A Bull Market is a medium to long term stock market trend characterized by rising share prices. Its counterpart is a Bear Market. While it is usually possible to know the market is in bull mode in real time, often it takes hindsight from the perspective of a market correction or crash to know that a bull market had occurred. For example, in the 1920s market prognosticators were quoted as saying the stock market had reached an ongoing plateau. However, the subsequent market crash in 1929 that led to the Great Depression, brought to an end one of the greatest bull markets in history. The 1920s is only one of many bull market examples, and in fact it can be stated that most of the time, the stock market is either in Bull or Bear mode.
Since the stock market is primarily driven by investors, whether it is a bull or bear market is dependent on the “bullish” or “bearish” sentiments of those investors. These terms have become a part of everyday language, perhaps as a result of the famous Merrill Lynch brokerage TV commercial with the memorable tag line, “Merrill Lynch is Bullish on America”, and the company’s stylized bull logo. Both the Bull and the Bear images are frequently used to illustrate media reports and articles concerning the stock market. There is even a large, 7,000 pound bronze statue of a bull, created by the artist Arturo Di Modica, situated in New York’s Bowling Green park near Wall Street.
While the Roaring Twenties bull market was one of the longest and largest in stock market history, there have been many other noteworthy examples. The 1990s bull market was actually longer, from roughly 1991 until the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The 1920s bull market has a greater resonance because of its sudden collapse in late October, 1929 Great Stock Market Crash and ensuing Great Depression.