Updated from 1:51 p.m. EDT

Stocks in the U.S. traded choppily after an upside open Wednesday as investors monitored the government's bailout of the banking industry and more commentary from

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was recently up 8.8 points to 10,863, and the

S&P 500

was adding 2.8 points to 1191. The

Nasdaq

gained 17 points to 2170.

On Tuesday, stocks finished with losses after traders listened to Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry outline for Congress their $700 billion bailout package for financial-services firms.

"I think investors are sitting back and waiting to see what Congress does," said Fred Dickson, director of private client research and chief market strategist for DA Davidson. "Hopefully, we'll see something by the end of the week." While uncertainty remains, the market will trade with a great deal of volatility, he said.

After the close of Tuesday's trading, several financial firms signed deals to raise capital. Insurance giant

AIG

(AIG) - Get Report

agreed to an

$85 billion credit facility

with the Fed.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Report

inked a deal to buy as much as a $10 billion stake in

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

. Goldman, along with rival

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

, on Sunday agreed to become a bank holding company instead of an investment bank.

Dickson said he was surprised the market didn't bounce higher off the news of Berkshire's investment in Goldman, especially after a sizeable drop in the major indices during the last hour of Monday's trading.

Berkshire wasn't the only firm that may grab a piece of Goldman.

Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Financial

may invest between 100 billion and 300 billion yen in the company, although there are conflicting reports about a potential deal.

Meanwhile, the

Associated Press

reports that the FBI is spearheading a

fraud investigation

into AIG, bankrupt brokerage

Lehman Brothers

,

Fannie Mae

(FNM)

and

Freddie Mac

(FNM)

. The four companies are at the center of the crisis leading to the government's $700 billion bailout package.

The Fed also went ahead with development of $30 billion in

swap facilities with foreign banks

to provide liquidity to overseas markets.

A series of analyst downgrades of regional banks reflected continued pessimism about the financials. Robert W. Baird downgraded

IberiaBank

(IBKC) - Get Report

, and

SunTrust

(STI) - Get Report

to neutral from outperform and

M&T Bank

(MTB) - Get Report

to underperform from neutral. Citigroup took

Regions Financial

(RF) - Get Report

to sell from hold and dropped

Zions Bancorp

(ZION) - Get Report

to hold from buy.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's also cut its counterparty credit rating on

Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Report

to triple-C with a negative outlook on worries that the bank may be broken up or sold.

Outside the financial sector, home retailer

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

forecast 2008 earnings of $1.48 to $1.56 a share on modest sales growth. Analysts expect profit to fall within the forecasted range.

In the technology space,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

Time Warner

(TWX)

were prepping for discussions about

Time Warner's AOL business

, according to a report in the

Financial Times

.

As for economic data, the National Association of Realtors' look at August existing-home sales came in at an annual rate of 4.91 million units, slightly below economists' estimates and down from 5.02 million in July.

"

The NAR estimates that 35-to-40% of all sales are of distressed property, so underlying private activity is weaker than the headlines and there is little sign of imminent improvement," wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics. Although inventories appear to be improving, they are "still way too high," he wrote.

The Energy Information Administration reported that crude-oil inventories declined by 1.5 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 20.

The price of crude oil declined 88 cents to settle at $105.73 a barrel, and gold gained $3.80 to $895 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were mixed. The 10-year note was up 1/32 in price, yielding 3.8%, and the 30-year was down 6/32, yielding 4.39%. The dollar was gaining on its major foreign competitors.

Abroad, the FTSE in London and the Dax in Frankfurt were trading lower. Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished in the green.