If you come across some overturned garbage cans with large footprints surrounding them, you have discovered possible evidence of a bear. Yet, it is usually hard to say for certain how nearby a bear actually is, much less its size or threat level.

The same can be said for a bearish market—just as possible bear sightings stir up whirling thoughts and rumors, fluctuations in the economy provoke fears of a looming threat of recession.