NEW YORK, DEC. 9 -- Blue-chip issues led a rally today that pushed the Dow Jones industrial average up for the third straight day in trading marked by futures-related buying.

The Dow industrials rose 34.15 points, or 1.83 percent, to close at 1902.52.

The dollar, meanwhile, slipped again today on foreign exchange markets and gold prices edged higher.

The Dow average's 135-point advance so far this week nearly erased its 144-point drop in the previous week. Broader indexes also gained, but the rise was confined mainly to blue-chip stocks, and for that reason many analysts remained cautious about the market.

As expected, the market opened lower on profit-taking. But unlike the late surges that drove the market higher Monday and Tuesday, stock prices advanced early, pushing the Dow up as much as 45 points.

Although the market struggled to hold onto gains late in the session, analysts remained pleased with its ultimate performance.

"All in all {the market} gets good marks ... not only for today but for all week," said Eugene Peroni, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott Inc. in Philadelphia.

The market vacillated near the close "because of the important news coming," Peroni said in reference to the October merchandise trade figures due out Thursday.

The consensus on Wall Street is that the trade deficit will fall to between $14 billion and $16 billion. Analysts predicted that a figure at the lower end of that range would provide the necessary stimulation to sustain recent gains.

"If {the rally} carried over into secondary issues, I'd be happy," said William Howard, a vice president with Sutro & Co. in San Francisco. "But this is a technical rally in a bearmarket ... and I don't think the general public is involved."

Advancing issues outpaced decliners by more than 2 to 1 in the overall tally of New York Stock Exchange issues, with 1,119 up, 501 down and 381 unchanged.

Volume on the Big Board came to 231.43 million shares. But analysts attributed much of it to computer-guided purchases and investors who snapped up equities to lock in dividends.

"There was not a lot of breadth" in today's rally, Peroni said. "Participants have a very select shopping list and are sticking to that basket for some time."

Some analysts cautioned against reading the week's performance as signaling a permanent change in psychology.

Peroni was more bullish. "The market has a more positive underlying thread of confidence that has been missing for weeks," he said. "The buying seems to be a little more calculated and with greater conviction than there has been."

Trading in over-the-counter stocks was disrupted for three hours because of a power failure that knocked out the computer that runs the system. However, traders said the shutdown had no significant effect in the OTC market.

Among the most actively traded Big Board issues, IBM was up 2 1/2 to 114, General Electric rose 1 5/8 to 43 7/8, Hewlett Packard gained 1 3/8 to 52 3/4, Eastman Kodak was up 1 to 47 7/8 and Exxon was down 3/8 to 39 1/2.

Among gaining issues, Digital Equipment rose 1 1/8 to 125 3/8, Teledyne was up 9 1/2 to 287 5/8, Philip Morris gained 2 3/8 to 91 3/8, Procter & Gamble rose 1 7/8 to 85 5/8 and Eli Lilly picked up 2 3/4 to close at 69 3/4. The chemical sector was strong, with Dow Chemical gaining 3 5/8 to 81 1/4, Du Pont up 2 1/4 to 81 1/4, and Monsanto 4 3/8 higher to 75.

Activity in the currency markets was muffled by traders' anticipation of the October trade figures.

In Tokyo, where the trading day begins, the dollar closed today at 132.35 Japanese yen, down from 132.78 Tuesday and its lowest level since postwar exchange rates were established in the late 1940s. In London, the dollar traded even lower late in the day at 132.30 yen, down from 132.73 late Tuesday. Later in New York, the dollar sank to 132.19 yen, down from 132.64.

In London, one British pound cost $1.8035, up from $1.7965 late Tuesday. In New York, the pound rose to $1.8042 from $1.7990.

In late European trading, the dollar was at 1.6620 West German marks, down from 1.6681 late the day before. In New York, the dollar was at 1.6621 marks, down from 1.6645 late Tuesday