The S&P 500 closed out a bruising quarter and month with a bang. In fact, Wednesday's performance, which saw the broad stock index gain 1.9%, marked its best close to a third-quarter since 2008, according to Dow Jones data. The Sept. 30 gain bucks a gloomy trend for stocks which had historically under-performed on previous Sept.30. according to Bespoke Investment Group. However, the returns still didn't erase quarterly results that were the worst in four years. The S&P 500 lost 2.6% over the month and dropped 6.9% over the past quarter, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which gained 235 points Wednesday, declined 1.5% over the month and 7.6% over the quarter. The Dow posted its longest third-straight quarterly decline, something the blue-chips index hasn't done since a six-quarter losing stretch ending in 2009.
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