U.S. stocks ended lower on Friday as investors weighed the path of monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve and the sustainability of the recent bull market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 108.94 points, or 0.32 percent, to 34,299.12. The S&P 500 dipped 16.25 points, or 0.37 percent, to 4,409.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 93.25 points, or 0.68 percent, to 13,689.57.
Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with communication services and technology leading the laggards by going down 1 percent and 0.83 percent, respectively. Utilities and materials led the gainers by rising 0.53 percent and 0.11 percent, respectively.
U.S. stocks slipped on Friday but remained on track for weekly gains in the wake of the Fed's hawkish pause on Wednesday. Wall Street appeared to cheer signs that the Fed's tightening cycle has helped to ease price pressures, while two Fed officials warned that the central bank may have to raise rates further to tame inflation.
Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on Friday that "core inflation is just not moving, and that's going to require probably some more tightening to try to get that going down." Meanwhile, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said that inflation remained "too high" and "If coming data doesn't support that story (of inflation cooling down), I'm comfortable doing more."
"U.S. stocks are ready for a long weekend as traders are exhausted from a week filled with high impact events that didn't derail momentum in equities. The Fed's hawkish hold was followed by further hawkish reminders by Barkin and Waller," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, a supplier of online multi-asset trading services.
Traders decided to take some profits off the table after the strong rally, noted Vladimir Zernov, analyst with market information supplier FX Empire.
While weighing remarks by Fed officials, investors are also paying attention to the latest consumer-related data.
The University of Michigan reported on Friday that the consumer sentiment index rose in June to a four-month high of 63.9, up from 59.2 in May. Meanwhile, consumer inflation expectations receded for the second consecutive month, falling to 3.3 percent in June from 4.2 percent in May.
"The University of Michigan's preliminary consumer-sentiment survey supported hopes for a soft landing. Consumer year-ahead inflation expectations dropped from 4.2 percent to 3.3 percent. Sentiment and expectations improved as the labor market gradually weakened and following optimism from the debt deal that Congress was able to deliver. It is hard to imagine the U.S. economic outlook can remain healthy and for the disinflation process to remain firmly in place," said Moya.