US STOCKS-Wall St opens lower as Fed rate hike looms, oil falls
* Wal-Mart surges 7.6 pct as results beat estimates
* Fed minutes suggest possibility of June rate hike
* Weekly jobless claims fall 278,000 vs 275,000 est
* Indexes down: Dow 0.32 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.19 pct (Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Tanya Agrawal
May 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened lower on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled the possibility of an interest rate hike as early as June and oil prices dropped on fresh concerns of oversupply.
Minutes of the Fed's April meeting, released on Wednesday, caught the market by surprise as they showed that most policymakers thought a June rate hike was appropriate, given continued improvement in the U.S. economy.
"The potential for a June rate hike has put the market on edge a little bit but we expect to see one in July and then another hike later in the year," said Ed Hyland, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank in Atlanta, Georgia.
Following the release of the minutes, traders were projecting a 34 percent chance of the central bank raising rates in June, up from 15 percent on Tuesday, according to the CME FedWatch tool. Continuación...