Bulls, Bears and History of Wall Street Monikers

Everybody talks about bull and bear markets, especially the current one, often called the longest bull market in history at just under 3,800 days. But nobody seems to agree on an exact definition, or knows where the prevailing ones originated, including many investment professionals.

Analysts often say that a bull market is defined by a 20% rise from a market index's most recent lowest point; a bear market, a 20% decline from its latest high.

Variations on that are countless—and endlessly confusing. Only by looking back at the history of these terms can you can get a better sense of what they mean, why they matter and how you should factor them into your thinking.

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