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NEW YORK (AP) _ More disappointing corporate news _ this time involving Knight Trading _ held Wall Street back Tuesday, resulting in a mixed market as investors put off buying stocks yet again for fear the market decline would continue.

In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 24.79, or 0.3 percent, at 9,685.00, following a 215-point drop Monday to its lowest level since early February.

Broader stock indicators also retreated. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 2.52, or 0.2 percent, at 1,038.16. The Nasdaq composite index rose 4.98, or 0.3 percent, to 1,567.54, after closing Monday at its lowest level since Oct. 2.

Knight Trading slid $1.62, or 27.4 percent, to $4.30 on a Wall Street Journal report that the Securities and Exchange Commission and National Association of Securities Dealers are looking into whether the trading firm made illegal trades during the technology boom.

The news wasn't enough to deter bargain hunters, however.

Tyco advanced 24 cents to $16.29, reversing some of the selloff that followed news Monday its top executive had resigned because of a sales tax violations scandal.

Microsoft rose 39 cents to $49.81, recovering some of its decline Monday on word it had settled an accounting issues dispute with the SEC.

And energy company El Paso, which had fallen sharply Monday on word a top executive had committed suicide, was up $1.01 at $22.96.

Still, the overall mood of the market was negative. Analysts say the recent string of accounting scandals, lackluster earnings and political crises overseas are taking a toll on Wall Street, which already was skeptical about the market's ability to turnaround. After two years of losses, investors have become extremely cautious, unwilling to buy unless they're sure that their stock purchases will pay off sometime soon.

Declining issues led advancers nearly 3 to 2 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 174.21 million shares, compared with 122.80 million at the same point Monday.

The Russell 2000 index fell 1.78 to 472.61.

Overseas, stocks fell sharply. Japan's Nikkei stock average dropped 2.1 percent. In afternoon trading in Europe, France's CAC-40 slid 3.0 percent, and Germany's DAX index fell 2.0 percent.

The London Stock Exchange was closed for a holiday, and will reopen Wednesday.

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