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Dow ekes out 4-point gain as broad market declines


NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.05 points yesterday, to close at 3,232.22, after a series of dramatic moves that were attributed largely to jitters over the stability of the dollar.

A gain in a key Dow component, IBM, made the difference between a small gain and a small loss in the Dow, traders said.

Although losses in the dollar were mild compared with those of Friday and Monday, when the dollar fell to historic lows against the German mark and Treasury bonds slumped, traders said the stock market remained nervous.

Uncertainties were linked to the dollar and interest rates, the stumbling economy and a presidential election that is viewed by markets here and in Europe as offering less than the best of leadership choices.

The Dow initially rallied 7 points, to 3,235, with the 30-year Treasury bond up 6/32 as stocks opened. Bonds were seen as consolidating while the dollar showed no trend.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the rally in stocks faltered as the Conference Board announced that consumer confidence in August fell to 58, from 61 in July. It was the second month of decline after four months of increases. The Dow retraced its gains on the confidence reading.

At the close, the Dow stood at 3232.22, up 4.05, after swinging in a 27-point range and changing direction several times.

But declining stocks outpaced advancing issues by 986 to 734. Although volume rose to 201 million shares, from Monday's 165 million, broad stock indexes were mixed.

Among Dow components, IBM finished up 2, to 87 1/8 , but Goodyear slipped 1 1/4 , to 63. Other moves were fractional. Boeing eased 3/4 , to 37 5/8 , after Delta Air Lines announced late Monday that it will defer delivery on up to $1 billion of new $H aircraft.

McDonnell Douglas, Delta's other key aircraft supplier, rose 3/8 , to 40.

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