Stocks have drifted lower, then come off their lows, since Mr. Bernanke's Senate Banking Committee testimony came out at 10 AM ET, but it's unlikely due to anything he said. He reiterated now familiar themes on inflation (a modest increase in consumer inflation), and the economic recovery (no recovery without sustained job growth).
(Watch Bernanke Testimony Live)
Two other factors have been mentioned by traders this morning for today's somewhat aimless trading:
1) oil again approaching $100; and
2) the widely publicized rise in stocks that have occurred on the first trading day of the month in the last seven months. Many traders have been positioned long short-term (see the rise in yesterday's market in the second half of the day) and may simply be taking profits. The ProShares UltraShort S&P 500 ETF, for example, has unusually high volume today.
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