Market Minute: Investor Focus Turns to Bernanke; Yahoo Still Struggling


It's all about Ben Bernanke today, and Yahoo's turnaround still has a long way to go. Those stories and more are what's in business news Wednesday.

The Dow Industrials (^DJI) fell 32 points Tuesday, the Nasdaq (^IXIC) lost 9 and the S&P 500 (^GPSC) dropped 6, snapping an eight-session win streak.

federal reserve chairman ben bernanke economy congress testimony stimulus
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

Investors will focus Wednesday on the congressional testimony of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke -- and consumers should, too. Analysts will be parsing every word for clues about how quickly the Fed will begin cutting back on its massive bond-buying program.

The decision will affect stocks, Treasury bonds, the effort to bring down unemployment, and your ability to get a loan. His testimony will overshadow the Fed's Beige Book report on regional economic activity, due out this afternoon.

Bank of America's (BAC) earnings jumped 70 percent from a year ago, led by its investment banking operations. The results topped expectations.

Also out this morning, results from Bank of New York Mellon (BK), Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Mattel (MAT). Mattel said its second-quarter net income fell 24 percent, pulled down by an impairment charge. The toymaker's revenue edged up but came in below expectations.

Despite lots of changes over the past year, Yahoo (YHOO) is still struggling. The Internet company posted sharply higher quarterly net, but investors are focused on a drop in ad revenue and a disappointing forecast for the full year.

After the close, we'll hear from three other tech giants: IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC) and eBay (EBAY).

Chevron (CVX) is making a big bet on shale oil and gas deposits in Argentina. It agreed to pay most of the $1.5 billion to form a joint venture with Argentina's state-run energy company. Chevron is hoping to repeat the success it's had with shale oil in Canada.

The California-based utility PG&E Corp. (PCG) could face more than $2 billion in fines and penalties for its role in the natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno three years ago that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes.

And one of the big losers today is likely to be Zagg (ZAGG), which makes accessories for consumer electronics. The problem is, it didn't sell enough of them last quarter, and it lowered its sales forecast for the full year.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.