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US: Stocks down in early trade

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[NEW YORK] US stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday as the market awaited the release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting and the unofficial kickoff of earnings season.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 16,713.72, down 5.67 points. The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.68 to 1,934.42, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.27 at 4,382.93.

The early losses extended Tuesday's rout that Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said was partially "triggered by angst" that minutes from the Fed's September meeting "will be more hawkish-sounding." The minutes are scheduled to be released at 1800 GMT.

Alcoa unofficially kicks off third-quarter earnings season when it reports financial results after the markets close.

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Analysts have expressed concern that third-quarter earnings will be marred by weak overseas performance of multinationals following the dollar's advance.-AFP

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