Investors hoping that the worst of the bear market has already occurred may be overly optimistic, history shows. Bank of America technical research strategist Stephen Suttmeier said in a note to clients over the weekend that the market could take another leg lower if the US economy falls into a recession, as many expect, because the S & P 500 rarely bottoms out before a recession begins. “History suggests that if the US economy experiences a recession, the SPX bottoms out during the recession and not before. Only the March 1945-October 1945 recession saw the SPX rally ahead of and throughout the recession,” the note said. “Average and median SPX declines associated with recessions are 32.5% and 27.1%, respectively, and lasted 13.1 and 14.9 months, respectively. This equates to SPX 3500 to SPX 3240 in February to April 2023,” Suttmeier added. The S & P 500 closed Friday at 4,071.70. The US suffered two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth earlier this year, but that has not been declared a formal recession by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Job growth has remained positive, and US GDP grew again in the third quarter. Some Federal Reserve officials are holding out hope for a so-called “soft landing,” but many economists and investors expect a recession next year. A rapid slowdown in the housing market, tech sector layoffs and a falling savings rate are some of the areas that have raised concern about the direction of the economy. Canaccord Genuity strategist Tony Dwyer is one of the Wall Street pros who sees a recession and a market bottom coming soon. Dwyer said in a note to clients Monday that he has a “very high conviction” that there will be a recession in 2023, with the potential for a market rebound later in the year. He pointed to the historical track record of market bottoms coming after the start of a recession as one reason for short-term pessimism about the market. “We continue to believe risk assets should bottom in the first half and may see a significant rally in the second half as the Fed realizes it has gone too far with rate hikes in a leveraged system and changes course earlier than expected. We would enter 2023 with a more defensive posture, with an eye on adding risk as the market begins to more fully reflect the likelihood of recession,” Dwyer said. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.