US STOCKS-Wall St inches lower, as investors assess rate outlook

viernes 19 de agosto de 2016 15:41 GYT

* Jackson Hole meeting next week

* Applied Materials jumps as forecast tops estimates

* Energy stocks drop as oil prices fall

* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.01 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Aug 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower late Friday afternoon, led by declines in utility shares as investors weighed prospects for an interest rate increase in the coming months.

The S&P utility index, which tends to fall as propects for a rate increase rise, was down 1.3 percent.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams late on Thursday said if the U.S. central bank waited too long to raise rates, it could be costly for the economy and that a possible rate hike in September should be in play. The comments added to statements perceived as hawkish from New York Fed President William Dudley earlier in the week.

Investors also are bracing for next week's meeting of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen may provide more insight on the rate outlook.   Continuación...