US STOCKS-Wall St falls with eyes on Fed statement

miércoles 18 de marzo de 2015 10:12 GYT

* Indexes down: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct

* Alibaba shares little changed as lockup expires

* FedEx falls after lower outlook

* U.S. crude futures hit fresh 6-year low (Updates prices, adds comment)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell in early trading on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve later in the session, with the Fed expected to give clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy.

The U.S. central bank is expected to provide indications on the timing of its first interest rate hike in nearly a decade, as its two-day meeting ends later in the day. The Fed is assessing if the U.S. economic recovery can hold up against collapsing oil prices and a soaring dollar.

A statement is due at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), with a press conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen half an hour later.

The U.S. dollar has strengthened against most major currencies as central banks around the world ease monetary policy while the Fed is on track to tighten.   Continuación...