Roughly halfway through the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 has already fallen 9.08 percent. That makes this the sixth-worst start to the fourth quarter in the history of the S&P 500.
The only worse fourth quarter through 37 trading days came during some of the worst years for the market overall: 1929, the 1930s, 1973, 1987, and 2008. If you look at all the fourth quarters that were down between 8 percent and 12 percent, like this year, the S&P actually declined for the remainder of those four years.
In case you don’t remember, at this point in the fourth quarter of 2008, the S&P was already down 35.5 percent. The S&P ended up rallying 20 percent for the remainder of that year - before plummeting to new lows again in the first quarter of 2009.