The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.5 percent month-to-month in August, while personal incomes rose 0.1 percent. Numerically, 0.5 percent is a fair increase, but 0.4 percent of the increase in spending was attributed to higher prices, which meant spending on an adjusted annual basis rose 0.1 percent.
Markets were mixed in Asia and mostly lower in Europe as trading began in New York.
At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 48.84 points, or 0.36 percent, to 13,437.13. The tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite index shed 20.37 points, or 0.65 percent, to 3,116.23. The S&P 500 gave up 6.48 points, 0.45 percent, to 1,440.67.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,189 stocks advanced and 1,842 declined on a volume of 3.5 billion shares traded.
For the third quarter, the Dow advanced 4.3 percent, the S&P 500 was ahead by 5.8 percent and the Nasdaq gained 6.2 percent.
For 2012 to date, the Dow is up 10 percent, the S&P 500 is up 15 percent and the Nasdaq has gained 20 percent.
The benchmark 10-year treasury was unchanged Friday at 1.64 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2873 from Thursday's $1.2913. The U.S. dollar rose to 77.84 yen from Thursday's 77.60 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.89 percent, 79.71 points, to 8,870.16.
In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 0.65 percent, 37.35 points, to 5,742.07.