U.S. stocks finished narrowly mixed after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke warned that unemployment may remain at elevated level for several years, although he downplayed inflation risks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.74 points, or 0.06 percent, to 12,239.89 (making its eighth straight positive session).
The S&P 500 index slipped 3.69 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,320.88.
The Nasdaq composite index tumbled 7.98 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,789.07.
American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) dropped 2.97 percent after announcing it will take a $4.1-billion charge to build up reserves against losses in its Chartis property and casualty insurance units.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) surged 5.29 percent after posting stronger-than-expected earnings.
In testimony before a House budget committee, the Fed boss
said the economy is strengthening but that employers have yet to pick up on hiring.
Bond prices rose on Bernanke's testimony, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropping to 3.66 from 3.74 late Tuesday.
Oil prices slipped slightly.