bull market

noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: AP Photo The yearslong expansion in U.S. corporate profits may be coming to an end sooner than investors expected, a warning sign for the nearly decadelong bull market. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "The Bull Market’s Next Test: A Possible Earnings Slump," 7 Feb. 2019 And now there's been a battle back and forth between he and President Obama who takes the credit for this bull market, the longest in history. Fox News, "Ken Langone on preventing Hurricane Florence price gouging," 12 Sep. 2018 Whether the downdraft goes down in history as a mere hiccup, or spells the end to one of the longest bull markets in recent memory is, of course, anyone’s guess. Lu Wang, Bloomberg.com, "When Will It End? Bloodied Traders Are Seeking Clues," 11 Feb. 2018 That sign of a healthy economy suggests to some investors that the bull market has more room to run. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Stocks Start Off 2019 With a Bang," 27 Jan. 2019 Bullion could top $1,400 an ounce in 2018 as escalating trade tensions drive investors to havens and the three-decade bull market in bonds nears an end, said Rule, who’s due to speak at a conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Ranjeetha Pakiam, Bloomberg.com, "Gold Is Heading to $1,400 If Trade War Breaks Out, According to Sprott," 2 Apr. 2018 The mighty tech titans and their seemingly endless pipeline of profits, which powered one of the longest bull markets in stocks, are looking a little less invincible. Matt Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Tech stocks lead slump that erases November’s gain," 19 Nov. 2018 Technology stocks helped propel the nine-year bull market. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Technology Companies Drag Stock Markets Down Again," 27 Mar. 2018 Now, as the Federal Reserve looks certain to raise rates at least three times this year, the group is trotted out as Exhibit A for why the nine-year bull market might be in danger. Bloomberg.com, "Fed Chair Jerome Powell Testifies to Congress," 28 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of bull market

1858, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bull market

Share bull market

Statistics for bull market

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bull market

The first known use of bull market was in 1858

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bull market

bull market

noun

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

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bull market

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bull market

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bull market

Nglish: Translation of bull market for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bull market

Comments on bull market

What made you want to look up bull market? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!