What is a Bull Market? Definition & Indicators

Bull markets often coincide with a strong economy and optimistic market sentiment; investors have a more positive outlook when inflation keeps a steady pace. However, that does not necessarily mean we are currently in a raging bull market right now. Remember, the stock market needs to increase by about 20% after a period of sharp decline to be named an official bull market. While it’s true that the S&P 500 does usually climb after experiencing a down year, it doesn’t always do so. And if a recession is right around the corner, the odds that the stock market will fall seem pretty high.

  • For example, stocks entered a bull market in March 2009, amid the Great Recession, and lasted until COVID-19 effectively shut down the world economy in March 2020.
  • Secular bull markets can experience several market corrections (10% decrease) along the way but keep sustained growth over a more extended period.
  • Bull markets typically occur with a growing economy, as rising corporate profits translate into rising stock prices.

The phrases were first published in the 18th-century book, “Every Man His Own Broker,” by Thomas Mortimer. Think of a bear swiping downward with its claws, knocking the market down. Bull markets are fueled by a number of different factors, including economic growth, low interest rates, a strong labor market and high consumer confidence. Bull markets and bear markets have occurred with predictable regularity over the past century, and both are a normal part of a healthy economic cycle. There have been 12 bull markets since the S&P 500 launched back in 1957, meaning a new one has started roughly once every 5.5 years.

Is a Bull Market on the Way in 2023? Here’s What History Shows

The use of long positions in stocks, ETFs, and call options is appropriate in bull markets and periods of strong market performance. Short selling, put options, and short or inverse ETFs, on the other hand, are appropriate for bear markets and allow investors to profit on the market’s downturn. Bull and bear markets are considered a couple that is used frequently to describe market conditions and whether stock prices are rising or falling. A bear market is when prices depreciate, whereas a bull market is when they appreciate.

  • Investments in T-bills involve a variety of risks, including credit risk, interest rate risk, and liquidity risk.
  • A retracement is a brief period in which the general trend in a security’s price is reversed.
  • And if a recession is right around the corner, the odds that the stock market will fall seem pretty high.
  • The bull market of the 1990s saw the S&P 500 post a 417% return over its nearly nine and a half years.

Several aspects, such as supply and demand, change in economic activities, and investors’ psychology affect the market – whether it goes bull or bear. When a Bull market comes to an end, a bear market follows, which is often characterized by equities dropping by 20% or more from their recent high. Dwindling market confidence, declining money management forex corporate profitability, and recessions are all common occurrences during Bear markets. The value of gold decreased as the gold bear market continued for the most part from 1987 to 2001, after which gold experienced some spectacular bull runs. Bonds are a lot more stable and less dependent on market movements than stocks.

Over the longest-possible term, bull markets have gone higher and lasted longer than bear markets. So, as an investor, you probably want to know, what does a bull market mean? Basically, a bull market is when prices rise in the stock market, such as the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). The market is considered bullish when prices rise at least 20% over a period of 2 months or more. Generally, any consistent and persistent upward trend is referred to as a bullish market.

What Is a Bull Market?

This includes the 2011 anxieties over the spread of the European sovereign debt crisis. It also includes the most recent market plummet in the fourth quarter of 2018. Much of this massive drop was caused by fears of a global economic slowdown, a U.S.-China trade war, and rising U.S. interest rates. Meanwhile, the bull market following the Great Depression is close behind our current bull market.

Markets tend to go through periods of boom and bust known as bull markets and bear markets, respectively. The length of a bull market can vary widely, with some lasting just a few months, while others may last years. If prices fall 10% or less, it is considered to be a market correction. At 20%, the bull market is mourned by investors as the bear market begins.

The bear sold a borrowed stock with a delivery date specified in the future. This was done with the expectation that stock prices would go down and the stock could be bought back at the lower price, what to invest in with 10k with the difference from the selling price kept as profit. This type of selling was used by many people involved in an early eighteenth-century scandal in England known as the South Sea Bubble.

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The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers. With dollar cost averaging, you invest a fixed amount of money into a security or securities at set intervals. It went from 6,594.44 in 2009, to a high of 29,551.42 on February 12, 2020, returning 348%. Regardless of what the market is doing, you should maintain a long-term focus to cultivate long-term wealth. While it can be a smart idea to invest when stocks are cheap, it’s unwise to try to time the market.

What is a secular bull market?

The term is most commonly used in reference to the stock market, but other asset classes can have bull markets as well, such as real estate, commodities, or foreign currencies. When a market is doing well, the prices in that market will increase. This increase in market prices over an extended period of time is called a bull market. When people use the term ”bull market”, they are usually taking about the stock market; however, a bull market can refer to any item that can be traded, such as real estate, currencies, or bonds. A bull market is roughly defined as an upward trending line that continues to slope higher.

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But we don’t believe this bull market, though it’s been exceptionally long, has run its course just yet. Many economists still see growth in the economy and aren’t expecting a recession anytime soon. Unemployment continues to fall and the recent corporate tax rate cuts can help keep spending elevated. Some of the biggest and scariest drops during this recent bull market have been attributed simply to surging investor fear.

Bull markets are often accompanied by gross domestic product (GDP) growth and falling unemployment, and companies’ profits will be on the rise. Investors who want to benefit from a bull market should buy early in order to take advantage of rising prices and sell them when they’ve reached their peak. Although it is hard to determine when the bottom and peak will take place, most losses will be minimal and are usually temporary. Below, we’ll explore several prominent strategies investors utilize during bull markets. However, because it is difficult to assess the state of the market as it exists currently, these strategies involve at least some degree of risk.

Those who invest in the market are confident due to the rising prices and they believe that the market will continue to do well. A bull market is a cycle in which prices continue to rise over a certain period of time. As an example, let’s look at some of the longest bull markets since World War II.

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