Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (AP, File)

Stocks have closed sharply lower after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed investors’ fears that the economy has weakened. And interest rates are down sharply in the Treasury market as investors sought safer places for their money.

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Bernanke has told a congressional committee Wednesday that the economy is “unusually uncertain.” He said the economy is fragile, but he did not forecast that it would fall back into recession.

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According to preliminary calculations, the Dow fell 109.43, or 1.1 percent, to 10,120.53. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 13.89, or 1.3 percent, to 1,069.59. The Nasdaq composite index lost 35.16, or 1.6 percent, and fell to 2,187.33.

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Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.2 billion shares.
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