Along the road of progressively higher long-term stock prices, there have been dozens of bull and bear markets. Although some bear markets have been steep (the S&P 500 declined over 40% during 2000–2002, for example), every bear market has ended at some point. Further, every bear market was followed by a bull market. And every prior bull market peak has ultimately been eclipsed by a higher peak. Indeed, the long-term pattern of the stock markets has been higher highs and higher lows.