The Markets

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Seven consecutive days of record highs ended Wednesday as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 21.68 points to finish at 5,579.55. Advancing issues lead declines on the New York Stock Exchange, with a heavy volume of 416.8 million shares by 4 p.m. Stocks also fell on the the Standard & Poor's index, dropping 4.93 to 655.58. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.81 to 1,088.02. And in London, gold finished at $402.45, up $0.70.