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US:Wall St lower as nerves rise ahead of Yellen speech

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[WASHINGTON] Wall Street was lower on Thursday morning as investors nervously awaited Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's take on interest rate hikes.

While the Fed is widely expected to maintain rates at its September meeting, Ms Yellen's language on Friday morning will be assessed to see whether she takes a more aggressive stance.

At 9:38 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.66 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 18,458.82.

The S&P 500 was down 3.23 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 2,172.21.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 8.23 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 5,209.46.

Eight of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were lower, led by the consumer discretionary sector's 0.27 per cent drop.