February 22, 2017 / 4:44 PM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St slightly lower ahead of Fed minutes

* Dow Jones hits all-time high

* Fed to release minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET

* DuPont set to get EU antitrust nod for Dow Chemical deal

* Indexes down: Dow 0.02 pct, S&P 0.19 pct, Nasdaq 0.22 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s minutes of its most recent meeting for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike.

Policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have been hinting at the possibility of a rate hike at an upcoming meeting. But traders have priced in slim chances of a move until June despite strong economic data.

The minutes, due at 2:00 p.m. ET, will likely give more clarity on the next hike.

“It is no more a question of whether they will raise rates, but when they are going to do it,” said Jim Davis, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group in Springfield, Illinois.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intraday high on Wednesday, helped by a 3.8 percent rise in DuPont shares. Sources told Reuters that the company was set to win antitrust approval from European Union regulators for its $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical.

Dow Chemical’s stock was up 3.7 percent.

At 11:09 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 4.57 points, or 0.02 percent, at 20,738.43, the S&P 500 was down 4.55 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,360.83 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 12.94 points, or 0.22 percent, at 5,853.01.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with energy falling the most. Three sectors were little changed, while utilities and materials gained.

Garmin jumped nearly 9 percent to $55 after the GPS-devices maker posted its fifth-straight quarterly profit and sales beat.

Bristol-Myers was the top stock on the S&P, with a 1.9 percent gain after billionaire investor Carl Icahn took a stake in the company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,661 to 1,076. On the Nasdaq, 1,676 issues fell and 975 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 36 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 22 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D‘Silva)

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