Applies to derivative products. Strategy in the options or futures markets designed to take advantage of a fall in the price of a security or commodity. A bear spread with call options is created by buying a call option with a certain strike price and selling a call option on the same stock with a lower strike price (with the same expiration date). A bear spread with put options is where an investor buys a put with a high strike price and sells a put with a low strike price. With futures, the investor sells the nearby contract and purchases the next out contract. All of these strategies are designed to profit from a fall in the underlying asset's price.
Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University