US stocks lower after Fed chief's comments

Business Materials 15 February 2008 02:40 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- US stocks retreated Thursday after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said tight credit in the wake of last year's subprime mortgage meltdown will hold back economic growth.

Financial stocks led the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index lower. Intel Corp fell after analysts said slower computer sales may hurt the world's largest chipmaker.

The S& P 500 decreased 18.35 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 1,348.86. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 175.26, or 1.4 per cent, to 12,376.98. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 41.39, or 1.7 per cent, to 2,332.54.

Wall Street's decline ended a three-day winning streak.

"More-expensive and less-available credit seems likely to continue to be a source of restraint on economic growth," Bernanke told a US congressional committee. The US central bank's chairman hinted that the Fed may reduce interest rates further to try to spur the economy.

The US dollar fell to 68.31 euro cents in New York from 68.60 on Wednesday. The dollar fell to 107.86 Japanese yen from 108.30.

Gold rose 70 cents to 910.90 dollars per fine ounce.