For the third quarter, the S&P 500 is on track for a 1.1 percent gain, after rising 3.8 percent in the second quarter and 13 percent in the first quarter. The Dow also rose 1.1 percent in the third quarter, after rising 2.6 percent in the second and 11 percent in the first. The Nasdaq had the biggest reversal, falling 0.4 percent between July and September, compared with a 3.6 percent increase in the second quarter and a 16.5 percent rally in the first.
But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. The S&P 500 is up 18.6 percent on the year; the Dow Jones industrial average is up 15.4 percent, and the Nasdaq is up 20 percent.