Stocks Tumble Following Bernanke Speech
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages closed mixed Tuesday, paring losses that followed in the wake ofFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke weighing in on the fiscal cliff.
"Currently, uncertainties about the situation in Europe and especially about the prospects for federal fiscal policy seem to be weighing on the spending decisions of households and businesses as well as on financial conditions," Bernanke said in a speech before the Economic Club of New York. "Such uncertainties will only be increased by discord and delay."
The market was already weak ahead of the speech but stocks fell to session lows after Bernanke said he believes "
While housing market data was positive once again, downcast news revealed in Dow heavyweight Hewlett-Packard's(HPQ) latest quarterly results was a big headwind for the broad market as well.
The no. 1 PC maker fell short of Wall Street's revenue expectations and recorded a massive $8.8 billion charge in relation to its now-disastrous $10.3 billion acquisition of U.K. software maker Autonomy. Shares of HP, which is alleging Autonomy misrepresented its financials, fell 12%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped more than 7 points, or 0.06%, to close at 12,789. The blue-chip index, which rallied more than 1% on Monday, is now up 4.67% in 2012.
Intel shares fell 3.6% after the stock was cut to neutral from buy at UBS, which referenced uncertainties surrounding the chipmaker's CEO changes. The world's biggest semiconductor company surprised Wall Street Monday with the announcement that Paul Otellini is planning to retire as chief executive officer in May.