Stocks were generally lower heading into the last hour of the session as European woes continue to depress equity markets. The Dow was down 1.45%, the Nasdaq was losing 1/2% and the S&P 500 was down 1%.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed will take further action to boost U. S. growth if necessary. Those comments were reportedly made in his testimony to Congress's Joint Economic Committee.
In corporate news today, shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) were down around 4% after a downgrade by Jefferies (JEF) from buy to hold on expectations of higher credit losses in 2012.
And Lorillard (NYSE:LO) stock was down over 1-1/2% today after A downgrade from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). The firm said that while the cigarette maker's fundamentals are solid, it has concerns regarding the entire US cigarette market.
On a positive note, UBS (NYSE:UBS) said it plans to post a modest net profit fir it's 3rd quarter, despite huge losses from it's high-profile rogue trading incident.
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