WHAT IS BEAR MARKET? what that means Wall Street is in a bear market.
A bear market is a term used by Wall Street when an index like the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or even an individual stock, has fallen 20% or more from a recent high for a sustained period of time.
Why use a bear to represent a market slump? Bears hibernate, so bears represent a market that’s retreating, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. In contrast, Wall Street’s nickname for a surging stock market is a bull market, because bulls charge, Stovall said.
The S&P 500, Wall Street’s main barometer of health, slid 3.9%. It’s 21.8% below its record set early this year and now in a bear market.
The Dow industrials sank 2.8% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, which already was in a bear market, tumbled 4.7%.
The most recent bear market for the S&P 500 ran from February 19, 2020 through March 23, 2020. The index fell 34% in that one-month period, the shortest bear market ever.
Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a slowdown in China’s economy have led investors to reconsider what they’re willing to pay for a wide range of stocks, from high-flying tech companies to traditional automakers. Big swings have become commonplace and Monday was no exception.
The last bear market happened just two years ago, but this would still be a first for those investors that got their start trading on their phones during the pandemic. Thanks in large part to extraordinary actions by the Federal Reserve, stocks have for years seemed to go largely in only one direction: up.
The “buy the dip” rallying cry after every market slide has grown fainter after stinging losses and severe plunges in risky assets like cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin fell below $23,000 on Monday. The price for Bitcoin neared $68,000 late last year.
HOW LONG DO BEAR MARKETS LAST AND HOW DEEP DO THEY GO?
On average, bear markets have taken 13 months to go from peak to trough and 27 months to get back to breakeven since World War II. The S&P 500 index has fallen an average of 33% during bear markets in that time. The biggest decline since 1945 occurred in the 2007-2009 bear market when the S&P 500 fell 57%.
History shows that the faster an index enters into a bear market, the shallower they tend to be. Historically, stocks have taken 251 days (8.3 months) to fall into a bear market. When the S&P 500 has fallen 20% at a faster clip, the index has averaged a loss of 28%.
The longest bear market lasted 61 months and ended in March 1942. It cut the index by 60%.