By Yashaswini Swamynathan
U.S. stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's minutes of its most recent meeting for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike. Policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have been hinting at the possibility of a rate hike at an upcoming meeting. But traders have priced in slim chances of a move until June despite strong economic data.The minutes, due at 2:00 p.m. ET, will likely give more clarity on the next hike. "It is no more a question of whether they will raise rates, but when they are going to do it," said Jim Davis, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group in Springfield, Illinois.The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intraday high on Wednesday, helped by a 3.8 percent rise in DuPont (DD.N) shares. Sources told Reuters that the company was set to win antitrust approval from European Union regulators for its $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical (DOW.N).
Dow Chemical's stock was up 3.7 percent. At 11:09 a.m. ET, the Dow .DJI was down 4.57 points, or 0.02 percent, at 20,738.43, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.55 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,360.83 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 12.94 points, or 0.22 percent, at 5,853.01.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with energy .SPNY falling the most. Three sectors were little changed, while utilities .SPLRCU and materials .SPLRCM gained. Garmin (GRMN.O) jumped nearly 9 percent to $55 after the GPS-devices maker posted its fifth-straight quarterly profit and sales beat.Bristol-Myers (BMY.N) was the top stock on the S&P, with a 1.9 percent gain after billionaire investor Carl Icahn took a stake in the company.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,661 to 1,076. On the Nasdaq, 1,676 issues fell and 975 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed 36 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 22 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 23:00 PM