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The Stock Market Is Having its Worst Second Quarter Since the Great Depression

April 2, 2018, 6:03 PM UTC

If you feel like the second quarter has begun badly, you’d be right.

U.S. stocks are on track to have their worst April start since 1929, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 index slumped 2.4 percent as of 1:10 p.m. in New York, a rout exceeded only by its 2.5 percent decline 89 years ago, a prelude to the devastating crash later that year that brought on the Great Depression. (Back then, the index only comprised 90 stocks.)

China’s retaliatory trade tariffs combined with President Donald Trump’s criticism of Inc. to send equities into a tailspin Monday. Shares in the online retailer tumbled, encouraging a sell-off in consumer discretionary and technology stocks. The S&P 500 broke through its 200-day moving average — a key technical support — sending volatility higher.

The stock slide also looks pretty bad when compared to the beginning of other quarters. Equities are on pace to lose more than on any other quarterly first day since October 2011, when stocks plummeted 2.8 percent, Bloomberg data show.