U.S. stocks ended mixed on Monday, snapping a three-day winning streak, as investors felt less optimistic about the economic outlook after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy was still struggling for a self-sustained recovery.
Bernanke said in a television interview on Sunday that the U.S. economy was still fragile and it could take four or five years for the unemployment rate to drop back to a more normal level of about 5 percent to 6 percent.
Bernanke also said the purchase of more bonds than planned is “certainly possible,” depending on the efficiency of the current program and the inflation outlook.
However, Bernanke’s remarks failed to erase the uneasiness in the market. Investors were taking profits after a three-day rally, which had driven the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 370 points.
Meanwhile, debt problems in European countries still weighed on equity markets as investors doubted that the amount of existing bailout fund was not enough to prevent the problem from spreading.