The stock market put in a mixed performance on Thursday, but the Dow Jones industrials climbed to another new high.
The Dow index ended 11.76 higher at 4,172.56, posting the thirteenth all-time closing high this year.
"Aside from autos and metals, the market doesn't look good," said Bob Walberg, a market analyst at MMS International, who argued that stocks have run up too hard and too fast.
"It appears to me as though the market has more or less put in a top here, and that the bias over the next few weeks will be to the down side. We're long overdue for a three-to-five-percent correction."
Advancing issues led decliners by about 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume was a robust at 362.96 million shares, down from 385.95 million on Wednesday.
Broad market indexes were mostly lower. The NYSE's composite index fell 0.01 to 271.83. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index declined 0.91 to 502.21, while the Nasdaq composite index slid 2.30 to 816.86.
But the American Stock Exchange's market value index rose 2.66 to 465.01.
The Wilshire Associates Equity Index -- the market value of NYSE, American and Nasdaq issues -- was 4,933.117 down 1.169 or 0.02 percent.
Stocks moved higher with the dollar at the opening bell, after the German Bundesbank, in a surprise move, lowered key short term interest rates. The lower rates attracted investors to the dollar and to dollar-denominated securities, including stocks.
Semiconductor stocks were particularly hard hit. Micron Technology Inc. fell 4 to 74 1/2 , Texas Instruments Inc. lost 3 3/4 to 90 1/4 , and Intel Corp. sank 1-1 1/1 6 to 85 3/8 .
Drug makers were among non-durables stocks hit by sellers. Merck & Co. fell 1 1/4 to 42, American Home Products Corp. dropped 2 to 72 1/2 , and Pfizer Inc. was off 2 1/2 to 85 7/8 .
Cyclical stocks leading the Dow Jones index higher were Aluminum Co. of America, up 2 1/2 to 42 7/8 , and Caterpillar Inc., up 2 1/2 to 56 3/8 .
Airline stocks also rallied. Analysts said the group has lagged and may benefit from rising air fares, cost cutting and strong traffic. Delta Air Lines rallied 2 5/8 to 64 while American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. gained 1 1/4 to 65 3/4 .
Treasury bond prices ended lower Thursday as market participants, receiving no surprising economic news, moved to book profits before the quarter ends.
The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond was down 7-16 point, or $4.38 per $1,000 in face value. Its yield rose to 7.41 percent from 7.37 percent late Wednesday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Prices of short-term Treasury securities fell by 1-16 point to 5-32 point, and intermediate maturities ranged from down 5-32 point to down 1/4 point, said Dow Jones Telerate, a financial information service.
"It's really mostly profit-taking," said Astrid Adolfson, a money market economist with McCarthy, Crisanti & Maffei Inc.
The Lehman Brothers Daily Treasury Bond Index, reflecting price movements on bonds with maturities of a year or longer, fell 2.18 to 1,209.71. In the tax-exempt market, the Bond Buyer index of 40 actively traded municipal bonds closed at 91 17-32, up 2-32 from late Wednesday. The average yield to maturity was 6.34 percent, down from 6.35 percent