Stocks Ended Little Changed on Bernanke Talk

U.S. stocks finished little changed on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned the Fed does not have the ability to shield the economy from the fiscal cliff.  After 81 points jump, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.99 points, or 0.02%, at 13,245.45, halting its longest win streak in eight months. The S&P 500 index gained 0.64 point, or 0.04%, at 1,428.48. The Nasdaq Composite fell 8.49 points, or 0.28%, to 3,013.81.

The U.S. economy is already being hurt by the “fiscal cliff” standoff in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. But Bernanke said the Fed believes the crisis will be resolved without significant long-term damage.

The central bank announced today that it embark on another round of Treasury purchases of $45 billion a month to replace the expiring Operation Twist program. For those keeping score at home, that’s $85 billion per month of fresh demand in the government debt markets, which works out to $1 trillion a year.

Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK-A) bought back $1.2 billion in stock from the estate of an unnamed investor, the company said on Wednesday, one day after Buffett advocated for a higher estate tax when the wealthy die.

The rooftop solar installer SolarCity Corp. cut the price of its first shares to be issued to the public and increased the number of shares it will offer. The change will reduce the expected proceeds of the offering to $92 million from $141 million.

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