Secular Trends

Secular Market Trend

A secular market trend is a long-term trend that lasts 5 to 25 years and consists of a series of primary trends. A secular bear market consists of smaller cyclical bull and bear markets. A secular bull market consists of smaller cyclical bull markets and bear markets.

In a secular bull market the prevailing long-term trend is "bullish" or upward-moving. The US stock market enjoyed secular bull markets from the latter 1940s into the mid-1960s and again from about 1983 to 2000, with brief upsets including the crashes of 1987 and 1998.

In a secular bear market, the prevailing trend is "bearish;" downward-moving or at best sidewise. The US stock market suffered secular bear markets from 1929 until the latter 1940s and again from the latter 1960s until about 1983.

A secular bear market existed in Gold from January 1980 to June 1999. During this period the nominal gold price fell from a high of $850/oz to a low of $253/oz and became part of the Great Commodities Depression. Gold was in a secular bull market from the spring of 2001 until at least August 2011 during which period it ran up from the $250s to a high of more than $1,800/oz. (It's not yet clear whether that secular bull market has exhausted itself or not with Gold back down in the $1,300s.)