The Federal Reserve said U.S. factories increased production for the ninth straight month. Separately, the Labor Department said inflation rose just 0.1 percent last month excluding food and gas prices. That's far better than the 0.2 percent increase economists were expecting.
Bond prices rose as concerns about inflation eased. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.42 percent from 3.51 percent late Thursday. Bond yields fall when their prices rise.
The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,319. Nine of its ten company groups rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,324. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 6, or 0.2 percent, to 2,753.
Google Inc. dragged down the Nasdaq index after the company said it missed earnings estimates, due in part to a hiring spree that will last throughout the year. The company fell nearly 7 percent.
Bank of America Corp. also missed analyst estimates, falling nearly 1 percent. The company had risen 0.5 percent in early trading after announcing a settlement that will limit its future losses from soured mortgages.
Stock indexes are track to close lower for the week. The S&P index is down 1 percent for the week, which would mark its second straight week of losses. The Dow average is down 0.8 percent for the week. If it finishes lower, the Dow will have its first down week since March 18.
Broker Charles Schwab Corp. gained 1.2 percent after the company said its first quarter earnings beat analyst expectations.
Financial stocks fell broadly Thursday, left out of a late lift that pared losses for most stock indexes. The Standard and Poor's 500 edged up 0.11 point to 1,314.52. The Dow rose 14.16 to 12,285.15.