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OPINION

Bernanke to take spotlight and assess economy

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WASHINGTON — It's Ben Bernanke's turn to assess how much the economy has weakened.

Investors have pushed stock prices lower for four straight days in response to data showing weaker hiring in May, falling home prices and a drop in manufacturing. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve chairman will offer his outlook.

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Bernanke is giving a speech in Atlanta to a banking conference. It represents his first remarks on the U.S. economy since April, when he said temporary factors like high gas prices were largely to blame for weaker growth at the start of the year.

Economists don't expect Bernanke to deviate from that position or signal any further action from the Federal Reserve.

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