The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

July 17, 2012

Stocks slip after Bernanke says economy weakening

NEW YORK — Stocks slipped in early trading Tuesday, shortly after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke released a grim assessment of the economy.

In his semiannual report before Congress, Bernanke said the economy has weakened and that the Fed is ready to take further action to bolster growth if needed. Bernanke provided no clues about what steps the Fed could take or whether any action was coming soon

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 20 points to 12,705 in the first half-hour of trading.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell two points to 1,351 and the Nasdaq composite slipped nine points to 2,888.

The stock market opened higher with strong earnings reports from Mattel, Coca-Cola and other big companies.

Mattel rose 9 percent, more than any other company in the S&P 500. The country’s biggest toy maker said net income rose on better sales of Barbie dolls and lower advertising costs. Its stock jumped $2.88 to $33.94.

Coca-Cola posted higher income and revenue than Wall Street had expected, thanks in part to booming business overseas. Coke rose $1.19 to $77.65.

Goldman Sachs also reported earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street’s forecasts. Its stock gained 27 cents to $97.98.

Half of the 10 industries in the S&P 500 rose, led by material companies. Bank stocks fell the most.

 

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