Bull Market definition
A Bull market is defined by a rise in the stock market index back above the bear market level that was set in the previous business cycle. A bear market level is defined by a 20% fall in an index from its high of previous business cycle.
A bull market is a broad stock market upward movement, interrupted by technical corrections and averages longer than two years. During bull markets, stock prices advance because of a demand created by investment and speculative buying caused by improving business conditions.
There are three phases of a bull market period: the first is represented by a reviving confidence in business activity; the second is the response of stock prices to an improvement in corporate earnings and the third is the characterized by increased speculation and hyper optimism.
Bull Market Example
The latest bear market experienced in the S&P 500 was in 09/07/2008. S&P 500 closed on 09/10/2007 at a high of 1565.15. The bear market level was reached on 09/07/2008 with a close of 1244.69 (1565.15 x 0.8 = 1252.12).
The new bull market was triggered on 21/12/2010 when S&P 500 closed at 1254.60.
The main characteristic of a bull market is that price movements in all major averages (S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones Transportation Average, Russell 2000) jointly break to new highs consistently, reacting in declines to low points above the lowers in previous technical corrections.
Statistically, the median extent of a bull market is 86% increase in prices from the previous bear market low. The median duration of bull markets is two years and seven months.
The beginning of a bull market is indistinguishable from technical bounce in a bear market. Technical corrections in bull markets are marked by sharp declines.