US STOCKS-Wall St lower in muted trading on uncertainty about Fed


* District Fed presidents Kocherlakota, Lockhart due tospeak

* DISH Network shares up after quarterly results

* Indexes off: Dow 0.4 pct; S&P 0.4 pct; Nasdaq 0.2 pct

By Luke Swiderski

NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks eased on Tuesdaybefore remarks by key Federal Reserve officials, which investorswill scrutinize for hints when the U.S. central bank mightstart curtailing its stimulus program.

The S&P 500 has risen more than 24 percent this year, drivenby stronger-than-expected earnings and the Fed's accommodativemonetary policy to bolster the economy. Some investors havebegun to doubt the Fed will wait until March to cut back theeasing after strong economic data, causing stocks to pause in arecord-breaking rally.

Still, the tendency of markets to perform well in the pasttwo months has some "people saying, 'Hey, you gotta ride thebull until the end of the year,'" said Michael Matousek, headtrader at U.S. Global Investors Inc. in San Antonio.

News Corp shares fell 2.3 percent to $17.03 a dayafter the company reported a steeper-than-expected 3 percentdecline in revenue in its first quarter as a standalone company,as weakness at its Australian newspapers took a toll.

Sarepta Therapeutics was one of the day's biggestlosers, falling 61 percent to $14.32 a share after the U.S. Foodand Drug Administration said the company's drug to treat a raremuscle disorder needed further testing. It was one of theNasdaq's most active stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 64.35points, or 0.41 percent, at 15,718.75. The Standard & Poor's 500Index was down 7.42 points, or 0.42 percent, at1,764.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 7.98points, or 0.20 percent, at 3,911.82.

On Monday, the Dow index posted its 35th record close of theyear while the S&P 500 came close to ending at a record high.The Nasdaq index ended flat.

Investors will look to Fed speakers for guidance later inthe day. Minneapolis Fed Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota isscheduled to speak in Minnesota at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) and AtlantaFed President Dennis Lockhart is due to talk at the same time inAlabama.

Earlier, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said in aninterview with CNBC cable television the Federal Reserve'smonetary stimulus program cannot continue forever.

Dish Network Corp posted quarterly results thatbeat Wall Street estimates as it added 35,000 pay-TVsubscribers, far exceeding expectations. The stock rose 4.1percent to $49.50.

View Comments (0)