NEW YORK (AP) _ Most stocks fell this morning as investors wrestled with the mixed implications of the latest interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

At 11 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 12.36 at 8,973.92, hovering near the 9,000-mark for a third straight session.

Broader stock indicators were also little changed, although Internet shares sprinted higher yet again.

On Tuesday, the Dow lost about 25 points despite rallying to a 91-point gain soon after Fed officials lowered the central bank's lending rates for the third time since late September.

While the previous rate cuts have helped bolster the economy by loosening up the purse strings among jittery lenders and borrowers, the Fed's continuing assault suggests that the global financial crisis may be worse than feared.

Furthermore, with inflationary pressures still looming, analysts said it's unlikely the Fed will risk fueling more demand with a fourth rate cut any time soon.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 3.76 at 1,135.56, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was up 0.64 at 1,879.16.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 9-to-7 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange, while Nasdaq losers led by a narrow margin. NYSE volume came to 185.37 million shares, on par with Tuesday's modest pace.

The NYSE composite index was down 1.67 at 559.35, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 1.96 at 664.93.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.3 percent. In afternoon trading, Germany's DAX index was down 0.1 percent, Britain's FT-SE 100 was slightly higher, and France's CAC-40 was down 0.4 percent.