The stock market's unusual pattern this week has historically been a big sell signal

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Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, August 13, 2019.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

The stock market has done something so unusual this week that it has only happened 19 times in the past 30 years, and the strange pattern could be an ominous sign if history is any guide.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2% on Monday, followed by a 1.5% rebound in the next session, and Wednesday’s brutal sell-off saw the benchmark losing 2.9% amid the recession signal from the bond market. This consecutive whiplash for the S&P 500 — down 1%, up 1% and down 2% — is a rare occurrence in market history and going back to 1928, the index has lost 2.5% on average in the six months after the phenomenon occurred, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

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