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Dow caps worst-ever first quarter with 400 points fall

U.S. stocks slumped Tuesday, recording their worst quarter since the depths of the financial crisis as the coronavirus pandemic battered huge swaths of the global economy. 

Stocks snapped the longest-ever bull market in history this month, swiftly retreating from records in mid-February after the outlook for the U.S. economy dimmed. The pandemic forced lockdowns and travel restrictions, weighing on businesses across the world. 

The Standard and Poor’s 500 fell 1.6% to close at 2,584.59 on Tuesday, as broad losses in the real estate and utility sectors, which are perceived as safer, offset mild gains in beaten-up energy shares. The broad index was off 20% this quarter, its worst such period since 2008.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 410.32 points to end at 21,917.16. The blue-chip average shed 23% in the first three months of the year, its worst first quarter ever. Both averages posted their worst monthly declines since 2008.

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