Stocks drop as traders find little reason to buy

He said the market is fairly valued here and off the levels when investors were fearful of a depression. Stocks are still factoring in a severe recession.

"We're clearly not going to have any form of a V-shaped recovery," Maisano said, referring to the pace of the rebound from the economy's tumble in the fall. "It will be a longer slog."

Even with the government's bank rescue and economic stimulus spending, Maisano expects the economy will still have a tough recovery.

"It was virtually a tourniquet. It stopped the bleeding but it doesn't have much effect on the healing at the moment," he said.

Next week, investors will get data on housing sales on Monday, on housing construction a day later and on regional manufacturing on Thursday. The reports could help drive the market but many analysts say more clear signs of an economic recovery, not just stabilizing, will be what is needed to propel Wall Street.

Bond prices fell after the inflation data. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.16% from 3.09% late Thursday.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Overseas, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3%, Germany's DAX index slipped less than 0.1%, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.4%. Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.9%.

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