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Hidden Meanings of 10 Professional Symbols

Wall Street

The bull and bear are two oft-used symbols of Wall Street. A "bear market" is known as a period of time in which the overall trend of the stock market is down. A "bull market" is a period in which the prices in the market rise overall. According to The Motley Fool, the term "bear market" may come from "bear skin jobbers," who sold bear skins before they caught the bears. This term eventually was used to describe short-sellers, who make money buying and selling shares that they don't own (they borrow them). Short-sellers profit when the price of their shares goes down. The theory further goes that since bear baiting and bull baiting were common sports, bull became the counterpart of bear. Others will say the term bear comes from the fact that bears swipe their paws down when fighting, whereas bulls swipe their horns up.

(iStock Photo)

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