Remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that dimmed hopes for a third round of bond-buying pushed stocks lower Thursday.
In a second day of testimony, Bernanke told lawmakers the Fed expects the economy to improve. He said the central bank would only step in with more economic stimulus if there is a significant downturn in the economy. Stocks turned immediately lower after the remarks and fell for much of the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54.49, or 0.4 percent, to 12,437.12.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8.85 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,308.87.
The Nasdaq composite fell 34.25, or 1.2 percent, to 2,762.67.
For the week to date:
The Dow is down 220.08, or 1.7 percent.
The S&P is down 34.93, or 2.6 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 97.14, or 3.4 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 859.61, or 7.4 percent.
The S&P is up 51.23 or 4.1 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 109.8, or 4.1 percent.