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Positive reactions from stock markets can be described as the markets "rallying peters out". See this guardian article for an example of this usage.

I don't quite understand this proverb. Where does it come from and how to interpret it? Is it linked to St. Peter for instance?

EDIT: I edited the tags, as this is not about a proverb

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You've misunderstood. The headline "market rally peters out" means that the "market rally" (the market's partial recovery) "petered out" (trailed off; gradually ended). In other words, the market went up briefly, but then it stopped. There is no proverb here.

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That makes perfect sense, thank you! –  joergl Jul 31 '12 at 13:56

To peter out is a verb that means "to diminish gradually" or "to dwindle".

The etymology seems to be uncertain, and may be related to St Peter. The Phrase Finder traces the first use of the phrase to the Californian Gold Rush.

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