US stocks edge lower as traders guess timing of next rate increase; Oracle gains on earnings

Markets Associated Press

Stocks are falling again in midday trading as traders try to guess when U.S. interest rates will rise.

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The Federal Reserve will release a policy statement later Wednesday at the end of a two-day meeting. The Fed could raise rates as early as June.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 81 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,766 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 fell six points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,068. The Nasdaq composite lost seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,929.

Oracle rose 2 percent after reporting that its software and cloud businesses got stronger.

Oil dropped $1.18 to $42.28 a barrel. Crude is trading at a six-year low.

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Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.02 percent.