STOCKS finished mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrials edging lower, as investors bought issues which they believed would perform well in an economic downturn. Stock investors were buying selectively among consumer non-durables and interest-sensitive stocks, on the premise the economy might be cooling down and that the Federal Reserve might be finished tightening interest rates for a while. Consumer stocks typically outperformed economically sensitive issues during times of stable or falling interest rates, analysts said. Larry Wachtel, market analyst at Prudential Securities, said that, barring any significant development in world events, stocks would trade in a narrow range until retail sales figures and consumer price data were released next week. It would not be until then, Mr Wachtel said, that investors would get a clear reading on whether the Fed would tighten again. The release of the producer price index report, 'will not show us much of anything', Mr Wachtel said. Some banking and financial stocks, and utility issues, moved higher in hope that the Fed would keep rates stable for a while.