The inventory market sell-off could possibly be removed from over if the U.S. financial system is headed towards a recession, in line with Goldman Sachs. The S & P 500 dropped 4% on Wednesday, placing it on the sting of an official bear market . The catalyst for the sell-off seemed to be weak earnings stories from retail shops this week, which urged that inflation is beginning to eat into shopper spending and company income. While an financial contraction just isn’t assured, Goldman tasks a 35% likelihood of a recession over the subsequent two years. That alerts that there’s a danger of a much bigger drop for shares, in line with chief U.S. fairness strategist David Kostin. “Across 12 recessions since World War II, the S & P 500 index has contracted from peak to trough by a median of 24%. A decline of this magnitude from the S & P 500 peak of nearly 4800 in January 2022 would bring the S & P 500 to approximately 3650 (11% below current levels). The average decline of 30% would reduce the S & P 500 to 3360 (-18% from today),” Kostin wrote in a notice to shoppers on Wednesday night. Recent financial information has been combined, with first-quarter GDP turning damaging and the housing market exhibiting indicators of cooling even because the labor market has remained robust. Inflation, nonetheless, stays stubbornly excessive, elevating considerations that the Federal Reserve must harm the financial system with a view to rein in costs. With Target and Walmart now becoming a member of Big Tech shares in deep drawdowns, the market is beginning to look extra like a pre-recession surroundings. Since 1981, the highest performing sectors proper earlier than recessions embrace utilities, vitality, shopper staples and well being care, in line with Goldman. “During the 12 months before a recession, defensive sectors and ‘quality’ factors have generally outperformed,” Kostin wrote. Once a recession begins, nonetheless, shopper staples and well being care are by far the very best performers, in line with Goldman, whereas the vitality sector badly lags the broader market. Timing the market is all the time a tough proposition for buyers, and recession-driven strikes aren’t any exception. Historically, the inventory market begins to fall earlier than a recession formally hits after which bottoms earlier than the financial system has shifted again to progress. However, one occasion the place that sample did not maintain was the 2000 recession and related tech bubble, which some strategists have used as a comparability level for the present inventory market decline. “In that instance, the market continued to decline well after the economic recession ended, troughing a full 8 months after the recession ended and a full 30 months after its pre-recession peak,” Kostin wrote. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.