US stocks fall ahead of Fed minutes

New York: US stocks traded lower in the morning session on Wednesday, as investors became cautious ahead of the release of the US Federal Reserve’s minutes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 81.63 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 18,470.39. The S&P 500 lost 9.16 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 2,168.99, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 28.63 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 5,198.48.

Traders were awaiting the minutes of the Fed’s July policy meeting scheduled for release Wednesday afternoon, for more indications on the timing of the next interest rate hike.

New York Fed President William Dudley, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), said Tuesday that a rate hike as soon as September was “possible”.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart echoed on Tuesday that there could be one or two rate increases this year.

US stocks retreated on Tuesday as investors digested a batch of economic reports.

US equities rallied on Monday, with all three major indices setting new closing records for the second time in less than a week.