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* Focus on Nvidia results due later in the day

* Palo Alto craters after Q3 billings forecast misses estimates

* Fed meeting minutes due 1400 ET

* Indexes down: Dow 0.09%, S&P 0.09%, Nasdaq 0.43%

Feb 21 (Reuters) - The tech-heavy Nasdaq led declines on Wall Street on Wednesday as investors braced for Nvidia's high-stakes earnings report that could hinder this year's AI euphoria if results are not stellar, and awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.

Nvidia shed 1.9% after a more than 4% decline in the previous session ahead of the chip designer's quarterly earnings, expected after markets close on Wednesday.

The company is expected to post a more than three-fold surge in its fourth-quarter revenue on robust demand for its chips that dominate the market for artificial intelligence (AI).

But analysts have warned that Nvidia's lofty valuation could make it vulnerable to sharp declines if it delivers anything short of a blowout report, and also spark a broader selloff among technology firms that have benefited from bets on AI.

"(Nvidia) is seen as the lead company in the AI revolution," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Jersey.

"With these elevated prices in the megacap tech space, there's clearly nervousness about any level of disappointment. Nvidia really needs to not only beat, but have a very strong forecast for it to reaccelerate to the upside." The chipmaker has jumped 37.4% so far this year, compared with 5.7% and 3.6% year-to-date gains in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index and the Nasdaq.

Three of the 11 major S&P sectors were in the red, with rate-sensitive technology stocks down 0.9%, while energy shares outperformed with gains of 1.7%.

The AI-fueled rally on Wall Street this year ran into a rough patch after data last week hinted at sticky inflation and stoked concerns that the Federal Reserve could delay the start of its rate easing cycle.

The January inflation data complicates upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate decisions, Richmond Fed president Thomas Barkin said on Wednesday.

Minutes from the Fed's January monetary policy meeting, due at 1400 ET (1900 GMT), will offer further clues on the timing of potential interest rate cuts.

A majority of traders are currently pricing in June as the starting point for rate easing, compared with March at the start of the year, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

At 11:23 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 35.60 points, or 0.09%, at 38,528.20, the S&P 500 was down 4.60 points, or 0.09%, at 4,970.91, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 67.51 points, or 0.43%, at 15,563.28.

Palo Alto Networks slumped 26.5% after the cybersecurity firm forecast third-quarter billings below analyst estimates.

Shares of other cybersecurity companies such as Fortinet , Zscaler and Crowdstrike Holdings fell between 5% and 14.9%.

Amazon.com gained nearly 1%, with the company set to join the Dow Jones Industrial Average effective next week, replacing Walgreens Boots Alliance. Shares of Walgreens slid 2.6%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.76-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 33 new highs and 62 new lows.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)