July 17, 2012 / 3:15 PM / 7 years ago

US STOCKS-Vague Bernanke drags Wall St lower

* Bernanke offers no specifics on further stimulus

* Goldman, Coke post strong earnings, but gains pared

* Indexes off: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as a lack of clues on more economic stimulus from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offset strong earnings from bellwethers including Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola.

Bernanke left the door open to more actions to prop up the economy, but many investors were hoping for a specific time frame for more stimulus.

Stocks turned lower and the U.S. dollar strengthened against the euro, continuing a pattern of markets closely following monetary policy. U.S. corporations have pointed out in recent earnings reports that a strong greenback is hurting overseas revenues.

“For stimulus junkies, as we call them, they wanted more clear signs of (quantitative easing). They didn’t get that and the market dropped,” said Joe Saluzzi, partner at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey, speaking of the Fed’s asset purchase program that has previously lifted equity and commodity prices.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 55.32 points, or 0.43 percent, to 12,671.89. The S&P 500 Index dropped 6.30 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,347.34. The Nasdaq Composite fell 20.52 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,876.42.

Including Tuesday the S&P has posted losses in eight of the last nine sessions, falling about 1.7 percent. The market’s relative resilience has been credited in part to historic low bond yields and to a vigilant Fed.

The Nasdaq was weighed by declines in chipmakers, as the PHLX semiconductor index hit its lowest level since mid December. Intel is expected to report results after the bell.

Goldman Sachs shares rose above $100 after reporting earnings that beat expectations, but was up less than 0.1 percent at $97.70 after Bernanke’s remarks. Coca-Cola Co, which also topped consensus forecasts, gave up a near 3 percent advance to rise 1.2 percent to $77.36.

Shares of State Street Corp fell 5.3 percent to $41.81 after the company said second-quarter net income fell.

Johnson & Johnson reported adjusted profit that beat expectations by a penny, but posted lower-than-expected sales and cut its full-year profit forecast, sending shares down 0.8 percent to $67.92.

Bullish excitement around Yahoo Inc’s new CEO Marissa Mayer, a now-former top executive at Google, faded and a more than 2 percent gain evaporated. Yahoo shares last traded down 0.9 percent at $15.51. Yahoo has cycled through three CEOs in a year.

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