US stocks started the second quarter with a thud Monday after car makers reported disappointing March sales, a possible warning about other types of spending. But a late rally helped stocks escape bigger losses, the AP reports. On Monday the Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 3.88 points, or 0.2%, to 2,358.84. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 13.01 points, or 0.1%, to 20,650.21. The Nasdaq composite dipped 17.06 points, or 0.3%, to 5,894.68. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks dropped 16.25 points, or 1.2%, to 1,369.67.