06/19/2013 04:15 EDT | Updated 08/19/2013 05:12 EDT

US stocks sink and bond yields rise after Bernanke says Fed could slow its bond purchases

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Stocks are closing sharply lower and bond yields are rising after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank could slow its massive bond purchases this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 206 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 15,112. It was the Dow's seventh straight move of 100 points or more.

The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 22, or 1.4 per cent, to 1,628. High-dividend stocks like telecommunications and utilities stocks fell the most.

The Nasdaq fell 39 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 3,443.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 2.34 per cent, the highest since March 2012. The yield started the day at 2.21 per cent.

Five stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.4 billion shares.