NEW YORK, JAN. 22 -- The stock market today ended a negative week on a positive note as prices advanced in quiet trading that provided strong evidence of investor reluctance to flirt with the recent market volatility.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24.20 to close at 1903.51. For the week, the index lost 52.56 points, or 2.7 percent.

Ricky Harrington, technical analyst with Interstate Securities Corp. in Charlotte, N.C., said the advance, though welcome, occurred in a market that was under pressure, hurt by low volume and searching for leadership.

"The market turned {rebounded} at 1850 yesterday, as it did when it contained a selloff a few weeks ago, so 1850 is now somewhat of a support level," Harrington said. "But we still have to be cautious going into next week with resistance on the upside at around 1910-1930," as measured by the Dow.

"It's as dull as I've ever seen," said John Burnett, senior vice president and head trader at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. "The light volume is clearly a reflection of the hesitancy on the part of individuals and institutions to get into a buzzsaw with this recent volatility."

Shearson Lehman Bros. Inc. and its newly acquired E.F. Hutton Group today said they have indefinitely suspended index arbitrage program trading for their accounts.

The company said "investor confidence is being eroded by the extreme volatility in today's financial markets" and many of their clients had expressed concern that "program trading may exacerbate market volatility." Arbitrage trading uses computer programs to seek profits from discrepancies between stock index futures and the prices of the stocks that make up those indexes.

Advances topped declines 1,135 to 415 among the 1,964 issues traded. Volume totaled 147.05 million shares, compared with 158.08 million shares Thursday. Broad market indexes gained. The New York Stock Exchange index rose 1.72 to 138.69. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 3.36 to 246.50.

On the NYSE trading floor, ACM Government Securities Fund was the most active issue, unchanged at 12. Northern Indiana Public Service followed, up 1/8 to 10 1/4.

Among other blue chips, General Electric was up 1 to 44 1/4, American Express was up 3/8 to 25 1/2 and Merck was up 2 1/4 to 150 1/4.

Prices were higher in moderate trading on the American Stock Exchange. The Amex market value index rose 1.85 to 265.62. The Nasdaq composite index rose 3.30 to close at 337.55.