Why Bull and Bear?

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BogleMelon
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Why Bull and Bear?

Post by BogleMelon »

Market goes up.. it is a Bull
Market goes down.. it is a bear

Why these 2 animals? Why not dogs and cats?! :confused
Last edited by BogleMelon on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
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nisiprius
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Re: Why Pull and Bear?

Post by nisiprius »

Basically... nobody knows. Like many things in languages, "it just is." The names go back at least to the 1700s; Wikipedia quotes a 1769 book:
The Bubbles are indeed burst, and the Race Horses of Exchange-Alley long since dead, but Bulls and Bears still subsist in their original vigour and full strength.
One thing that's important to remember though, is that before the SEC, bulls and bears didn't mean people who expected or hoped the market would go up or down, it means people who were trying to make the market go up or down. Stock market manipulation was assumed. There were giant battles between groups of speculators trying to ruin each other. Basically, the group with the most money would probably win, and so both groups tried to keep it a secret how many people were in on it and supporting their operations.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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jhfenton
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Re: Why Pull and Bear?

Post by jhfenton »

What is a Pull? :beer

(I don't know the origin of "bull" and "bear" without Googling it.)
mhalley
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Re: Why Pull and Bear?

Post by mhalley »

I suppose you mean a Bull and not a Pull?
From investopedia:
The bear and bull markets are named after the way in which each animal attacks its victims. It is characteristic of the bull to drive its horns up into the air, while a bear, on the other hand, like the market that bears its name, will swipe its paws downward upon its unfortunate prey. Furthermore, bears and bulls were literally once fierce opponents when it was popular to put bulls and bears into the arena for a fight match. Matches using bulls and bears (whether together or gains other animals) took place in the Elizabethan era in London and were also a popular spectator sport in ancient Rome.
Historically, the middlemen who were involved in the sale of bearskins would sell skins that they had not yet received and, as such, these middlemen were the first short sellers. After promising their customers to deliver the paid-for bearskins, these middlemen would hope that the near-future purchase price of the skins from the trappers would decrease from the current market price. If the decrease occurred, the middlemen would make a personal profit from the spread between the price for which they had sold the skins and the price at which they later bought the skins from the trappers. These middlemen became known as bears, short for "bearskin jobbers", and the term stuck for describing a person who expects or hopes for a decrease in the market.


Read more: Digging Deeper Into Bull And Bear Markets | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/ba ... z4Yh7BsyRZ
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BogleMelon
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by BogleMelon »

I meant Bull. English is my second language :happy
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
kenner
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by kenner »

Bulls are very aggressive, especially in an arena (i.e., bullrings in Ernest Hemingway's depictions of Spain).

Bears hibernate/sleep for lengthy periods of time.

Maybe as good a guess as any.
PaulF
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by PaulF »

The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) dates bear to early 18th century, and gives this explanation:
8. Stock Exchange. A speculator for a fall; i.e. one who sells stock for delivery at a future date, in the expectation that meanwhile prices will fall, and he will be able to buy in at a lower rate what he has contracted to deliver at a higher. Formerly, The stock so contracted to be delivered, in the phrase ‘to buy’ or ‘sell the bear;’ see 1b.
[As applied to stock thus sold, bear appears early in 18th c., and was common at the time of the South Sea Bubble. The term ‘bearskin jobber,’ then applied to the dealer now called the ‘bear,’ makes it probable that the original phrase was ‘sell the bearskin,’ and that it originated in the well-known proverb, ‘to sell the bear's skin before one has caught the bear.’ The associated bull n.1 appears somewhat later and was perhaps suggested by bear.]

a.
1719 Anat. Change Alley in N. & Q. (1876) 5th Ser. VI. 118 [Those who buy Exchange Alley Bargains are styled] buyers of Bear-skins.
1726 D. Defoe Polit. Hist. Devil ii. vi. 279 Every secret Cheat, every Bear skin-Jobber.
b.
1709 R. Steele Tatler No. 38. ⁋3 Being at that General Mart of Stock-Jobbers called Jonathans..he bought the bear of another officer.
1709 R. Steele Tatler No. 38. ⁋5, I fear the Word Bear is hardly to be understood among the polite People; but I take the meaning to be, That one who ensures a Real Value upon an Imaginary Thing, is said to sell a Bear.
1714 C. Johnson Country Lasses i. i, Instead of changing honest staple for Gold and Silver, you deal in Bears and Bulls.
1721 C. Cibber Refusal i. 16 And all this out of Change-Alley? Every Shilling, Sir; all out of Stocks, Putts, Bulls, Rams, Bears, and Bubbles.
1731 N. Bailey Universal Etymol. Eng. Dict. To sell a Bear [among Stock-jobbers], to sell what one hath not.
a1744 Pope Suppl. Vol. Wks. (1825) 187 Come, fill the South Sea Goblet full, The Gods shall of our stock take care, Europa pleas'd, accepts the Bull, And Jove with joy puts off the Bear.

For bull, the OED thinks it was influenced by the above bear, as mentioned above. However, I note that the OED lists bull in a different sense as meaning bubble as early as 1561.

Here is the relevant entry for the stock market:
For stocks, in particular,
8.
a. Stock-Exchange [see bear n.1 8 ]. One who endeavours by speculative purchases, or otherwise, to raise the price of stocks. Bulls and Bears, the two different classes of speculators. Bull was originally a speculative purchase for a rise.

1714 C. Johnson Country Lasses i. i, You deal in Bears and Bulls.
1721 C. Cibber Refusal i. 16 And all this out of Change-Alley? Every Shilling, Sir; all out of Stocks, Putts, Bulls, Rams, Bears, and Bubbles.
1761 Brit. Mag. 2 278 The cow turned into 'Change-alley, which frighted not a little not only all the bulls, but the bears too.
1817 Scott Rob Roy I. iv. 74 The hum and bustle which his approach was wont to produce among the bulls, bears, and brokers of Stock-alley.
1880 F. Hall in 19th Cent. Sept. 437 (note) , Can Mr. Bryant really have supposed financial bulls and bears to be peculiar to Wall-street, New York?
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David Jay
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by David Jay »

Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? :confused
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dm200
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by dm200 »

David Jay wrote:Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? :confused
Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

How come wrong numbers are never busy?
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

David Jay wrote:Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? :confused
And pay on the freeway?
It's "Stay" the course, not Stray the Course. Buy and Hold works. You should really try it sometime. Get a plan: www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement
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jhfenton
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by jhfenton »

BogleMelon wrote:I meant Bull. English is my second language :happy
:sharebeer No worries. One of my life ambitions is to butcher as many languages as possible.
PaulF
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Re: Why Bull and Bear?

Post by PaulF »

dm200 wrote:
David Jay wrote: Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
Actually, there aren't any.
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