NEW YORK (AP) _ The stock market treaded water Tuesday, livened almost exclusively by a big run-up in IBM shares that sent the Dow Jones industrials higher.

The Dow average ended up 33.96 at 5,671.68, within striking distance of its closing record of 5,683.60 set March 18. Two-thirds of the Dow's gain was from IBM's 7 1/4-point rise to 117 5/8 on talk of strong demand for its mainframe computers.

A burst of late buying tacked more than 10 points to the Dow, but had it not been for strength all day in IBM, ``it really would have been a dull, listless day,'' said Ricky Harrington, a technical analyst at Interstate-Johnson Lane in Charlotte, N.C.

Advancing issues had a weak 8-to-7 lead on decliners on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume on the Big Board was moderately heavy at 406.6 million shares as of 4 p.m. up slightly from Monday's pace.

Technology shares were strong enough to push broad-market indexes higher, with the American Stock Exchange's market value index up 0.21 to 572.65, breaking through its record of 570.31 set March 8.

The NYSE's composite index rose 0.66 to 351.60. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 1.53 to 655.26. The Nasdaq composite index rose 4.72 to 1,111.29. The Russell 2000 small company index rose 0.79 to 333.23 _ its third consecutive record.

IBM rose as high as 118 1/8, up 7 3/4, after Lehman Brothers, citing an independent research firm, said demand for IBM's core mainframe products was very strong in March.

Lehman analyst Don Young added in a research report that the stock was ``deeply undervalued.'' Mainframe sales should propel IBM's earnings higher for several quarters to come, he said.

Lehman's comments ``really got (IBM) stock rocking and rolling,'' said Richard Meyer, head of equity trading at Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co. ``It's kind of surprising.''

Some computer stocks rose on IBM's coattails, but the sector was surprisingly anemic, given the strength in Big Blue, its most prominent leader.

On the Big Board, Digital Equipment rose 5/8 to 54 7/8, but Compaq eased 1/8 to 39, and Hewlett-Packard dropped 3/8 to 95 7/8. In Nasdaq trading, Dell Computer was unchanged at 35 5/8, and Apple Computer fell 11-32 to 25 5-32.

The markets were juggling conflicting pieces of new information about the economy.

The Conference Board reported that the Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose sharply by 1.3 percent in February as businesses snapped back from the January blizzard on the East Coast.

But in a separate report, the Commerce Department said the nation's gross domestic product grew 2 percent last year, even slower than the previously estimated 2.1 percent.

In the afternoon, Johnson Redbook said retail sales dropped 0.7 percent in the first four weeks of March from February, but they were up 6.3 percent from the similar period in 1995.

Bonds dipped in the morning but quickly recovered, with the 30-year benchmark Treasury closed up 17-32 point and yielding 6.59 percent.

Trading is expected to be quiet until next week, with the next big economic number coming on Friday with the released of March unemployment and job-creation figures.

But the stock market will be closed that day in observance of Good Friday, so many traders want to go into the weekend ``flat,'' that is, without large inventories or big short positions, traders said.

Eugene Peroni, a technical analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott Inc. in Philadelphia, said the market should also trade quietly until the flow of quarterly earnings reports picks up.

Overseas stock markets ended moderately higher.