The recent market downturn due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many investors to worry about the future of the S&P 500. With the S&P 500’s recent peak above 3,700, a drop to 2,200 points, or just over 40%, would represent a significant decline in the index’s value. An extremely bearish downward scenario like this is possible for many reasons. First, the virus’s long-term economic impact could be larger and more emotionally draining than is currently anticipated. If the pandemic continues to spread and cause infections, businesses could face increased disruptions, which would in turn lead to further losses in production, demand, and employment. This can lead to a decrease in investor confidence, resulting in a sell-off of stocks and the resulting downward trend in the market. Second, the global economy is facing an extremely volatile period. The effects of the pandemic have hit U.S and international markets hard, aggravating the already fragile state of trade relations between the U.S and China and weakening already weak consumer confidence. These factors can potentially weaken the stock market further. Third, central banks around the world are employing ultra-low interest rates, with some already in negative territory. These low rates, combined with massive stimulus packages, could lead to an increase in inflation, which could further weaken the stock market. Fourth, there is a potential that Congress will allow the CARES Act benefits to expire in 2021, leading to a decrease in consumer spending. This could mean that companies will suffer further losses due to anemic demand. Finally, the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming U.S election is adding a layer of unease and could potentially lead to a sell-off of stocks. While no one can predict the future, these factors could come together to form a scary downward scenario for the S&P 500. Investment professionals recommend portfolio diversification and keeping long-term trends in mind when making decisions, as this can help minimize risk in accordance with goals and objectives. Staying informed and well-educated on the risk factors involved as the pandemic wears on will be essential to successfully navigating these turbulent times.