The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 46 points, or 0.37%, to 12,680. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 3 points, or 0.26%, to 1,350. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 13 points, or 0.48%, to 2,882.
Before the Congress, Bernanke reiterated the Fed's stance that it remains prepared to act, but refrained from offering details. He did not say whether it would take the form of quantitative easing or when further action would take place.
European markets also erased gains to trade slightly lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.4%. Gold fell 1.0% to $1,575.60 an ounce, while crude-oil futures dropped 0.5% to near $88 a barrel.