock market, but it can describe specific sectors such as real estate, bonds or foreign exchange. It is the opposite of a bear market, in which securities prices consistently fall.

How It Works

Identifying and measuring bull markets is both art and science.

One common measure says that a bull market exists when at least 80% of all stock prices rise over an extended period. Another measure says that a bull market exists if market indices rise at least +15%. Of course, different market sectors may experience bull markets at different times.

The causes and characteristics of bull markets vary, but most financial theorists agree that both economic cycles and investor sentiment both play a role in the creation and momentum of bull markets. In general, a strong or strengthening economy, indicated by high employment, high disposable income and high business profits usually ushers in a bull market.

Rising investor confidence also indicates a bull market and is perhaps more powerful than any economic indicator. When investors believe something is going to happen (a bull market, for example), their actions can turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Although difficult to quantify, investor sentiment can show up in mathematical measurements like the put/call ratio, the advance/decline line, IPO activity and the amount of outstanding margin debt.

Why It Matters

Regardless of their exact beginnings and ends, bull markets typically have four phases.

In the first phase, prices are low, investor sentiment is low, and investors are pessimistic about future prices. In the second phase, stock prices, trading activity and corporate earnings begin to increase and economic indicators are above average. Investor sentiment also gets more optimistic.

In the third phase, market indexes and many securities reach new trading highs. Trading activity continues to increase, and dividend yields reach historic lows. In the fourth and final phase, there is excessive IPO activity, trading activity and speculation. Stock P/E  ratios are also at historic highs. As investors take profits or react to bad news or negative indicators, bull markets generally unravel.

Bull markets usually present a multitude of moneymaking opportunities for investors because prices generally rise across the board. But bull markets don't last forever and they don't always give advance notice of their arrival, so the investor must know when to buy and when to sell to maximize his or her profits. This means the investor must attempt to time the market, or gauge when a bull market has begun and when it is ending.

Analysts spend thousands of hours trying to determine what will trigger the next bull market and how long it will last. Technical analysis is especially prevalent in this effort, although less sophisticated indicators such as hemline fashions or the NFL division of the last Super Bowl winner also provide fodder for such predictions.

For details on the history of the words that describe market trends, read The Quirky And Brutal Origins Of The Terms 'Bear' And 'Bull.'

Source: Investing Answers

bull market


English Language Learners Definition of bull market

: a market (such as a stock market) in which prices are going up

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evasion of direct action or statement

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