The stock market inched lower in moderate trading today, with little new economic data to move the market.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials was down 7.34 points to 2,470.67 at noon. The blue-chip indicator was 5.69 points lower an hour earlier.
Declining issues outpaced advancers by about 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 691 issues down, 541 up and 576 unchanged.
Volume on the Big Board totaled 83.93 million shares, down from Tuesday's midday level of 92 million shares.
The dollar continued its advance against the Japanese yen but was mixed against major European currencies.
"After the 5 percent rally of the last couple of weeks, it's natural for the market to pause for rest and relaxation. That's some of what we're going through," said Dennis Jarrett, technical analyst with Kidder, Peabody Group Inc. "The positive is that there's not a lot of heavy selling going on."
Among actively traded issues on the NYSE, Avon had jumped 1 5/8 to 36 3/8 amid new takeover speculation. IBM was up 1/8 to 109 5/8 and AT&T had risen 1/2 to 35 1/8 .
On Tuesday, the Dow fell 24.01 points to finish the day at 2,478.01.
Volume on the floor of the Big Board came to 187.69 million shares, up from 185.01 million in Monday's session.