New York, Apr 30 (IANS): 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 per cent, contributing to the unsettling, bearish tone, MarketWatch reported.

The broad-market S&P 500 SPX closed out Friday down 13.3 per cent, representing the most unsightly four-month period to start a calendar year since 1939, when it declined 17.3 per cent, the report said.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed off 9.3 per cent to date in 2022, which would be the worst start to a year for blue chips since the Covid pandemic took hold in the US in 2020, when it declined a whopping 14.69 per cent, MarketWatch reported.

Markets are slumping amid a litany of issues and sentiment that has been shaky, with a key measure of the US economy’s overall health, gross domestic product, shrinking at a 1.4 per cent annual rate in the first quarter, hamstrung by supply-chain bottlenecks and a widening trade deficit, though consumer and business spending were bright spots.