Dow, S&P 500 fall to conclude rocky week for US stocks

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Wall Street stocks finished a volatile week mostly lower Friday as markets weighed inflation worries against expected progress on a US spending package and coronavirus vaccines.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note retreated below 1.5 percent, but a rise in yields in recent sessions remained a worry point for investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.5 percent, or around 470 points, to finish the week at 30,932.37.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.5 percent to close at 3,811.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.6 percent to 13,192.34.

Despite Friday's gain by the Nasdaq, the technology-heavy index was the biggest loser for the week, shedding around five percent. The Dow and S&P 500 were also negative for the week.

The downturn in stocks reflects fears runaway inflation in a fast-recovering US economy in the second half of 2021 will spur the Federal Reserve to suddenly lift interest rates, raising borrowing costs.

Some leading experts reject this fear, with Oxford Economics ruing a "misreading the Fed's reaction function."

"While inflation will undoubtedly warm up in 2021, it's unlikely to spiral out of control amid a lingering demand gap in some sectors of the economy and anchored inflation expectations," Oxford Economics said in an analysis.

The House of Representatives was expected to vote later Friday on Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue package to provide additional relief to the coronavirus-ravaged economy. The package would then have to go to the Senate.

Investors also have been cheered by regulatory progress on Johnson & Johnson's single-dose coronavirus vaccine, which could be approved for emergency use later Friday.

Among individual companies, Beyond Meat gained 1.2 percent after sealing partnerships with fast-food giants McDonald's and Yum! Brands, which owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut among other chains.

Twitter gained 3.3 percent, moving to an all-time high, as it announced plans to offer a subscription service in which users would pay for special content from high-profile accounts, part of an economic model to diversify its revenue.

Salesforce fell 6.3 percent on disappointment with the cloud computing company's outlook.