Stocks extended losses and the Nasdaq fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's assessment of the economy keeping worries alive about the U.S. economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 27.66 points, or 0.23 percent, at 12,043.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 5.36 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,279.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 27.45 points, or 1.02 percent, at 2,674.11.

At its session, the Nasdaq fell as much as 1.1 percent to 2,671.66 -- within about 20 points of its year-end close.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal)