Stocks Down As Investors Brace Themselves For More Bernanke

Michael Teague  |

Stocks were down on Tuesday as the Standard & Poor’s 500 was unable to extend its winning streak to nine days after closing at new all-time highs over the past three.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.37 percent to close at 1,676.26 points, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.21 percent to end the day at 15,451.85, and the NASDAQ was off 0.25 percent to finish at 3,598.50.

Once again, investors seemed to be bracing themselves ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony on Wednesday at a bi-annual House Financial Services Committee hearing on monetary policy and the economy. Markets have been very sensitive to any potential indication that the Fed could pull back on its support of the economy, especially since last month when the Chairman floated the idea that the timeline for the process of tapering could begin as early as September, sending markets into what was almost starting to look like correction-mode.

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Though numerous Fed officials have since emerged to signal that fiscal stimulus will be the order of the day until the economy hits certain far-off targets for unemployment and inflation, comments on Wednesday from Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank president Esther George, Fed Board’s staunchest opponent to the quantitative easing regime of the years since the financial collapse, told Fox Business earlier in the day that recent improvements warranted the Fed to begin the process of “tapering” sooner than later.

Coca-Cola (KO) also put significant downward pressure on stocks after reporting earnings that came short on expectations for both earnings-per-share and revenue. The stock ended the day down almost 2 percent to $40.23 as the company cited both the weak European economy as well as less consumer spending out of China as two of its main obstacles throughout the second quarter.

Shares for Tesla Motors (TSLA) tanked over 14 percent to $109.05 after a price-target downgrade from Goldman Sachs ($GS), as well as the announcement that BMW would begin manufacturing its own all-electric car.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs dropped 1.7 percent despite releasing an impressive earnings report that saw the bank doubling its profits in the second quarter, and beating expectations on EPS and revenue by a longshot.

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