US Stocks ended nearly flat on Wednesday, giving up most of the day’s gains after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that monetary policy won’t be enough to offset damage from the “fiscal cliff.”
His comments followed the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a new stimulus plan, which briefly pushed the S&P 500 to a seven-week high.
The plan, the latest attempt to boost the country’s struggling economy, will replace a more modest program set to expire with a fresh round of Treasury purchases that will increase its balance sheet. The program is known as “quantitative easing” or QE.
In comments after the announcement, Bernanke said he hopes that markets won’t have to tank to get a fiscal cliff deal.