A rough 4 months for stocks: S&P 500 books the worst start to a year since 1939. Here’s what pros say you should do now.

To say that it has been a perilous stretch for bullish stock investors on Wall Street lately is a bit of an understatement.

Marked by stomach-churning volatility and bruising losses in once-popular technology trades, the S&P 500 booked its worst start to a year, through the first four months of 2022, in over 80 years, with the steepest decline in April, down 4.9%, since at least 2002 contributing to the unsettling, bearish tone.

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The broad-market S&P 500
closed out Friday down 13.3%, representing the most unsightly four-month period to start a calendar year since 1939, when it declined 17.3% (see table).


First 4 Months % Chage












-11.5 (as of 10:44 a.m. ET)









Source: Dow Jones Market Data

The other major equity benchmarks aren’t faring much better. The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index
finished down 21.2%, representing the biggest such fall for the Nasdaq Composite since its advent in 1971.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed off 9.3% to date in 2022, which would be the worst start to a year for blue chips since the COVID pandemic took hold in the U.S. in 2020, when it declined a whopping 14.69%.

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