Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Bullsand Bears

Bulls and Bears. On the London Stock Exchange the "bull" was originally a speculative purchaser of stock for future delivery, in the hope that it would rise, while the speculative seller, whose interest it was that the stock should fall, was called bear. The latter term was apparently earlier, and suggested by a proverb about "selling the bearskin before you have the bear" (since the speculative seller sells what he does not yet possess). "Bull" in this sense may have been suggested by "bear." Possibly as it" is the bull's object to make the stock go up, some fancied resemblance between his asseverations of its excellence and the bellowings of a bull may have suggested the term. The terms are now used to denote anyone who tries to produce a rise or a fall respectively in certain stocks. Thus, to "bear Argentine stocks" may mean to try to lower the public estimate of their value.