Pulling In Their Horns


DEFINITION of 'Pulling In Their Horns'

A collective shift by investors toward a less bullish stance after a substantial run-up in prices of financial assets. Since it involves a lesser degree of buying by investors, or even active selling by them, asset prices generally decline as investors pull in their horns in favor of a more bearish stance.

BREAKING DOWN 'Pulling In Their Horns'

The phrase is reportedly derived from the fact that because an upward market is called a bull market, investors "pulling in their horns" denotes a more cautious approach than rampant bullishness.

This change can either be a temporary phase, as investors re-enter the market after a price decline, or it may be the precursor to a protracted decline. In extreme cases when asset prices have increased especially sharply and valuations are extended, the period when investors pull in their horns may be the first sign of a impending bear market.

  1. Bull Position

    A long position in a financial security, such as a stock in the ...
  2. Sell-Off

    The rapid selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and commodities. ...
  3. Herd Instinct

    A mentality characterized by a lack of individual decision-making ...
  4. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, ...
  5. Bull Market

    A financial market of a group of securities in which prices are ...
  6. Implied Volatility - IV

    The estimated volatility of a security's price.
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