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Stocks stall, benchmark S&P 500 heads for a 3rd weekly gain

Stocks stall, benchmark S&P 500 heads for a 3rd weekly gain

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Stocks stalled in midday 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 little changed as of 11:53 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50 points, or 0.2%, to 34,413 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 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 1.9% 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% after telling investors it will end development of a potential treatment for a genetic condition that targets the liver. Incyte fell 7% as its potential eczema cream ruxolitinib faces a delayed regulatory review.

Investors were relieved to see Thursday that a much-anticipated inflation 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.

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 1.47%, down from 1.57% a week ago.

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