NEW YORK Wall Street sank for the second straight session Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the night before that the slumping housing market remains a "significant drag" on the economy.
Bernanke's speech at the New York Economic Club elevated concerns that the summer credit crisis might persist into the winter a sobering thought for investors, who are sifting through mixed third-quarter earnings and watching energy costs rise.
"First of all, the worry is we're getting more bad news on housing. Number two is higher oil prices. That's a pretty bad combination," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors.
He added: "Of particular concern were the comments by Bernanke. That sort of injected a fairly high level of uncertainty into the economic and earnings outlook. That comes at a time when earnings results are not particularly exciting in fact, are dismal."