NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks fell in early trading today as investors took some profits following two days of gains that preceded the Federal Reserve Board's decision to leave interest rates stable.

In late morning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 11.72 at 11,127.43, after falling by more than 50 points earlier in the session.

Broader stock indicators were also lower.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 1.30 at 1,496.83, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 21.57 to 3,936.64.

``We saw some very normal profit taking early in the session. It was simply investors responding to the Fed's decision not to raise interest rates,'' said Alfred Goldman, director of market analysts at A.G. Edwards & Sons in St. Louis.

Goldman noted also that the Dow index had risen 640 points in the past two and a half weeks in anticipation of the Fed's decision.

Analysts had predicted for weeks that the Fed would leave interest rates alone Tuesday, and traders responded to that forecast with optimism, buying stocks in the sessions leading up to the meeting.

Economic indicators have signaled for several months that the Fed's 14-month policy of raising interest rates to cool the economy and ease inflationary pressures has been successful.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 4-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 264.62 million shares, up slightly from Tuesday's early pace.

The Russell 2000 index was down 2.36 at 515.10.

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