Stocks ended mixed Wednesday after a busy trading session. In the morning, steep declines in new home prices and U.S. durable goods orders gave traders reasons to worry. But spirits were lifted when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke implied more interest rate cuts are on the way, and regulators took steps to loosen up the tight mortgage market.
"It is important to recognize that downside risks to growth remain," Bernanke said in testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Wednesday. The Fed is closely watching "information bearing on the economic outlook and will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks," he added.