US STOCKS-Defensive stocks take Wall St lower ahead of Fed

miércoles 24 de agosto de 2016 12:59 GYT

* Yellen to speak on monetary policy on Friday

* Utilities, telecoms among top decliners

* Indexes down: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.13 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower on Wednesday, led by declines in technology and defensive stocks as investors weighed up the possibility of a rate hike in the coming months.

The market is awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday when she is expected to give a steer on the direction of monetary policy.

Recent hawkish comments from some Fed officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, have raised expectations that Yellen might signal a hike in September.

Eight of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were trading lower. The financial sector, which stands to benefit from higher rates, was flat.

The bigger decliners were utilities, consumer staples and telecom services, defensive sectors that have led Wall Street's rally this year as expectations of a rate hike kept getting pushed out.   Continuación...