New York – Stocks are closing with steep losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that rising oil prices could hurt the economy.
Oil prices rose to just under $100 a barrel Tuesday after Iran clamped down on anti-government protesters. Bernanke told members of the Senate that persistently high prices could derail the economic recovery by increasing the costs of transportation for businesses and cutting into consumers’ budgets.
At the market close, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 168 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12,058. The S&P 500 is down 21, or 1.6 percent, to 1,306. The Nasdaq composite is down 45, or 1.6 percent, to 2,737.
Three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.2 billion shares.