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NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks retreated at the open on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve, with the Fed expected to give clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 39.6 points, or 0.22 percent, to 17,809.48, the S&P 500 lost 4.19 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,070.09 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 10.59 points, or 0.21 percent, to 4,926.85. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)