Stocks Open Lower As June Rate Hike Looks Increasingly Likely

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday as signs that the Federal Reserve's next interest-rate hike could come as early as June spooked investors. Though strong earnings reports from Wal-Mart and Cisco helped offset declines somewhat. The S&P 500 fell 8 points, or 0.4%, to 2,040. The Dow industrials fell 80 points, or 0.5%, to 17,445. The Nasdaq Composite fell 23 points, or 0.5%, to 4,716. Minutes from the Fed's April meeting released on Wednesday showed a majority of Fed policy makers would be comfortable raising interest rates in June provided the U.S. economy continues to strengthen.

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