US STOCKS-Wall St falls on profit taking ahead of expected Fed rate hike
* Dow Chemical, DuPont jump on reported merger talks
* S&P materials sector up 2.7 pct on Dow, Dupont reports
* Energy stocks trim gains as oil recovery stalls
* S&P technology sector leads losers with 1.7 pct decline
* Indexes down: Dow 0.61 pct, S&P 0.97 pct, Nasdaq 1.7 pct (Updates to late afternoon, adds commentary, changes byline)
By Sinead Carew
Dec 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were down late on Wednesday after reversing course earlier in the day as oil resumed its decline and investors took profits ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting next week that is expected to result in an interest rate hike.
While several investors struggled to explain a sharp reversal by the three major U.S. indexes, they cited concerns about slowing global economic growth against a backdrop of weak oil and the first U.S. rate hike in almost a decade.
"We've got a heck of a commodity bear market here and the Fed's about to raise interest rates. People are growing concerned they're going to raise rates at the worst possible time," said Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas. Continuación...