NEW YORK, NOV. 15 -- The Dow Jones industrial average slid 14 points today amid new uncertainties over the direction of short-term interest rates.

The 30-year Treasury bond was off 5/32 in lethargic trading, with some traders predicting that the bond market would continue to sulk until the Federal Reserve finally makes clear a policy of lower rates.

{In Tokyo Friday, share prices on the stock exchange plunged in morning trading as a weaker yen, higher interest rates and concern about the Persian Gulf crisis discouraged investors, the Associated Press reported. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average finished the morning down 557.56 points, or 2.37 percent, at 22,929.92 points.}

Technical analysts wrote off the trading day on Wall Street as normal consolidation after a total gain of more than 100 points over the last four sessions.

At least for today, oil prices seemed to play little role in the movement of stock prices.

A barrel of crude oil for December delivery was trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $31.12, down 4 cents.

At the close, the Dow stood at 2545.05, down 14.60, while declines led advances on the Big Board by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio on moderate volume of 152 million shares.

Motorola, which had lost 1 1/2 in a counter trend move on Wednesday, opened down 1 3/8 at 54 5/8 after a trading delay and finished down 3 3/4 at 52 1/4, near its session low.

The high-volume action followed a downgrade by Merrill Lynch electronics analyst Thomas Kurlak, who said the company faced stiffening competition.

Tambrands was also a conspicuous loser, down 5 1/8 to 82 after a brokerage downgrade.

Devastation in Monarch Capital Corp., a holding company for health- and life-insurance operations, resurrected jitters about financial issues in general, despite nice price run-ups in many stocks over the past week.

Monarch plunged 3 points to 2 1/2, after management announced a special, pretax charge of $103 million against third-quarter earnings for anticipated losses on the disposal of its real estate assets, which have suffered from a sliding Northeast market.

Among broad stock indexes, the Standard & Poor's 500 was down 3.38 at 317.02, the New York Stock Exchange Composite fell 1.56 at 173.12, the Value Line lost 1.31 at 229.08, the Amex Market Value fell 1.18 at 296.69 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 2.41 at 354.46.