(NEW YORK) — U.S. stock markets were up early in the day as China announced an interest rate cut, but moved lower as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke started speaking Thursday.
The Dow was positive for a third straight day, closing at 12,460.96, up 46.17 points, or 0.37 percent. The S&P and NASDAQ ended the day lower, losing 0.14 points and 13.7 points, respectively.
Ben Bernanke did not offer clues to any new stimulus in his testimony Thursday, instead saying that the Fed is studying the recent anemic job growth in the U.S. and that Europe is the big threat to the U.S. economy.
There had been some speculation that Bernanke would hint at further stimulus, while others argued that the Fed has already made its major moves and will not be offering up much more right away.
Like his European counterpart Mario Draghi, the Fed chairman said that he is watching events and may be moved to act in the coming weeks. Also like Draghi, Bernanke called on politicians to come up with solutions facing the global economy.
For now, big questions remain in Europe. Will there be a bailout for Spanish banks? Will this happen before the Greek election on June 17? Who will win the Greek election and will that country stay in the euro?
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho
Erin McClam, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com