Recession Warning: Expert Jon Wolfenbarger Predicts a Major Market Downturn

Former JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch banker Jon Wolfenbarger sounds the alarm bells for a looming recession. With clear evidence of contracting manufacturing activity and negative real gross domestic income, this expert warns that high valuations and historical norms point to a potentially severe market downturn. Find out why the S&P 500 could experience a massive 48% drop.

Contracting Manufacturing Activity: A Clear Indicator of a Recession

Discover why the Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures manufacturing activity, points to potential economic contraction.

The Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has been signaling a slowing economy for months now, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

When the PMI registers a reading below 50, it indicates contraction in manufacturing activity.

Incredibly, the manufacturing index has been below 48 for the past eight months, approaching durations similar to those in previous recessionary periods.

Negative Real Gross Domestic Income: Another Alarming Warning

Explore why real gross domestic income (GDI), a key measure of economic growth, provides critical evidence of an impending downturn.

Real gross domestic income, similar to GDP, has turned negative year-over-year for three consecutive quarters.

Historically, when GDI falls for three successive quarters, it is closely associated with recessions.

We've seen this trend play out in the past, even when GDP growth remained positive during the same time period. It could indicate that a recession is imminent.

High Valuations Spell Trouble for Stock Market

Understand the risks associated with elevated valuations and how they contribute to the threat of a market downturn.

Both the Shiller cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio and the famous Warren Buffett indicator, market cap-to-GDP, show valuations at historically high levels.

While these measures have pulled back from their all-time highs, they still resemble levels seen during previous market bubbles, such as in 1929, 2000, and 2008.

Such elevated valuations have historically been a harbinger of bear markets, which can lead to significant declines in stock prices.

Impending Downturn: Potential Market Impact

Explore the dire forecast of a 48% drop in the S&P 500 index and how it aligns with historical norms and the overall economic landscape.

According to Jon Wolfenbarger, the founder of Bull And Bear Profits, a severe market downturn could result in a nearly 48% plunge in the S&P 500 index.

Such a significant drop is in line with historical bear markets tied to recessions. It could also be necessary to align valuations with long-term averages. Additionally, this level would provide investors with the potential for 5% annual returns based on historic norms.

However, it's important to note that the most bearish strategists on Wall Street predict a less severe decline, bases on current assessments. Extreme drops of over 40% have occurred twice since the turn of the century, indicating the possibility of substantial market shifts.

Other Economic Indicators Align with Downturn Signals

Uncover additional economic gauges pointing to a recession and complementing the warnings from manufacturing activity, gross domestic income, and high valuations.

The Treasury yield curve, where shorter-term durations offer higher yields than longer-term durations, has a flawless track record of preceding recessions.

Another signal comes from The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index, which combines various economic factors and is currently pointing towards a downturn. This index has a perfect track record as well when it comes to predicting recessions.

Add impending recessionary concerns are the tightening of lending standards by banks, which indicates potential financial fragility and impacts both consumers and businesses.


In summary, the warning signs of an impending recession are becoming increasingly clear. The Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Managers' Index, negative real gross domestic income, and high valuations all point to an economic downturn on the horizon. It is crucial for investors to be aware of these indicators and consider adjusting their strategies accordingly.


Are there any positive factors that could mitigate the severity of the anticipated market downturn?

Although the indicators discussed in this article suggest a potentially severe market downturn, it is important to remember that economic conditions are dynamic. Positive factors such as monetary policy adjustments, stimulus measures, or breakthroughs in trade negotiations could potentially mitigate the severity of the anticipated downturn. As such, it is essential for investors to continue monitoring economic developments and adapt their strategies as needed.

How long does it typically take for the economy to recover from a recession and for stock markets to regain their losses?

The duration and recovery period of an economic recession vary based on numerous factors, including the root causes of the recession and subsequent policy responses. Generally, economic recessions can range from several months to several years. The recovery process may take time as the economy stabilizes and rebuilds momentum. The stock market's recovery timeline may differ from the overall economic recovery, depending on investor sentiments, market conditions, and corporate earnings performance. Investors should adopt a long-term perspective and consider their individual financial goals when strategizing.

Is it advisable to invest in defensive stocks or diversify my investment portfolio during uncertain economic times?

During uncertain economic times and expected market downturns, it can be prudent for investors to consider defensive stocks or sectors that are traditionally more resistant to economic fluctuations. Defensive sectors such as healthcare, consumer staples, utility companies, or dividend-paying stocks with stable business models may provide greater stability in volatile markets. Furthermore, diversifying your investment portfolio across different asset classes, sectors, and geographical regions can help mitigate risk and potentially minimize the impact of a market downturn on your overall portfolio. It is crucial to consult with a financial advisor or conduct thorough research before making any investment decisions.

What steps can individuals take to protect their investments during a market downturn?

Protecting investments during a market downturn requires a strategic and proactive approach. Here are some steps individuals can consider: 1. Regularly review and rebalance your investment portfolio to align with changing market conditions. 2. Focus on long-term investment objectives rather than short-term market fluctuations. 3. Consider diversifying your investments across different asset classes and sectors. 4. Maintain an adequate cash reserve for emergencies. 5. Stay informed about economic and market trends, and seek professional advice if needed. Remember, market downturns are an inherent part of investing, and patience and discipline can be key to long-term investment success.

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