Market handicappers see another 5% to 8% downside if key level for the S&P 500 fails

Traders on the floor of the NYSE, May 6, 2022.
Source: NYSE

Four months into a hazardous market retrenchment marked by trap-door declines, thwarted rallies, squeezed financial conditions and unhappy endings for many dozens of "story stocks," investor attention has turned decisively toward quantifying the risk rather than projecting quick reward.

More In Santoli on Stocks

CNBC ProSantoli: Markets are marinating in macro anxiety thanks to not-so-great economic data
CNBC ProSantoli: The S&P 500’s first-half slump may not be as rare – or as scary – as all the talk suggests
CNBC ProSantoli: Stocks are in the 'prove it' zone as traders gauge latest inflation expectations data