On the Stock Exchange the obverse of the bear. Bull speculators buy shares, commodifies, currencies, etc., forward; i.e. they contract to buy at a price fixed in advance at a future date in the anticipation that when the contract matures the price in the market will have risen. In a period of rising prices they will therefore have the advantage of buying at a price lower than that prevailing at the time the contract falls due for completion, and will profit accordingly. They must therefore act on careful anticipation. which may or may not be realized. Like bears they may, if circumstances permit. carry over the contract to another account period; the cost of doing so is known as contango. Bulls do not necessarily buy forward; they may buy now and hold the stock in the expectation of a future price rise which will earn a profit. Bull markets generally refer to forward purchasing in a period of rising prices. Perhaps the most notorious of all bull markets was the south sea bubble, which burst in 1720 and, in addition to leaving a wake of financial ruin and freak fortunes, set the growth of a credit economy in the U.K. back some 200 years.
|Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.|