S&P 500 nears bear market on Europe worries



NEW YORK (AP) — The European debt crisis is continuing to weigh on financial markets, sending the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index near what many consider to be a bear market.

Stocks fell broadly as investors worried that Greece could be edging closer to default. Stocks made up some of their earlier losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank is prepared to take further action to stimulate the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 150 points, or 1.4 percent, to 10,504 at 11:45 a.m. EST. The S&P 500 was down 10, or 0.9 percent, to 1,089. That’s almost a 20 percent drop from its April high, which would signal a bear market.

The Nasdaq composite rose 6, or 0.3 percent, to 2,342.