A death cross for the S&P 500 highlights a stock market in tatters

The S&P 500 index on Friday has joined the ranks of market benchmarks forming that dreaded Wall Street chart pattern: the death cross.

Read: Bearish death crosses keep popping up, this time in retail and technology stocks

A death cross has materialized in the S&P 500 SPX, -0.15% with the 50-day moving average at 2,759.28.02, below the 200-day moving average of 2,762.02, according to FactSet data.

A death cross is what chart watchers refer to as the point where the 50-day — a short-term trend tracker — crosses below the 200-day, which is used to define the longer-term trend. Many believe the cross marks the point where a shorter-term decline graduates to a longer-term downtrend.

Read: How a looming S&P 500 death cross could chase away the stock market’s Santa rally

S&P 500’s Thursday action— falling in tandem with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.32% ( and briefly with the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.42% )— helped deliver a breach for the large-cap index’s short-term trend line beneath the 200-day.

The formation marks the first time the 50-day MA was below the 200-day for the S&P 500 since April 22, 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data. However, the last time that a death cross formed was in January of 2016.

The move for the benchmark comes amid a series of bearish patterns that have cropped up in equities and fixed-income markets, highlighting growing concerns about the durability of a bull run in stocks that has lasted about a decade as the economy’s vital signs have also been strong, in a long-running, if measured, rebound from the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Thursday’s slump — coming after bond and stock markets were closed during a day of mourning following the death of the 41st U.S. president, George H.W. Bush — has been

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