U.S. Stocks Quickly Shed Opening Gains Amid Fed Talk

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday quickly lost opening gains, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's talk of U.S. economic woes stalling early investor optimism stemming from Best Buy Co. Inc.'s results and reported job growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37.53 points to 12,616.83.

The S&P 500 fell 2.46 points to 1,367.72, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.01 points to 2,356.74.

Ahead of the opening, stock index futures added to earlier gains after an ADP report found the private sector added 8,000 jobs in March, with the data coming two days ahead of Friday's pivotal employment report. .

In early activity on the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold edged up after two sessions of sharp losses; gold for June delivery climbed $5.50 to $888.4 an ounce. .

Elsewhere on the NYME, crude-oil futures gained, with the contract for May delivery up 19 cents at $101.17 a barrel, following Tuesday's 60-cent drop to $100.98 a barrel. .

Active issues

Shares of Best Buy gained 3.9% after the nation's largest electronics retailer offered better-than-expected guidance and results for the four-quarter. .

A drag on the pharmaceutical sector, shares of Pfizer Inc. fell 0.4% after the drug company late Tuesday said it was stopping a study of an experimental drug for melanoma.

Overseas, European shares extended second-quarter gains as banks such as UBS AG advanced. .

By Kate Gibson