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A bear market is associated with falling share prices in the market and perceived negative sentiment across the market.

Common characteristics of a bear market are large volumes of share sales due to negative outlooks. This in turn drives down the price of shares further.

It is called a ‘bear’ because a bear swipes its paws in a downward motion when attacking its enemies. This is the opposite direction to the way a ‘bull’ attacks, a bull market is associated with a rising market.