Oct. 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM ET
Stocks moved lower entering the last hour of trading Tuesday as a gloomy outlook from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may have sapped the confidence of investors who had shares rising at midday.
Bernanke told lawmakers in a Capitol Hill hearing today that any economic recovery is “close to faltering” and there was a likelihood of of more “sluggish job growth ahead.”
According to the New York Times:
Analysts differed on the significance of a bear market label. Some believed that it could serve as a psychological blow that could fuel a further sell-off. But others said it was little more than another day in five months of trouble on Wall Street.
“Today will not be the driving force,” said Richard J. Peterson of Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.
The major indexes were down at the opening of trading, but recovered somewhat at midday. As 3 p.m. neared on the East Coast, The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 1.66 percent, the S&P 500 was down 1.20 percent and Nasdaq was 0.68 percent lower.
One stock in particular that took a beating was Apple. On a day that CEO Tim Cook made new product announcements, shares of the company began sliding soon after he took the stage. Entering the last hour of the trading day, it was approaching 4 percent slide.
European finance ministers are looking at making banks take bigger losses on Greek debt, and they have delayed a vital aid payment to Athens until mid-November, setting up a crunch point in the region's sovereign debt crisis, according to the news wire.
Also across the Atlantic, France and Belgium were fighting to prevent struggling bank Dexia from going under as investors grew increasingly worried over its ability to survive a renewed credit crunch.
And if that wasn’t enough bad news, Goldman Sachs has cut its outlook for gross domestic product for advanced economies for 2012, seeing growth of 1.3 percent instead of its previous expectation of 2.1 percent.