A Bear Market is a prolonged period of time, which sees a decline in the market value of many stocks. Often, markets will fall into a downtrend in anticipation of economic decline or periods of inflationary concern. Most analysts do not call a bear market unless there has been a drop of at least 20% from the market's high. Rising interest rates will often throw bonds into a bear market. The term "bear" is derived from how the animal attacks, as a bear will strike downward with his paw.