Stocks declined on Tuesday as comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke added to worries about the impact of a U.S. "fiscal cliff" and as Hewlett-Packard's stock sank on news of an accounting charge.
Bernanke, in comments before the Economic Club of New York, said the Fed does not have the tools to offset the full harm of going off the "fiscal cliff."
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 72.23 points, or 0.56 percent, at 12,723.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 6.98 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,379.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 16.63 points, or 0.57 percent, at 2,899.44.
(Reporting By Edward Krudy; Editing by Kenneth Barry)