The trade war between the United States and China has lasted for more than one year — and a resolution is nowhere in sight.World Economyread more
The Fed is expected to cut rates Wednesday, but it is unlikely to tell markets what they want to hear on future rate cuts.Market Insiderread more
Pelosi said Trump should not have tried to address China's trade practices in a way that opened Americans up to financial pain.Politicsread more
Investors await the Fed's latest decision on monetary policy, set to be released on Wednesday stateside. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to cut rates by 25 basis...Asia Marketsread more
TransferWise posted an annual net profit of £10.3 million on revenues of £179 million.Technologyread more
Live the high life with a night's stay at Highclere Castle, the iconic stately home made famous by Downton Abbey.Spendread more
Large banking institutions face the risk of failure if interest rates in Europe continue to stay negative, warns the global chief economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit.Banksread more
The fallout from two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes has ensnared the manufacturer's most-loyal customer: Southwest Airlines. The carrier has canceled thousands of...Airlinesread more
Brent crude oil jumped the most in history in the previous session after attacks on Saudi's oil industry disrupted the kingdom's production.Marketsread more
In the survey, conducted after the third in the Democratic Party's series of debate, the former vice president draws 31% compared to 25% for the Massachusetts senator. At 14%,...2020 Electionsread more
Stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, but gains were capped as the Federal Reserve kicked off a two-day monetary policy meeting.US Marketsread more
It's helpful to know what a "bear market" is, because based on history it looks like we could be here for a while.
The term on Wall Street is synonymous with serious, long-lasting declines in stock markets. In numeric terms, a bear market is a 20 percent or more drop from a recent peak.
The hit that milestone on Monday, dropping 20 percent from its 52-week high. Markets have stumbled through what is usually one of their best months of the year, with indexes on track for their worst December performances since 1931, during the Great Depression.
Aside from a percentage drop, there are other, more emotional ways to measure a bear market.
Pessimism tends to prevail. When good news isn't enough to hold off sellers and despite solid economic conditions, markets continue to tank — that's a bear market. The glass-half-full scenario is often overlooked, and any positive news seems to be forgotten by the close of trading.
In December, oversold markets have struggled to make a comeback, suggesting that investors are worried about something bigger. Still, economic fundamentals are not giving red flags of a recession, which is usually a necessary condition for a full-fledged bear market.
If this bear market is anything like the last time, it could take some time to recover.
Since World War II, bear markets on average have fallen 30.4 percent and have lasted 13 months, according to analysis by Goldman Sachs and CNBC. When that milestone has been hit, it took stocks an average of 21.9 months to recover.
Even when stocks enter "correction" territory, which is defined by at least a 10 percent drop from a recent high, there's a long road to recovery. History shows corrections last four months, and equities slide 13 percent before finding a bottom.
Traders have a laundry list of things to watch heading into next year. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, making it more expensive to borrow money. Last week, the central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate for a fourth time this year while Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled it would continue to unwind its balance sheet at the current pace.
Investors are also focused on tense trade talks with China, a government shutdown that could last through the end of this week and oil prices.
— CNBC's Michael Santoli contributed to this report.