The imagery of the bear and the bull is often used to describe the capital markets.
A bear market refers to the expectation that stock prices will fall. One of the leading theories on the origin of the bear term is from a 16th century proverb, “selling the bear’s skin before one has caught the bear”. In the 18th century, people would sell a stock in anticipation of making a profit by buying the stock at a lower price prior to delivery, this was called, “selling the bearskin”.
A bull market refers to the expectation that stock prices will rise. There are several origin narratives concerning the bull term. One of the leading theories, is based on the gruesome blood sport of bull and bear-baiting which forced the two animals to fight each other.
Today, the bear and bull represents the two opposing forces in the capital markets!
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