Artifacts of Finance: Bull and Bear, Wall Street’s Good Luck Icon
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There is debate as to the exact origins of the terms “bull” and “bear” markets. But, many agree that the term “bears” first originated in reference to London bearskin brokers who would speculate on the future purchase price of the skins they acquired from trappers. The bulls were likely designated the opponents of the bears due to the popular 19th century blood sport of pitting bears against bulls. It has also been suggested that the metaphor is derived from the manner in which the animals attack, with the bull thrusting its horns up, and the bear swiping its paw down.