Wall Street made clear today how important the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is.
Important enough to give the Dow Jones industrial average its biggest one-day jump in a year, but not important enough to move the market ahead for two days in a row.
The "Ben Bernanke rally" that lifted the market Monday after the highly-regarded economist was nominated to succeed Alan Greenspan was ancient history by this morning.
Today's news was that oil prices--which Wall Street had been ignoring--are swinging back up and now traders have decided to pay attention again.
And of the dozens of companies reporting third quarter results today, Wall Street decided Texas Instruments was the one that mattered--even though its numbers were right on target.
What worried the traders was TI's warning that if sales of mobile phones take off, TI might not be able to supply enough chips to keep up with the demand.
However remote the prospect may be that TI could run short of chips, that fear gave traders somebody to blame for another weak day in the stock market.
Texas Instruments was the big loser as the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index fell 3 points to 1,196.54.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 7 points to 10,377.87 and the Nasdaq Stock Market composite index lost 6 points, closing at 2,109.45.