The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

stumbled today and closed slightly lower, as the much-ballyhooed milestone of 10,000 will have to wait another day.

The Dow closed down 21.36, or 0.2%, to 9876.35,

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

was the biggest drag on the Dow. It tumbled 6 3/16, or 12.2%, to 44 11/16. The heavy equipment maker issued an earnings warning before the open which sent its stock down sharply.

The Dow peaked about 10 minutes after the opening bell, up 61.33 to 9958.77.

The

S&P 500

fell 3.09, or 0.2%, to 1294.59.

Technology stocks were battered in large part to disappointment with

Oracle's

(ORCL) - Get Report

revenue growth within its earnings announcement yesterday after the close. Oracle fell 8 1/4, or 22.4%, to 28 9/16, and was most active on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

on volume of 100.7 million.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

tumbled 30.70, or 1.3%, to 2381.55. The

Russell 2000

slipped 2.70, or 0.7%, to 398.38.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

slumped 16.08, or 2.8%, to 568.00, while

TheStreet.com E-Commerce Index

gave up 2.91, or 2.7%, to 105.47.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 13/32 to 95 26/32, yielding 5.54%. Treasuries gained on bond-friendly economic data. The overall

Producer Price Index

fell 0.4% in February, while the core PPI, excluding food and energy, was unchanged.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

decliners beat advancers 1,540 to 1,381 on 821 million shares. On the Nasdaq, losers beat winners 2,220 to 1,670 on 914 million shares.

On the NYSE, 82 issues set new 52-week lows while 58 touched new highs. On the Nasdaq, 82 issues set new lows while new highs totaled 57.

On the Big Board,

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

was most active, with 46.7 million shares changing hands. It was down 14 7/16, or 39%, to 22 9/16, on a profit warning.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup