US stocks mixed, but tech index gains
( dpa ) - US stocks were mixed Tuesday, with the high-tech Nasdaq inching upwards but other stocks declining.
Financial and commodity shares declined after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged banks to voluntarily forgive some parts of mortgages and negotiate better rates for families struggling to hold on to their homes.
Speaking to a banking group in Florida, Bernanke warned of the worsening of the subprime mortgage crisis that has undermined US economic growth and had worldwide ripple effects.
"Delinquencies and foreclosures likely will continue to rise for a while longer," Bernanke said. A surplus of homes for sale indicates "further declines in house prices are likely," he said.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 45.10 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 12,213.80. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 4.59 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 1,326.75. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.68 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,260.28.
The US currency fell against the euro to 65.71 euro cents from 65.81 euro cents on Monday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 103.37 yen from 103.54 yen on Monday.
Gold prices fell 17.9 dollars to 966.3 dollars per fine ounce.