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March 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower at the open on Wednesday after data showed underlying inflation increased more than expected in February, which could keep the Federal Reserve on course to gradually raise interest rates this year.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12.4 points, or 0.07 percent, to 17,239.13, the S&P 500 lost 2.38 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,013.55 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 10.62 points, or 0.22 percent, to 4,718.05. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal)