Stocks started on a firm note Thursday, but softened after Fed chief Ben Bernanke failed to satisfy the market's thirst for more easing and stimulus. The Nasdaq, which had been up as much as 1% in the morning, ended off 0.5%. The S&P 500 saw its 1.1% gain turn into a fractional loss. The Dow Jones industrial average saw its 1.1% gain cut to just 0.4%. Volume fell 6% on the Nasdaq and by less than 1% on the NYSE, according to preliminary data.