Updated from 4:18 p.m. EDT
Stocks in the U.S. were pressured from the start and closed lower Tuesday as a rise in bond yields and the belief that the
won't be rushing to cut rates kept the market weak.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 80.86 points, or 0.6%, to 13,595.46 and was led lower by
Of its 30 components, only
Procter & Gamble
were in positive territory.
gave back 8.23 points, or 0.5%, at 1530.95, and the
was down 7.06 points, or 0.3%, to 2611.23.
By ending lower, the S&P snapped a four-day streak of record closes. On Monday, the S&P was up 2.84 points at 1539.18.
Contributing to the softness were comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said that in the coming quarters the economy will probably advance at a moderate pace that will be close to or slightly below the "trend rate of expansion."
However, he added that while core inflation has gradually ebbed, its level remains somewhat elevated. Many of his statements were similar to those found in the Fed minutes released last week.
During prepared remarks to the International Monetary Conference in South Africa, the central bank chief noted that real gross domestic product has increased at an average rate of about 2% in the past four quarters.
The adjustment in the housing sector is still ongoing, and the slowdown in residential construction now appears likely to remain a drag on economic growth for somewhat longer than previously expected," but there haven't been major spillovers to other parts of the economy, he said.
All told, he didn't say anything to suggest policymakers might be planning to ease anytime soon, and many market participants have been hoping to see the fed funds target rate lowered this year from 5.25%.
Meanwhile, bond prices were slumping, and that was pushing up yields. The 10-year note was losing 11/32 in price, yielding 4.98%, and the 30-year was down 21/32, yielding 5.07%.
Overnight, stocks in China recovered from the prior session's selloff, with the CSI 300 Index gaining 3.5% to 3635. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Tokyo's Nikkei each were up about 0.5%.
Europe declined. London's FTSE surrendered 0.5%, and Frankfurt's DAX and the Paris Cac shed around 0.7%.
Ahead of the day's session in New York, a deal that had been reported as likely was confirmed.
said it would be acquired by Silver Lake Partners and TPG Capital for $8.2 billion, or $17.50 a share.
raised its growth forecast for the year, and
topped Wall Street's earnings and revenue estimates.
Bed Bath & Beyond
indicated that its first-quarter results could miss estimates.
Among the research calls, Friedman Billings Ramsey boosted its price targets on a number of refiners, including
CIBC and JPMorgan downgraded
( OPWV), and UBS lowered its rating on
. Also, Bank of America raised its price target on
to $79 from $62.