February 20, 2019 / 7:31 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street trades lower after Fed minutes

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* U.S.-China trade talks continue in Washington

* VIX earlier dropped to lowest in over 4 months

* Indexes: Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq down 0.4 pct (Updates to after release of Fed minutes)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks turned lower in volatile trade on Wednesday after the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes from its January meeting, when the U.S. central bank said it would be “patient” with respect to further interest rate hikes.

The minutes showed that many participants were not yet clear what adjustments to rates might be necessary later this year.

“They are open to rate hikes down the road and the market has not priced in the potential for rates to go up rather than down from here. I think that might be behind the market reaction,” sad Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Schwab Center for Financial Research in New York.

A dovish Fed and progress in trade negotiations have helped the S&P 500 rise about 18 percent from its lows in December, when the market swooned on fears of an economic slowdown. The index is trading about 5 percent below the record closing high it hit in late September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,866.63, the S&P 500 lost 3.81 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,775.95 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 27.13 points, or 0.36 percent, to 7,459.63.

The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 91 new highs and 13 new lows. (Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru and Kate Duguid in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and James Dalgleish)

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