NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks fell in early trading today as new signs of economic vigor prompted new speculation about whether the Federal Reserve will eventually move to raise interest rates.

A widely followed report on the manufacturing economy showed a surprisingly strong advance in March. Also, the leading indicators index was also higher than expected.

At 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 41.85 at 8,757.96.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 80.29 million shares.

Broad-market indexes were mixed.

The Standard & Poor's 500 list was down 4.96 at 1,096.79. The NYSE composite index was down 1.95 at 570.83 and the American Stock Exchange composite index was up 0.73 at 742.36.

The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.83 at 1,836.51.

On Tuesday, the Dow snapped a four-day losing streak, rising 17.69 to close at 8,799.81. Earlier in the day the Dow had risen more than 110 points.

Overseas today, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average fell 1.7 percent. In afternoon trading, Frankfurt's DAX index was up 1 percent and London's FT-SE 100 was up 1 percent.