US STOCKS-Wall St slips before Fed minutes; S&P eyes resistance
* U.S. housing starts, permits tumble in January
* Fed minutes due at 2:00 p.m. EST
* Dow off 0.3 pct; S&P 500 down 0.3 pct; Nasdaq off 0.6 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined on Wednesday in midday trading as the S&P 500 faced a technical resistance level after a recent string of gains and investors turned cautious ahead of the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.
At 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT), the Fed will release minutes from its January policy meeting, when the U.S. central bank decided to further trim its monthly bond-buying program.
"I don't think the market is going to be surprised, but there is always caution ahead of these minutes. I think the one thing to look for is the collaboration between Bernanke and Yellen since this was Bernanke's last meeting," said Randy Frederick, managing director at Charles Schwab, in Austin, Texas.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40.30 points or 0.25 percent, to 16,090.10. The S&P 500 slipped 5.69 points or 0.31 percent, to 1,835.07. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.305 points or 0.57 percent, to 4,248.478. Continuación...