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

Recent Examples on the Web The longest-ever bull market for stocks ended last week just days after marking its 11th anniversary. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "How bad is the stock market sell-off?," 18 Mar. 2020 Monday’s move put the index close to 20 percent below its record high, a drop that would have ended the bull market for stocks that began exactly 11 years ago. BostonGlobe.com, "Stocks plunge in worst drop since 2008," 10 Mar. 2020 Trump delivered his address amid a new wave of panic — both inside and outside the White House — on the same day the World Health Organization labeled the virus a pandemic and the longest bull market in American history came to a crashing end. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, "Trump attempts to frame coronavirus as a foreign threat," 11 Mar. 2020 Such turbulence is putting the vitality of the longest-ever bull market in jeopardy. Time, "The Stock Market Just Fell So Fast That Trading Was Halted for the First Time Since 2008," 9 Mar. 2020 Such turbulence is putting the vitality of the longest-ever bull market in jeopardy. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "S&P 500 falls 7%, triggering market-wide trading halt," 9 Mar. 2020 The result has been stocks bouncing way up from the recent lows that had ended the 10-year bull market. Washington Post, "Dow jumps 700 points, as U.S. stocks post second week of gains on hopeful coronavirus signs," 17 Apr. 2020 But as the historical data also reveals, bull markets run longer than bear markets. USA TODAY, "Not sure what to do in a bear market? Here are ways to protect your savings," 13 Apr. 2020 To the disappointment of investors and the president, the onset of the pandemic stamped out what was previously the longest-running bull market in American history. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Our Never-Ending Recession," 20 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bull market

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The first known use of bull market was in 1858

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Statistics for bull market

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bull market.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bull%20market. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for bull market

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

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

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