Stocks turned lower on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke outlined a path the Fed could take to begin pulling back its unprecedented stimulus for the U.S. economy when the time comes.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 74.90 points, or 0.74 percent, to 9,983.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 9.02 points, or 0.84 percent, to 1,061.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 16.26 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,134.61.

In his prepared testimony, Bernanke said high unemployment, subdued inflation, and stable inflation expectations likely warrant very low rates for a long time.

Equity markets also had an eye on whether a rescue plan for heavily indebted Greece was in the works.