US STOCKS-Wall St declines with energy, materials, caution before Fed

martes 17 de marzo de 2015 12:44 GYT

* American Airlines shares up; oil prices fall

* Investors wait for Fed comment on rate hikes

* Indexes down: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct (Updates to midday)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday following a rally in the previous session, hit by declines in commodity-related shares and nervousness ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting.

Materials were the weakest S&P sector with a 1.5 percent decline, led by Dupont, which was down 3.1 percent at $74.68. The energy sector was down 0.9 percent as oil prices fell further, pressured by concerns over a growing supply glut.

Investors were also anxious as the Federal Open Market Committee kicked off its meeting, which will be followed by a statement from Chair Janet Yellen Wednesday afternoon. Investors hope the statement will bring insight on the timing of an interest rate hike.

"People are waiting for the Fed to provide some degree of clarity going forward," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Most economists expect the Fed to remove a pledge to be "patient" about raising interest rates from its statement, but O'Rourke said, "if they're still on pace for a mid-year move, whatever language they use doesn't make a difference."   Continuación...