NEW YORK, FEB. 23 -- The stock market ended little changed today after its recent rally ran into resistance.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks, up 25.70 points on Monday to its highest level in six weeks, slipped back 1.17 to 2039.12. The market's best-known indicator had risen more than 144 points between Feb. 8 and Monday's close, which was its highest finish since Jan. 7.

Advancing issues outpaced losers by a narrow margin among issues listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume rose to 192.26 million shares from 178.93 million shares on Monday.

The stock market has been aided recently by indications that the economy may be stronger than had been expected, leading some analysts to take an optimistic view of the outlook for corporate profits.

Still, there is plenty of uncertainty. In a new report, the government today said that orders to U.S. factories for durable goods plunged 2.8 percent in January, the biggest decline in a year. A drop had been expected, however, in the wake of an unusually sharp 4.1 percent rise in December.

Among the most active issues on the NYSE were several utility stocks that will soon be paying dividends. Philadelphia Electric was the most active, finishing unchanged at 19 7/8.

Among blue chips, Eastman Kodak rose 3/8 to 41 1/8, American Telephone & Telegraph fell 1/4 to 29 5/8.

Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 219.41 million shares.