Wall Street flat as Fed Reserve meet kicks off, Nasdaq hits record

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Wall Street was little changed on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite edging lower after eking out another record high, as the Federal Reserve's meeting kicks off.

While the Fed is widely expected to stand pat on interest rates, investors are awaiting the central bank's statement, due on Wednesday, for clues regarding the future path of rate hikes.

"While no one expects any changes to policy, the 500-word statement will probably provide some direction to the dollar,"said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

"'Will the Fed acknowledge a slowdown in growth and thus send rate hike expectations lower for 2017?' The Fed's statement should be answering these questions, and based on that, traders will act."

Strong corporate earnings for the first quarter have largely outweighed concerns about patches of weak economic data, including a report last week that showed the U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in three years in the first quarter.

At 9:50 a.m. ET (9:50 p.m Singapore time) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5.59 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 20,919.05. The S&P 500 was down 1.45 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 2,386.88 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 6.52 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 6,085.09.

Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the industrials index's 0.34 percent rise leading the advancers.

Investors are bracing for another heavy week of corporate reports to see if quarterly earnings will keep on exceeding expectations.