European and U.S. stocks fell on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered no new steps to stimulate the country's economy.
Bernanke was speaking at an economic conference at Jackson Hole, Wyo. Many analysts on Wall Street were hoping he would unveil new steps to get the economy going again. But Bernanke dashed those hopes.
Although he offered no solutions, the Fed chairman hinted Congress may need to act to stimulate hiring and economic growth.
The central bank has already pledged low interest rates through 2013.
Some analysts believe the Fed has reached the limits of what it can do to aid an economy plagued by high unemployment and massive government debt -- problems monetary policy can't fix.
"He appears to be saying that the politicians need to start pulling their weight," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
The Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew in the April-June quarter at a 1 percent annual rate, down from an earlier estimate of 1.3 percent and below analysts' expectations for a 1.1 percent reading.
The data renewed concerns that the U.S. might be headed for another recession.
Worries that the nation could be headed for another recession have in recent weeks caused huge volatility in equities, bonds and foreign exchange.