The countervailing forces of price momentum and poor fundamentals battled to a veritable standstill this week, but momentum ultimately prevailed.

Major stock proxies actually fell three of the five sessions this week, reflecting rising consternation about the rally's sustainability. But the market displayed more oomph on its two up days, a bullish trend reflecting continued consternation among market participants that they may miss the "next" up move.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9%, the S&P 500 gained 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.1%.

As stocks slogged along, the real excitement was in Treasury market, where yields on the benchmark 10-year note fell to their lowest level since 1958 and yields on the 30-year hit the lowest levels since the bond was first regularly issued in the early 1970s. Treasuries rallied again Friday with the price of 10-year note rising 20/32 to 101 14/32, its yield falling to 3.45%, down 23 basis points for the week. The 30-year bond fell 22 basis points for the week, ending Friday at 4.45%. (Long-dated treasuries enjoyed their best two-week gains since June 1995, Bloomberg reported.)

The Treasury rally continued the momentum sparked last week when the Federal Open Market Committee expressed concern about an "unwelcome substantial fall in inflation." On Friday, Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson said the Fed "has to guard against further declines from the already low prevailing level of inflation," and stressed that it will.

Ferguson also said "the U.S. has too many good things going for it to make a forecast of deflation credible," but such fears were stoked this week by a steep drop in the producer price index on Thursday and Friday's consumer price index report. CPI fell 0.3% in April, a bit more than consensus estimates and the largest drop in 19 months.

"The latest inflation indexes bear out the Fed's concern," Goldman Sachs' economists commented. "With activity data also indicating that the postwar rebound is still more forecast than fact, the probability of a 50-basis-point rate cut by midyear has risen further."

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