* Policymakers in vigorous debate on inflation
* Goldman sees Fed raising rates faster than market expectations
* Lowe‘s, Target shares rise after results
* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct (Updates to after Fed minutes)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were down slightly Wednesday afternoon following minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting as investors weighed expectations of when U.S. interest rates may rise.
Minutes of the U.S. central bank’s Oct. 28-29 meeting, where policymakers decided to finally end their bond-buying stimulus, indicated a debate among policymakers over the outlook for inflation and the economy.
Following the release of the minutes, U.S. short-term interest-rate futures traders were still betting on a first Fed rate hike by September next year.
“The market is yawning ... The Fed minutes did nothing to change the conversation,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
Tech names were among the biggest drags on the market, with shares of Microsoft down 1.3 percent, weighing on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, and shares of Qualcomm down 2.1 percent. Qualcomm on Wednesday gave a more conservative five-year outlook than in the past.
Stocks briefly pared losses following the minutes but then resumed their downward course, with the S&P 500 and Dow retreating from Tuesday’s record closing highs.
At 2:54 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.77 points, or 0.16 percent, to 17,660.05, the S&P 500 lost 5.76 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,046.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 26.45 points, or 0.56 percent, to 4,675.99.
Helping to limit losses, Target Corp rose 6.8 percent and Lowe’s rose 6.3 percent, both after results.
Goldman Sachs analysts on Wednesday said the Fed, once it begins to tighten monetary policy, would raise short-term interest rates faster and to higher levels than current market expectations. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)