Characteristics of a Bull and Bear Market
Supply and Demand - In a bull market, we see strong demand and weak supply for shares. Many participants are willing to buy shares while few are willing to sell. As a result, share prices usually rise as participants compete to obtain available equity. In a bear market, the opposite is true as more participants are looking to sell than buy. Demand is significantly lower than supply, as a result, share prices drop.
Psychology - Stock market performance and participants psychology are mutually dependent. In a bull market, almost everyone is interested in the market, willingly participating in hopes of obtaining a profit. During a bear market, on the other hand, market sentiment is negative as participants are beginning to move their money out of equities and waiting in fixed-income assets until there is a positive move. Decline in stock market prices shakes investor confidence, which causes investors to keep their money out of the market,which has spiralling effect,causing the stock markets to decline further.
Economy - Since the businesses whose stocks are trading on the exchanges are the participants of economy, the stock market and the economy are strongly connected. Bear market is usually associated with a weak economy as most businesses are unable to record huge profits because consumers are not spending nearly enough. This decline in profits, of course, directly affects the way the market values stocks. In a bull market, the reverse occurs as people have more money to spend and are willing to spend it, which, in turn, drives and strengthens the economy.