A tame reading of February consumer prices helped propel stocks and bonds higher Thursday, while gold and the dollar dropped. The consumer price index rose 0.1% last month, down from 0.7% in January and in line with expectations. Excluding food and energy, the core CPI also rose 0.1%, down from 0.2% in January and less than the 0.2% economists expected. The conclusion drawn by markets is that tame inflation, together with a slowing housing market, will prompt the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates sooner rather than later. The benchmark 10-year Treasury bond jumped 20/32 while its yield, which moves inversely, dropped to 4.64%. Rising bond yields had been rising steadily over the past few weeks, putting competitive pressure on stocks. Yields were rising partly due to economic strength in January, which persuaded some participants that the Fed will lift the fed funds rate to 5.25%. Long bond yields, which partly reflect inflation expectations, rose accordingly from a January low of 4.33% to 4.78% on Monday. But this week, a series of economic data, including weak February retail sales on Tuesday and now a tame CPI -- as well as a weaker-than-expected Philadelphia Fed index and higher-than-expected weekly jobless claims -- are relieving some inflation anxiety. That's also good news for stocks, which had been pressured not only by rising bond yields but also by concern that the Fed would "overshoot" -- hiking rates too much and possibly bringing economic growth to a halt. The Dow Jones Jones Industrial Average was recently up 66 points, or 0.6%, to 11,276. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 1309 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4% to 2320. Both the Dow and the S&P were at levels unseen in more than five years. Rate-sensitive issues, such as homebuilding stocks, were sharply higher. The Philadelphia housing sector index was recently up 1.7%, lifted by strong gains in the likes of Toll Brothers ( TOL), Standard Pacific ( SPF) and KB Home ( KBH).