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STOCKS DECLINE ON PROFIT-TAKING

Investors turned cautious today, locking in some of their profits from Monday's big rally and again focusing on fears about terrorist attacks.

Stocks were mixed after U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft held a news conference to report that three German-based terrorists are being sought for planning the assaults on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The news reawakened Wall Street's concerns about national security and how the market will fare as the United States retaliates for the attacks.

Still, the downturn, which came despite a number of companies' satisfactory earnings, wasn't surprising given the Dow Jones industrials' 172-point surge Monday.

At 1 p.m., the Dow was off 22.97 at 9,354.06. The Nasdaq composite index gained 11.07 to 1,719.15 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 1.49 to 1,088.41.

Cisco Systems climbed 34 cents to $17.17, Sun Microsystems advanced 34 cents to $9.17, Microsoft rose 85 cents to $61.05 and Juniper Networks jumped $1.11 to $24.36.

Principal Financial Group climbed $2.31 to $20.81. The insurer raised $1.9 billion in the biggest U.S. initial public offering since Kraft Foods in June. The company priced its shares at $18.50 each, at the low end of expectations.

Expedia climbed $2.72 to $31.95. It reported a narrower first-quarter loss compared to a year earlier helped by hotel and vacation-package bookings before Sept. 11. The company, which is being bought by USA Networks, beat analysts' expectations for the quarter excluding stock-based pay and other items.

DaimlerChrysler rose $1.78 to $36.81 after beating analysts' forecasts and affirming its full-year targets. Shoemaker Reebok, which also surpassed forecasts, advanced $1.14 to $23.19.

Kimberly-Clark, which met expectations, advanced 43 cents to $53.65.

On the downside were companies that missed earnings expectations. American Express, which issued disappointing results late Monday, slipped 4 cents to $30.28.

Lucent fell 21 cents to $6.69 after posting a wider-than-expected loss.

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