Home » Bearish Sentiment in Trading

Bearish Sentiment in Trading

« Back to Glossary Index

In the complex world of trading, knowing how people feel about the market is super important. This helps us make smart choices and come up with good plans. One big feeling in financial markets is called “bearishness.” It’s when people expect prices to go down. Let’s explore what being bearish means, what it can mean for trading, and why it matters so much in the ever-changing world of trading.

Exploring the Bearish Perspective

When a trader adopts a bearish stance, it signifies a pessimistic outlook regarding the market’s direction. The belief underlying bearish sentiment is that the market is poised to decline, with prices expected to trend downwards. This sentiment manifests when traders anticipate lower valuations from the current market levels.

When traders are “bearish,” it means they feel negative about the market and expect prices to drop. They believe the market is heading for a fall. A “bearish market” shows a downtrend, with prices making lower highs and lower lows.

The term comes from the image of a bear swiping downward with its paw. Its exact origin is uncertain, but some say it stems from a painting by William Holbrook Beard titled “The Bulls and Bears in the Market,” which may depict the U.S. stock market crash of 1873.

Being bearish signals a negative outlook and pessimism about future price movements. If someone is “a bear” or “bearish,” they hold a negative view and expect prices to fall. For instance, Jane’s “bearish” on the euro, meaning she predicts the euro’s price will decline.

Identifying Bearish Markets

A market is deemed bearish when it enters a sustained downtrend, characterized by the formation of lower highs and lower lows. This downward trajectory in prices reflects the dominance of sellers, who exert pressure on the market, leading to a decline in valuations over time.

Symbolism of the Bear

The term “bearish” finds its roots in the imagery of a bear swiping downwards with its paw, symbolizing the downward movement of prices. While the precise origin of the term remains elusive, folklore suggests its association with historical events such as the U.S. stock market crash of 1873, immortalized in William Holbrook Beard’s painting, “The Bulls and Bears in the Market.”

Embracing Bearish Sentiment

Embracing a bearish perspective entails maintaining a negative sentiment and harboring pessimism regarding the future direction of prices. Traders adopting this stance anticipate declines in asset values and seek opportunities to capitalize on market downturns.

The Bearish Trader’s Strategy

Bearish traders adopt short-selling strategies, aiming to profit from declining prices. By entering short positions, they anticipate selling assets at higher prices and buying them back at lower prices, thus profiting from the price differential.

Bullish vs. Bearish

When you’re “bullish,” it’s the opposite of being bearish.

Being bearish means you’re not optimistic that prices will rise higher from where they are now. On the other hand, being bullish is the opposite: you believe prices will go up from where they are currently.

Bearish traders aim to take short positions. Bullish traders, on the other hand, want to take long positions where they’ll make a profit if the market goes up from its current price.

Bullish Outlook

Contrary to bearish sentiment, being bullish signifies optimism and anticipation of upward price movement. Bullish traders expect prices to ascend from their current levels and endeavor to capitalize on potential market upswings.

Strategies of Bullish Traders

Bullish traders pursue long positions, seeking to profit from rising asset prices. They aim to purchase assets at lower valuations and sell them at higher prices, thereby realizing gains as the market climbs.


In the world of finance, it’s really important to understand what it means when people are feeling bearish. This helps traders make smart moves and plan their strategies well. By understanding the subtle signs of a bearish market, traders can be ready for downturns and take advantage of new opportunities when sentiments change. Getting to know bearish sentiment helps traders make wise decisions and handle the ups and downs of trading with skill and wisdom.

Understanding how bearish sentiment works gives traders a deeper understanding of how markets move, helping them make smart choices and predict changes ahead of time.

Trade on the Go. Anywhere, Anytime

One of the world's largest forex brokers is ready for you. Enjoy competitive fees and dedicated customer support while trading securely. You'll also have access to their tools that make it easier than ever to view your trade history, copy trades, manage investments from other traders, view price charts, and make conversions with zero fees. Make an account for free and join millions of traders and investors on the global forex market.