A bull market, also known as a bull run, is a long, extended period in the market when stock prices are on the rise. There is no single stat or metric that defines when we are in a bull market, but one common rule of thumb is stock prices increasing at least 20% from its most recent low, with signs that they will continue to grow.
The term is most often applied to the stock market, as measured by the major indexes: the S&P 500, the tech-heavy Nasdaq, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But a bull market can also occur in anything that can be bought or sold, from individual stocks to other assets such as real estate, bonds, and currencies.
A bull market is the opposite of a bear market, which happens when stock prices are falling. The nomenclature makes it easy to remember the difference: When aroused, bulls charge. They’re known for running at great speed, and so they became a symbol for a surging stock market. In contrast, surly, defensive bears are associated with hibernating — hence, the perfect metaphor for a declining or sluggish stock market.