Bullish vs Bearish: What’s The Difference?

bullish vs bearish
Image source: Warrior Trading

The names “bull” and “bear” are widely used in the investing sector to describe market circumstances. These words explain how stock markets in general are performing, that is, whether they are increasing or falling in value. And, as an investor, market direction is a major force that has a significant impact on your portfolio. As a result, it’s critical to understand how each of these market conditions may affect your investments. Here’s all you need to know about bullish and bearish markets.

Bullish vs Bearish: Overview

A bull market is one in which the demand is rising and the economic conditions are generally favorable. A bear market develops when the economy is contracting and most stocks are losing value. Because investor attitudes strongly influence financial markets, these phrases also imply how investors feel about the market and the resulting economic developments.

A bull market is distinguished by a steady rise in prices. A bull market in equities markets signifies an increase in the prices of company shares. In such cases, investors frequently believe that the uptrend will continue in the long run. The country’s economy is normally strong in this situation, and job levels are high.

A bear market, on the other hand, is one that is in decline. Unless a market has declined 20% or more from recent highs, it is not regarded as a true “bear” market. Share prices are constantly falling in a bear market. As a result, investors believe the downward trend will continue, which feeds the downward spiral. During a bear market, the economy slows and unemployment rises as businesses begin to lay off employees.

Bullish vs Bearish: What’s the Difference?

The primary difference between bullish and bearish is an attitude or belief about the stock market. An optimistic investor believes that prices will rise, whereas a pessimistic investor believes that prices will fall. Bullish and bearish patterns and trends in major stock market indexes are frequently used to describe patterns and trends.

It’s easy to get your financial market animals mixed up because both bulls and bears are enormous, muscular, and known for territorial behavior. However, in a bull market, stock market values rise by at least 20% from their previous low, and in a bear market, stock market values fall by at least 20% from their recent top.

Bullish vs. bearish Etymology

The origins of the phrases “bull” and “bear” as financial terms are unclear, but etymologists agree that “bear” emerged sooner.

Merriam-Webster attributes the term to an old saying that states it is foolish “to sell the bear’s skin before one has caught the bear.”

By the 18th century, “selling the bearskin” had become a euphemism for selling a borrowed stock with the intention of repurchasing and returning it at a lesser price later – a pessimistic activity now known as short selling.

People who made money by “selling the bearskin” (short selling stocks) became known as “bearskin jobbers,” which was later reduced to “bears.”

The origin of “bull” is murkier, although it appears to have arisen merely because investors and market analysts desired another animal metaphor to contrast with “bear.”

Bullish vs Bearish: Investor Reactions

All of this is to say that most investors cannot forecast when a bull market will turn into a bear market and vice versa. So market timing is never a good idea.

Individual investors are frequently frightened by bad market stories and suffer from loss aversion bias, in which losses loom larger than gains. However, the market often performs well in the long run.

Bull market expansions have typically been longer and more protracted than bear market declines.

Institutional investors, such as banks, corporations, and wealth management businesses, are more concerned with the long term and less concerned with the present. That is why most financial gurus would advise you to hold your investments through both bear and bull markets.

Another way to look at it is as follows: The S&P 500 has gained more days than it has lost. From March 2009 to early 2020, the United States saw the longest bull market (131.4 months) and period of economic prosperity in its history, with gains of more than 400%.

Bear market declines, on the other hand, are a normal reaction to a variety of economic and geopolitical reasons, such as war, energy crises, worldwide pandemics, market speculation, inflation, and rising interest rates.

Bullish vs Bearish Market: Characteristics

Although the direction of stock prices indicates whether a market is in a bull or bear market, there are certain more features that investors should be aware of:

#1. Securities Supply and Demand

In a bull market, there is a high demand for securities and a low supply. To put it another way, many investors want to buy assets but few want to sell them. As a result, as investors fight for available equity, share prices will climb.

In a downturn, the converse is true: more people want to sell than buy. Because demand is much lower than supply, share prices fall.

#2. Investor Behaviour

Investor psychology and mood influence whether the market rises or falls because the market’s behavior is influenced and determined by how individuals perceive and react to its behavior. Stock market performance and investor psychology are inextricably linked. In a bull market, investors participate willingly in the hope of profit.

During a bear market, market sentiment is negative, and investors begin to shift their money away from stocks and into fixed-income instruments as they wait for the stock market to recover. To summarise, the drop in stock market values has shaken investor confidence. As a result, investors keep their money out of the market, causing a general price decrease as outflow grows.

