- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. stocks followed markets in Europe and Asia lower Wednesday ahead of the release of the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 139 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,509 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,083 and the Nasdaq composite fell 29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,030.

FED WATCH: Investors will also be looking for clues about when the U.S. central bank will begin to raise interest rates for the first time in years when the Federal Reserve releases minutes from its July meeting at 2 p.m. ET.

The Fed appeared on track to raise interest rates later this year but has signaled a desire to see further economic gains and higher inflation.

CHINA FEAR: Overseas, China’s stock market roiled on fears that the country’s currency, the yuan, will continue to erode.

Chinese stocks ended higher but only after a rollercoaster ride that saw them trade sharply lower earlier. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 1.2 percent at 3,794.11 after plunging as much as 5 percent during the day.

ANALYST TAKE: “The Chinese equity market may have ended on a positive note, but the erratic swings should be viewed with caution, and such a wide trading range tells us that China will not be stable for some time,” said David Madden, market analyst at IG.

BULLSEYE: Target rose $3.58, or 4.5 percent, to $83.88 after the big box retailer lifted its profit forecast and reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 42 cent to $42.70 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 13 cents to $48.69 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose 0.1 percent at $1.1040 while the dollar was flat at 124.36 yen.

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