During the two major bear markets of recent past (2000 & 2008), in both instances, the market didn't experience it's big percentage drop until after the Fed began to lower rates which normalized the yield curve. The green up arrow below illustrates the Fed lowering the Fed funds rate, and the red down arrow illustrates the ensuing market drop of the S&P 500. If the Fed is lowering rates, it's generally because the market is experiencing some stresses and slow downs that if not curtailed, could get out of control. Currently the yield curve is more inverted than both of those previous examples combined. It would be foolish to think that a recession is not on the horizon. The question is how severe will it be and can the Fed indeed orchestrate a "soft landing" to avoid a deep recession...?