US STOCKS-Wall St falls as investors wait for Fed statement

martes 17 de marzo de 2015 11:20 GYT

* U.S. Housing starts fall to lowest levels in a year

* American Airlines shares up; oil prices fall

* Investors wait for Fed comments on rate hikes

* Indexes down: Dow 0.89 pct, S&P 0.61 pct, Nasdaq 0.35 pct (Updates to late morning, commentary)

By Sinead Carew

March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks pulled back on Tuesday from a rally in the previous session ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting that investors hope will bring insight on the timing of an interest rate hike.

Investors held off on making big bets after the Federal Open Market Committee kicked off its meeting, which will be followed by a statement from Chair Janet Yellen Wednesday afternoon.

Most economists expect the Fed to remove a pledge to be "patient" about raising interest rates from its statement, giving it flexibility on when to kick off its first rate hike since 2006.

While higher rates would make Treasuries more attractive than many equities to some investors, the strong economic indicators that would lead to a rate rise may ultimately boost stocks.   Continuación...