* Many analysts still don't expect Fed to taper this year
* October core retail sales exceed forecast, show demand picking up
* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P 500 down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.02 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 dipped on Wednesday after minutes from a Federal Reserve policy meeting said the central bank could start to slow bond purchases at one of its next few meetings if the economy improved enough.
The Nasdaq also briefly traded lower following the release of the minutes, while Treasuries yields rose.
Commenting on the minutes from last month's Fed meeting, some analysts said they still don't expect the Fed to begin scaling back its stimulus plan before the end of this year but that possibly the Fed could take action in March.
"We take these minutes as meaning March is the most likely scenario for tapering," said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon in New York. "There's no overwhelming case to be made for them to act in December."
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26.65 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,940.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.78 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,786.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.91 point, or 0.02 percent, at 3,932.46.
In a snapshot of the economy provided by data on Wednesday, October retail sales, excluding automobiles, gasoline and building materials, or so-called core retail sales, rose 0.5 percent, exceeding expectations. The figure shows demand is picking up.