It's helpful to know what a "bear market" is, because history makes it seem like we can be here for a while.
Aside from a percentage decline, there are other, more emotional ways to measure a bear market.
Pessimism tends to prevail. If good news is not enough to keep sellers, and despite solid economic conditions, the markets continue to fill up – that's a bear market. The glass half full scenario is often overlooked, and all positive news seems to be forgotten by the close of trading.
In December, the oversold markets made a comeback, suggesting that investors are worried about something bigger. Nevertheless, the economic fundamentals do not give a red flag to a recession, which is usually a necessary condition for a fully developed bear market.