A few weeks ago, he predicted the Dow would drop to 10,428, which it did. Now, he told me by email, "the rally that follows will be brief, and then lead to another leg down to 9,673 and further."

"Lows are not to be expected until 2012," he concluded. "Next month is critical. If we break the low of August in September, there is worse to come."

Mark Arbeter, the chief technical analyst of Standard & Poor's, said back in May and June that the bull market was probably over, as I reported in this column. He hasn't changed his position.

By email, he said he "would look for some stabilization and a potential short-term rally now that the S&P 500 has fallen into a major zone of chart support . . . between 1,023 and 1,128."

Ultimately he thinks the S&P could fall to 1,020, or maybe as low as 935. That would be 15% below Wednesday's close, and would definitely mark a new bear market.

Michael Kahn, who writes the Getting Technical column for Barrons.com (subscription required) and the Quick Takes Pro blog, has long argued we're in a secular (long-term) bear market, and he thinks the cyclical bull is over, too. Like Arbeter, he sees 1,010 to 1,050 as the next level of support for the S&P, and below that, 930.

"I think it stops at 930 to make the 2000s-2010s follow the 1970s very closely," he wrote me by email. That's one decade for which investors have little nostalgia.

The technicians are unanimous that stocks are going lower, though some are looking for a strong rally that goes against the bearish trend. Arbeter doesn't expect that rally to go much beyond 1,250 to 1,260 before it sells off again. Sneddon thinks it won't bounce much higher than 1,200.

"We've clearly seen a lot of technical damage done in a lot of markets," he told me. "I would be personally (inclined) rather to lighten up and reduce my positions" on rallies.

That would be my position, too, if I hadn't already taken profits and sold what I wanted to a couple of months ago.

Beware if you're buying

If you missed that chance, I wouldn't sell in panic now, but would wait for stocks to mount a rebound to sell off positions in riskier small-cap stocks (which already may be in a bear market) and emerging markets, whose time in the sun has come and gone. That also may be a good time to permanently reduce your exposure to equities.

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But I certainly wouldn't buy into a market like this with all its wicked swings and uncertainties. Even mighty Goldman Sachs Group (GS, news) lost money on 15 trading days in the second quarter! And John Paulson, the hedge-fund genius who masterminded "the greatest trade ever" by shorting subprime mortgages, has lost 31% so far this year in his largest fund.

If people who have the best information and technology are losing money in this market, do you really think you're going to beat them at their own game?

There will be a time to buy again, but it's not now. This market is heading lower.

Howard R. Gold is editor at large for MoneyShow.com and a columnist with MarketWatch. You can read more of his commentary here. He blogs about politics here.