U.S. stocks fell for a second day as investors speculated the Federal Reserve will signal a change in its stance on the timing for higher interest rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.4 percent to 2,065.93 at 12:27 p.m. in New York. The gauge hasn’t posted a two-day gain in a month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 111.29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,737.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent.

The Fed will release its policy statement at 2 p.m. in Washington, and Chair Janet Yellen speaks to the press at 2:30 p.m. Yellen said in December the “patient” phrase made a move unlikely in the next two meetings. Dropping it would set the stage for a rate increase as early as June.

Speculation that a strengthening labor market is pushing the central bank closer to a rate increase has weighed on U.S. equities, making them among the worst-performing developed markets this year. Fed stimulus has helped spur a six-year bull market that made the S&P 500 more than triple since a low in in 2009.

Source : Bloomberg