#3. Economic Activity Variation

Because the companies whose stocks trade on the exchanges are also players in the larger economy, the stock market and the economy are inextricably interwoven.

A sluggish economy is related to a bear market. Most businesses are unable to generate large profits because consumers do not spend enough. This drop in profitability has a direct impact on how the market values equities.

In a bull market, the opposite happens. People have more money to spend and are eager to do so. This propels and fortifies the economy.

Observing Market Changes

The key predictor of whether the market is bullish or bearish is not the market’s immediate reaction to a certain event, but how it performs over time. Small changes are only indicative of a short-term trend or market correction. Only over a longer time period can we predict whether or not there will be a bull or bear market.

However, not all long market fluctuations can be classified as bullish or bearish. A market may experience periods of stasis while it searches for direction. A succession of upward and downward movements would cancel out profits and losses in this situation, resulting in a flat market trend.

Is It Better To Buy Bullish Or Bearish?

Growth companies do well in bull markets, while value equities are usually better buys in bear markets. In bull markets, value stocks are often less popular due to the idea that “undervalued” stocks must be low for a cause.

Is Bullish Buy Or Sell?

Bulls are attempting to purchase stocks in the hope that their value will rise. Meanwhile, bears believe they may find greater returns elsewhere and intend to sell part or all of their holdings. It’s important to note that you can shift from bullish to bearish depending on a variety of things.

Does Bullish Mean You Should Buy?

Based on their study, bullish traders assume that a market will have an upward price movement. Being bullish is purchasing an underlying market (also known as going long) in order to benefit later by selling the market at a higher price.

What Is The 3 Day Rule In Stocks?

The three-day settlement rule specifies that a buyer must send payment to the brokerage firm within three business days of the trading date after purchasing a stock. The rule also compels the supplier to deliver the goods within that time frame.

How Do You Know If A Stock Is A Buy Or Sell?

The most common valuation tool is a price-earnings ratio (or P/E), which divides the share price by the earnings per share. The value decreases as the number decreases. A P/E ratio of less than 15 is regarded as a good deal for US companies, while a P/E ratio of more than 20 is considered a bad value.

What Is Bullish In Crypto?

A bull cycle occurs when the prices of cryptocurrencies continue to rise for an extended length of time. During bull markets, the majority of investors are bullish, supply exceeds demand, and market confidence is high. Price changes are a typical occurrence in financial markets.

Are We In A Bull Or Bear Market As Of 2023?

The S&P 500 entered a bull market on June 8, 2023, after gaining 20% from its October 2022 lows after being in a bear market since June 2022. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq both entered bull markets on November 30, 2022, and May 8, 2023, respectively.

Where Do the Terms Bull and Bear Come From?

The terms “bear” and “bull” are supposed to come from how each animal behaves. Because bulls charge, the moniker refers to a soaring stock market. Bears, on the other hand, hibernate, hence bears signify a declining market.

What Lasts Longer, A Bull Or A Bear Market?

Bull markets often last longer than bear markets, though this can range from a few months to many years. A bull market lasts an average of 2.7 years. The longest bull market occurred immediately following the Great Recession, beginning in 2009 and lasting until 2020. Bull markets are also more frequent.

In comparison, the average length of a bear market is less than 10 months, though some have lasted for years: the longest was during the Great Depression and lasted 61 months.

What 90% Rule In Trading?

The ’90-90-90 rule’ is a very widespread term in the industry. According to statistics, 90% of traders lose 90% of their money in the first 90 days. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in your 90s… Make no mistake, the entire industry is geared up to get that exact result, 90-90-90.

How Do You Know If A Coin Is Bullish?

One of the simplest ways to assess if a market is bullish or bearish is to look at current Bitcoin values. Furthermore, rising asset values signal increased market confidence and an impending bull run. In contrast, falling asset values suggest a lack of confidence and an impending bear market.

Bullish vs Bearish: Conclusion

A bullish investor is someone who believes that the price of one or more stocks will rise. A bearish investor believes that prices will fall and that significant wealth will be lost. In some ways, both types of investors are motivated by fear: the optimistic investor is motivated by fear of missing out, while the bearish investor is motivated by fear of losing riches. The prevalence of these phrases demonstrates the importance of investors’ attitudes or moods in buy-and-sell decisions.

  1. Demand-Pull Inflation: Meaning & Causes
  2. Inelastic Demand: Meaning, Elastic vs Inelastic Demand
  3. SMALL BUSINESS BOOKKEEPING: Tips & Best Bookkeeping Software Picks
  4. How To Manage Contracts: Everything You Need To Know


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *