After worrying for weeks that growth and inflationary pressures would have the Federal Reserve tightening the monetary screws to painful levels, market players took a chill pill this week. In this altered state of mind, traders even found cause to take two out of the three major stock indices to multiyear highs. A spate of less-than-stellar February economic data and tame inflation readings had many traders daydreaming of a gentler Fed, which might deliver two more rate hikes at most. That would leave its key rate at 5%, a nice round number. Fear that the Fed would overshoot -- hiking rates too much and strangling economic and profit growth -- abated. How could the Fed be unsensitive to retail sales falling for the first time in six months in February, a month when consumer prices ticked up only slightly? For those seeking more evidence, the Philadelphia Fed index of business activity was also weaker than expected, while weekly jobless claims were higher than expected. The bond market, always the first to cheer signs of slower growth and inflation, was also the first to relax. Treasuries, which had sold off so far in March, regained some ground. The price of a 10-year Treasury bond advanced, while its yield, which moves inversely, fell as low as 4.65% on Thursday following the tame CPI. That also helped stocks, which had felt the competitive pressure of rising bond yields. Signs of bond bearishness returned on Friday, after news that industrial production increased 0.7% in February, after a 0.3% drop in January, while industrial capacity in use rose to 81.2% from 80.9%. Bonds also braced for a Monday night speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to the Economic Club of New York, where former Chairman Alan Greenspan used to provide updates on the economy.