Stocks fell across a broad front in moderate trading today, but made a recovery attempt toward the end as Chase Manhattan, Manufacturers Hanover and Chemical banks lowered the rate they charge brokers for loans.

The rates were cut to 19 1/2 percent at Manufacturers Hanover and Chase from 20 1/2 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Chemical's rate was trimmed to 19 3/4 percent from 20 1/2 percent.

These actions were taken as the federal funds rate that banks charge one another for overnight loans retreated a bit.

However, a spectacular energy takeover war also remained hot and projected borrowings kept most interest rates at near-record levels. The Washington Post also reported today that the policy-setting Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee voted at its meeting last week to lower a key money growth target as another anti-inflation move.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which slipped 1.33 points Monday, dropped 6.09 points to 948.25. The New York Stock Exchange Index shed 0.02 to 75.26 and the price of an average share decreased a penny. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added 0.01 to 129.65. Declines topped advances, 953-519, among the 1,883 issues traded.

Big Board volume totaled 45,230,000 shares, up from the 38,100,000 traded Monday. Composite volume of all trading in NYSE issue was 52.7 million shares.

The American Stock Exchange index jumped 1.34 to 364.84 and the price of a share added seven cents. The National Association of Securities Dealers' NASDAQ index of over-the-counter issues lost 0.98 to 209.88.