Ahhh, don't worry. This is just a little breather.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

lost 11.55 to 6418.47 Thursday, though the measure rebounded from far steeper losses reached earlier in the session. Treasurys also lost ground, pushing interest rates higher.

"I have to say that seeing a negative number on the Dow these days makes me feel that my stock machine must be broken,'' says David Shulman, chief equity strategist at Salomon Brothers. "But, really, for post-election rallies, this one has matched previous efforts.''

In rough numbers, the S&P 500 gained 5% in a 1968 post-election rally; 7% in 1972; 10% in 1980 and about 6% in the current rally, Mr. Shulman said.

Thursday's pullback by major averages--the

Nasdaq Composite Index

lost 6.86 to 1258.08--reflected the feeling of nervous retreat on Wall Street as the week neared a close. The computer sector carried the market higher on Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday the cyclical stocks moved rapidly to the fore as computer and technology shares regrouped. On Thursday, an exhausted market failed to produce any group hale enough to lead another strike into record territory.

The moment's momentum stock,

IBM

(IBM:NYSE), gained 1 + to 154 1/8, turning its back on a pair of Wall Street darlings unable to keep pace.

Intel

(INTC:NYSE) lost 2 to 118 + and

Microsoft

(MSFT:Nasdaq) fell 3 to 150 +. Among other technology shares,

Compaq

(CPQ:NYSE) slipped 1 to 79 3/8,

Cisco Systems

(CSCO:Nasdaq) dropped + to 65 7/8,

Computer Associates

(CA:NYSE) rose 3 3/8 to 67 + and

Dell

(DELL:Nasdaq) gained 2 + to 97 7/8.

With technology shares floundering, some analysts recalled the gizmohead axiom: Buy tech leading up to Comdex, sell tech on the heels of Comdex. Comdex, the Las Vegas technowhiz conference ends Friday.

Boeing

(BA:NYSE) gained 1 1/8 to 97 + as investors celebrated a 103-plane, $6.5-billion order from

AMR

(AMR:NYSE), parent of American Airlines. A Boeing executive crowed late in the day that the firm is embarking on a major up cycle. AMR dropped + to 90 +.

Olsten

(OLS:NYSE), a temporary help concern skidded 5 3/8 to 14 + after warning that its business was not doing as well as expected. That news also slammed

Accustaff

(ASI:NYSE), which dropped 2 + to 21 +.

In the non-Intel chip world (kind of like Michael Jordan and the rest of us)

Integrated Device Technologies

surged 2 to 11 3/8 after Montgomery Securities raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold."

Kulicke & Soffa

(KLIC:Nasdaq), a chip equipment firm, also received a Montgomery boost, and jumped 3 + to 20 +.

But not all was well in chipland.

Applied Materials

(AMAT:Nasdaq), a leading equipment maker fell 1 1/8 to 30 7/8 in after-hours trading after posting poor fourth-quarter results.

Volume topped more than 1 billion shares on Wall Street. More than 587 million shares traded on Nasdaq and about 472 million shares traded on the Big Board.

By Dave Kansas