Secular market

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Secular Market

A market as defined by its overarching, long-term trends. Generally, a secular market refers to trends over a period of five or more years. A secular market may be bullish or bearish, and, in market analysis, takes precedence over opposite, short-term trends that happen within the secular market. For example, the Great Depression in the United States lasted from 1929 until World War II (certainly a bearish secular market). Even though some years saw significant GDP growth (including 14.2% growth in 1936), this did not prevent the secular market from being bearish. Thus, a secular market describes general trends in the market without regard for anomalous trends in the interim. See also: Cyclical market.
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Secular market.

A secular market is one that moves in the same direction -- up or down -- for an extended period.

Benchmark indexes continue to rise to new, higher levels during a secular bull market despite some short-term corrections. Similarly, during a secular bear market, index levels decline or remain flat despite short-term rallies.

In addition, the average price-to-earnings ratio increases substantially during a secular bull market before reaching a top and falls during secular bear markets before hitting a bottom.

Secular markets tend to move in cycles, or predictable though not regular patterns, so that a secular bull market is followed by a secular bear market, which is followed by a secular bull market, and so on.

For example, the bull market of 1982 through 1999 followed the bear market of 1966-1981. The length of secular markets varies, from as few as 4 or 5 years to more than 20 years, though when one begins and ends becomes clear only in retrospect.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Once we understand the role of short cyclical moves within the context of longer-term secular markets, it becomes easier to put the regular declines in context.
She graduated from Oxford High School in Oxford, Mississippi in 1997, attained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with distinction from the University of Massachusetts in 2002, and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago in 2009 where she wrote her thesis on "Islamic Finance Regulation in Secular Markets."
Exuberance and malaise, greed and fear define cyclical stock market cycles, whereas secular markets are created by economic conditions.
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Smith to Jars of Clay, have tried "crossing over" to secular markets, with varying degrees of success.