The markets fell today after three days of growth as the Fed warned that continuing credit trouble will restrain the economy and several top brokerage firms saw their earnings estimates reduced, MarketWatch reports. The Dow slid 175.26 points to 12,376.98, the Nasdaq dropped 41.39 to 2,332.54, and the S&P 500 fell 18.35 to 1,348.86.
"Stocks are down today because they've been up three days in a row, and Ben Bernanke downgraded the economy," said one analyst. "The market has been looking for a reason to take profits and here it is, laid out on a silver platter on live TV." Others, finding little new in Bernanke’s comments, felt the drop had more to do with the financial sector’s woes and tensions in the Middle East.