A slew of key economic data provided limited relief Friday to equity investors still reeling from the recent heavy selling pressure. But the data deluge will likely give more fuel to inflation concerns and ensure the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates for the foreseeable future. Notably, core consumer price inflation was less than expected in September but headline inflation increased at the fastest pace since 1980. In addition, retail sales and industrial production data showed the economy remained on strong footing in September, excluding the hurricane shocks to the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, consumer confidence, as measured by the University of Michigan, failed to rebound in October, after plunging in September in the wake of the energy spike caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After rallying at the open, major stock indices fell back after the consumer confidence numbers. But shares rose again midday, partly helped by a drop in the price of crude oil, recently down $1.13 to $61.95 per barrel. Crude fell in part because of concerns over the fate of beleaguered commodities brokerage Refco ( RFX). The Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently up 0.2% at 10,229.78, vs. its intraday high of 10,272. The blue-chip average was lifted, among others, by General Electric ( GE), which posted solid earnings before the market opened. General Motors ( GM) also gained after reports that it may unilaterally cut employee benefits. The S&P 500 index was recently up 0.2% at 1179.40 after trading as high as 1185 earlier. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2% at 2051.31, after trading up to 2060. Among the gainers, Electronic Arts ( ERTS) rose 3.9% after saying it enlisted renowned film director Steven Spielberg to collaborate on video games. Bond prices, meanwhile, continued to reflect rising inflation expectations. After rising in early trade, the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond was recently down 5/32 while its yield, which moves inversely to its price, rose to 4.49%.