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Taylor Tepper

What’s a bull market and what’s a bear market? And why are they called that?

Investing terms can get confusing, and if you aren’t nose deep in market commentary, you might feel left out.

All you need to know, generally speaking, is that a bull market is good and a bear market is bad.

A bull market means that there’s optimism around a particular market and prices are rising. Ever since the Great Recession, there’s been a bull market in stocks. There was a bull market in housing right up until its collapse. A long bull market in bonds began in the mid-80s.

A bear market is the opposite. In a bear market, prices are falling and there’s widespread pessimism about the future. A bear market officially kicks in when prices have dropped by 20%. Think 2008.