U.S. stocks lost steam and major indexes turned negative on Friday after data showed an unexpected drop in consumer confidence in early March.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 0.60 points, or 0.01 percent, to 10,611.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 1.18 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,149.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 4.54 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,363.92.

A separate report indicated business inventories were unexpectedly flat.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)