US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 slip as Fed minutes on tap

* King Pharma soars on Pfizer takeover deal

* Fed minutes due at 2 p.m. EDT

* Dow off 0.3 pct, S&P off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to early afternoon, changes byline)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (BestGrowthStock) – The Dow and the S&P 500 edged
lower on Tuesday as investors grew nervous ahead of the release
of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting, while the
Nasdaq rose slightly.

Another factor pressuring the stock market was China’s bid
to cool down its economy, which sparked concerns it would crimp
global growth. An official Chinese newspaper reported the
government raised bank reserve requirements by 50 basis points,
the fourth hike this year, due to excessive lending.

The report confirmed a Reuters story on Monday
[ID:nTOE69A05I] and [ID:nTOE69A03Y]

Shares of heavy equipment maker Caterpillar (CAT.N: ), down
1.2 percent at $79.01, led the Dow’s decline.

The Fed, which is set to release the minutes at 2 p.m. EDT
(1800 GMT), said after its Sept. 21 meeting it stood prepared
to provide more support for the economy but expressed concern
about low inflation.

Increased hopes that the Fed would step in to bolster the
economy helped support stocks in recent weeks. The S&P 500
index is up 10.8 percent since the start of September, and last
month’s performance was one of the best months for stocks in a
decade.

“If the (Fed’s) minutes express concern over doing any
quantitiave easing, that might worry the market,” said Marc
Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. in San
Francisco.

Also on investors’ minds are results from Intel Corp
(INTC.O: ), expected after the close. Its shares advanced 0.2
percent to $19.60. Apple (AAPL.O: ), up 0.5 percent at $296.86,
led the Nasdaq’s advance after Barclays raised its price target
on the company’s stock.

“We all know the economy is not doing great. But as long as
we can get slow growth and strong profit margins … then
investors will be comfortable,” Pado said.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was down 33.95
points, or 0.31 percent, at 10,976.39. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) was down 1.77 points, or 0.15 percent, at
1,163.55. But the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was up 4.65
points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,405.98.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent against a basket of
currencies (.DXY: ). The prospect of the Fed buying more
long-term securities such as government bonds has created an
inverse correlation between the dollar and stocks, with
investors using the greenback as a trigger to move into or out
of stocks. For details, see [ID:nLDE69B0OQ]

Also in recent sessions, e-mini futures and the euro have
followed the same trend, a sign investors are watching for euro
moves to decide on whether to increase their exposure to risk.

In the latest news on the deal front, Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: ),
the world’s biggest drugmaker, agreed to buy King
Pharmaceuticals Inc (KG.N: ) for $3.6 billion. King surged 39.5
percent to $14.16. Pfizer, a Dow component, dipped 0.06 percent
to $17.37.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 slip as Fed minutes on tap