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* Palo Alto shares slump after results

* Nvidia falls ahead of results on Wednesday

* Lowe's rises after smaller-than-expected drop in Q1 sales

* Macy's rises on upbeat forecast

* Indexes: Dow up 0.07%, S&P down 0.07%, Nasdaq down 0.32%

May 21 (Reuters) - The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell on Tuesday as investors grew cautious ahead of AI chip leader Nvidia's earnings this week and Federal Reserve officials emphasized the central bank is in no hurry to ease interest rates.

Nvidia shares fell 1.3% ahead of its quarterly earnings announcement on Wednesday that is likely to be a significant market trigger and a litmus test for the success of the generative AI boom.

Losses in chipmakers pushed the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index down 1.2%. Memory chip maker Micron dropped 2.2% after raising its full-year capital expenditure forecast.

Nasdaq eased off its record-high closing level hit on Monday, while information technology stocks led losses among the 11 S&P 500 sectors, down 0.5%.

"Because Monday was strong for Nasdaq, I'd respectfully say today's a mean reversion day," said Louis Navellier, chief investment officer at Navellier and Associates.

Data from options analytics firm Trade Alert showed Nvidia's options are primed for an 8.7% swing, or $200 billion in market cap, in either direction by Friday.

Navellier said Nvidia shares were "priced for perfection", but noted the volume of options trading on the stock meant "it's going to be very interesting to see the aftermath".

Investors are also awaiting minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting due on Wednesday.

Atlanta Fed Chair Raphael Bostic said the central bank needs to be cautious before starting to ease monetary policy, while fellow rate-setter Christopher Waller emphasized the need for more inflation data before cutting rates.

Traders currently factor in about 43 basis points of rate reductions this year, with a quarter-point cut fully priced in for November.

"We continue to expect the Fed to deliver the first cut in December... An earlier cut is possible, but it likely requires a string of more favorable inflation prints and some softening in labor market data," Deutsche Bank Research analysts said in a note.

At 9:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 28.67 points, or 0.07%, at 39,835.44, the S&P 500 was down 3.95 points, or 0.07%, at 5,304.18, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 53.51 points, or 0.32%, at 16,741.36.

Palo Alto Networks dropped 5.1% after its fourth-quarter billings forecast disappointed investors.

Lowe's Cos reversed premarket gains to fall 1.6%. The retailer's quarterly sales slowed less than forecast.

Macy's gained 2.1% after the department store operator raised its annual profit forecast, despite posting a bigger-than-expected drop in sales for the first quarter.

Peloton Interactive slumped 13.7% as the fitness equipment maker was looking to refinance its debt to regain its footing amid falling sales.

U.S.-listed shares of Li Auto lost 3.4% after the Chinese firm postponed plans to launch pure electric SUV models to next year.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1.13-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 40 new lows.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)