Stocks stall, S&P 500 still on track for a 3rd weekly gain

Stocks stalled in afternoon trading Friday, but the S&P 500 is still on pace for its third weekly gain in a row.

The S&P 500 gave up an early gain and was 0.1% lower as of 1:06 p.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 91 points, or 0.3%, to 34,375 and the Nasdaq Composite rose less than 0.1%. With the exception of the Dow, the indexes are on pace to close the week higher.

Technology and financial companies made some of the broadest gains. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 2.5% and Charles Schwab rose 1.7%. The gains were offset by a broad slide for health care stocks, with several companies giving investors disappointing development updates.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals dropped 9.7% after telling investors it will end development of a potential treatment for a genetic condition that targets the liver. Incyte fell 5.8% as its potential eczema cream ruxolitinib faces a delayed regulatory review.

Investors were relieved to see Thursday that a much-anticipated report showed that a big rise in consumer-level inflation last month was mostly attributed to temporary factors. That could mean less pressure on the Federal Reserve to pull back on its measures supporting the economy. The Fed holds its next meeting on interest rate policy next week.

“You kind of have this notion that worries about inflation from the investor base might have peaked,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird.

A significant share of May’s rise in consumer prices was tied to the sale of used cars, which is largely attributed to purchases by rental car companies beefing up their fleets as people return to traveling.

Bond yields have moved lower this week despite reports showing more strength in the economy and possible signs of inflation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was trading at 1.46%, down from 1.57% a week ago.