The stock market finished mixed Wednesday as the government reported a record trade defict for January.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 10.38 points at 4,082.99, standing a shade below the record closing high of 4,083.68 set Monday.
In the broader market, declining issues led advances 1,134-982 on the New York Stock Exchange. But the average share was up 3 cents. Big Board volume totaled 313.11 million shares.
The Nasdaq index fell 0.68 to 809.10. The Wilshire Associates Equity Index was 4,860.578 down 0.324 or 0.01 percent.
Before the market opened, the government reported a January merchandise trade deficit of $12.23 billion, a jump of 68.4 percent from December's deficit of $7.26 billion.
Exports of aircraft, normally a standout, sank to a 17-year low while the nation suffered its first ever deficit in big-ticket capital goods. Meanwhile, imports surged, especially of toys, televisions, pleasure boats and cars.
The report helped send the dollar, bonds and stocks lower, but the losses didn't stick.
"Overall the market was really into a kind of quiet pause to refresh," Alfred Goldman, technical research director at A.G. Edwards. He said a "normal" retreat of 2 percent to 3 percent on the major averages would bring the Dow back to about 4,000 and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index to 480 in the next couple of weeks.
Oil stocks rose, with the price of oil, after U.S. government officials said Iran was amassing weapons and troops on the Strait of Hormuz. Exxon added 1 1/8 to 65 5/8 and Mobil rose 1 to 88 7/8 .
Fingerhut Cos. slumped 3 at 11 1/4 . The mail-order firm said first-quarter earnings would be below expectations. Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock to "market performer" from "buy."
Pep Boys slipped 1 1/4 to 31 7/8 . Raymond James downgraded the issue to "neutral" from "accumulate."
On the Nasdaq, Oracle Systems fell 1 1/4 to 33. At least two investment firms downgraded the stock, even after the database software marketer said its third-quarter net income rose to 24 cents per share from 16 cents, on the high end of expectations.
Apple Computer rose 1 13-16 to 38 1-16 after Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said his company would continue to make software for Apple computers.
Starbucks fell 1 to 23 1/8 . The Wall Street Journal reported that insiders of the coffee company are selling shares.
In bond trading, the government's benchmark 30-year bond closed down 1-32 point, or 31 cents per $1,000 invested. Its yield rose to 7.45 percent from 7.44 percent late Tuesday.
Prices of short-term Treasury securities were unchanged and intermediate maturities fell 1-32 point to 1/8 point, said Dow Jones Telerate.
The Bond Buyer index of 40 actively traded municipal bonds closed at 91 1/4 , down 5-16 from late Tuesday. The average yield to maturity was 6.37 percent, up from 6.34 percent.