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Friday, October 9, 2009

Wall Street dips as Bernanke injects note of caution

NEW YORK, Oct 09, 2009 (AFP) - Stocks swung lower Friday on Wall Street as comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke hinting at a potential hike in rates prompted traders to lock in some gains of the past few sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 20.48 points (0.21 percent) to 9,766.39 as the market pulled back from a series of gains this week.

The Nasdaq composite shed 5.87 points (0.28 percent) to 2,118.06 and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index retreated 2.19 points (0.21 percent) to 1,063.29.

The market was digesting comments from Bernanke late Thursday that rates may be lifted from the level of near zero when the US economic outlook has "improved sufficiently."

"There is nothing monumental about the chairman's statement," said Patrick O'Hare at Briefing.com, who added that the market paused to reflect on the impact of higher rates on the US dollar and commodities.

Because a weak dollar and rising commodities has been pushing stocks up, the latest comments prompted caution.

"Mr. Bernanke threw the dollar a bone with the remark and the uptick in the greenback is expected to weigh a bit on commodity-sensitive areas," O'Hare said.

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© Copyright AFP 2009.

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