* Oplink jumps, to be bought by Koch Industries’ subsidiary
* Lowe‘s, Target shares rise after results
* Cliffs Natural Resources shares slide
* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct (Updates to morning trading, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, following record closing highs on the S&P 500 and Dow in the previous session, ahead of minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The Fed is set to publish minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s October policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT). They are expected to show the Fed’s path is diverging from other major central banks that are increasing their stimulus programs. This view has helped strengthen the U.S. dollar, weighing on crude oil and other commodity prices.
“I can understand the market being a bit jittery here after making a new high and pausing ahead of the Fed minutes,” said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management.
Starts for U.S. single-family homes rose for a second straight month in October and overall building permits approached a 6-1/2-year high, suggesting the housing market was still on a recovery path.
“Data was good today so it’s hard to find a reason (for the slight decline in stocks) in the data,” Zemsky said.
At 10:23 a.m. EST (1523 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 40.71 points, or 0.23 percent, to 17,647.11, the S&P 500 lost 7.6 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,044.2 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 29.89 points, or 0.64 percent, to 4,672.55.
Staples rose 9.9 percent to $14.02 as the largest gainer on the S&P 500 after it reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales and profit as demand recovered for core office supplies.
Target Corp rose 5.3 percent to $71.10 and Lowe’s rose 5.9 percent to $61.98, both after reporting results.
Cliffs Natural Resources said it was looking to exit its Eastern Canadian iron ore operations, which may result in the closure of its Bloom Lake mine in Quebec. Its shares fell 13.7 percent to $8.81.
Shares of Vipshop fell 10 percent to $21.32 after the Chinese online discount retailer’s sales forecast failed to beat estimates for the first time this fiscal year.
Oplink Communications shares jumped 13.8 percent to $24.18. It is being purchased by Koch Optics, a subsidiary of privately-help Koch Industries, for about $445 million.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 1,887 to 912, for a 2.07-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,769 issues fell and 647 advanced for a 2.73-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 was posting 18 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 30 new highs and 38 new lows.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski