What is a bear market?

A bear market is a decline of at least 20% from a recent peak.

bear market occurs when a security falls at least 20 percent from a recent peak.

Stock-market indexes, single stockscommodities and all other types of financial instruments can experience one.

While bear markets typically occur during periods of economic weakness, they often begin when the economy looks strong. That’s because the stock market is forward-looking, often six or 12 months into the future.

There have been 26 bear markets in the history of the S&P 500, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Bear markets have no set length as their duration depends on a number of factors including the economy and decisions specific to a company or industry.


The average bear market has lasted 142 trading days and seen a decline of 36 percent, the data showed. After exiting its bear market, the S&P 500 has taken an average of 1,120 days to return to its previous peak, As a reference, there were 252 trading days last year.