Stocks drift lower at midday as investors wait for Fed hints on rate outlook; oil falls

MarketsAssociated Press

U.S. stocks are drifting lower as investors wait for clues about the Federal Reserve's plans for interest rates.

The Standard and Poor's 500 index is down four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,095 as of 11:50 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday. Energy companies led declines. The index closed at an all-time high the previous day.

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The Dow Jones industrial average is off 32 points, or 0.2 percent, at 18,014. The Nasdaq is two points lower at 4,896.

The stock of Fossil Group fell the most among companies in the S&P 500 index, dropping 18 percent as the watch and accessories company reported a disappointing fourth-quarter performance and outlook.

The price of oil fell $1.44, or nearly 3 percent, to $52.09 a barrel in New York.