The governments of major capitalist countries took no specific action yesterday to try to stem falling stock market prices, though U.S. Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III and two key West German officials met in Frankfurt and pledged to continue their efforts to "foster exchange rate stability around current levels."

The Frankfurt meeting prompted a modest rally in the value of the dollar, which was doing surprisingly well against other key currencies in light of the collapse of stock prices on Wall Street. Baker flew on to a previously scheduled meeting in Stockholm after the Frankfurt session, but then decided last night to return hurriedly to Washington, where he is due to arrive early today.

In Washington, officials said there were no major policy meetings or emergency sessions at the White House to discuss the market plunge, and that Chief of Staff Howard H. Baker Jr. had been telephoning contacts outside the administration for advice.

Leaving the White House at 5 p.m. to visit his wife, who is recuperating from cancer surgery, President Reagan observed that "everyone's a little puzzled, because, and I don't know what meaning it might have, all the business indices are up -- there is nothing wrong with the economy."

Added Reagan, shouting over the noise of a waiting helicopter, "I don't think anyone should panic because all the economic indicators are solid."

The chief economist for the Department of Commerce, Robert Ortner, said yesterday that the stock market selloff "may be a short, sharp correction in the midst of an expansion, or it may be the first signal of the next recession. We never claimed here that the business cycle has been abolished."

Meanwhile, coincident with the Baker meeting in Frankfurt, the West German central bank pumped some funds into short-term money markets to ease interest rates, Washington Post correspondent Robert McCartney reported. In Washington, Reagan administration officials welcomed this move as a conciliatory gesture. Earlier, Baker had criticized West Germany for allowing its interest rates to rise -- one factor that contributed to falling U.S. stock prices last week.

Gold, meanwhile, a traditional refuge at a time of economic crisis, was up $18.50 an ounce in London to $484.50. And bond prices, reflecting a movement of money from stocks, rebounded in hectic trading.

White House officials said Reagan was given a report on the market at his noon issues briefing lunch by Beryl Sprinkel, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. At this point, said one participant, the Dow was down about 118 points, and Reagan did not ask further questions.

In his shouted exchange with reporters yesterday afternoon, Reagan was asked what he would say to the "little old lady who lost money today" on the stock market. Reagan replied:

"I don't know of anyone -- are you talking about a specific case? Wait a minute -- how about how many people must have sold out in order to get a profit? Because they bought it back before it was ever this high."

In Paris, French Economics Minister Edouard Balladur said that the turmoil affecting international markets "can be overcome" if the seven major nations stick to the pledges they made last February at the Louvre Palace to stabilize the dollar and coordinate economic policy.

In Frankfurt, Baker met with West German Finance Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg and German Central Bank President Karl Otto Poehl. In what was plainly an effort to defuse public tensions between this country and Germany that had contributed to the stock market panic, they pledged to continue to cooperate under existing international agreements, and termed their meeting "very positive."

But the statement, as issued by the Treasury Department here, still appeared to leave open the possibility of a slight decline in the dollar, according to Goldman, Sachs & Co. Vice President Robert Hormats and other observers.

Treasury Assistant Secretary Margaret Tutwiler said that Baker, Stoltenberg and Poehl met alone for three hours, without other aides and assistants. A three-paragraph statement she read to reporters here said that the meeting had been set up early last week.

"The parties agreed to continue economic cooperation under the Louvre agreement and its flexible application, including cooperation on exchange rate stability and monetary policies," the statement continued.

"They are consulting with their Group of Seven colleagues and are confident that this will enable them to foster exchange rate stability around current levels." A similar statement was issued by the German government in Bonn.

Many private analysts continued to express doubt yesterday about the ability of the seven countries to maintain exchange rates "around current levels." To keep the dollar from falling, many of them say, U.S. interest rates will have to rise.

Treasury officials did not explain why, if the Frankfurt meeting had been arranged early last week, Baker had publicly denounced German interest rate increases on several occasions, starting with a press briefing last Thursday held to calm market fears.

"I think Baker made a big mistake last week," said economist Stephen Marris of the Institute for International Economics. He criticized Baker's public comments that seemed to suggest that the dollar could fall in value. "No finance minister should talk about a devaluation in his own currency at any time, especially when markets are chaotic."

The Group of Seven -- the United States, West Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Italy, and Canada -- had agreed at the Louvre Palace in February to try to stabilize exchange rates and to take other actions to reduce the huge trade imbalances around the world. In effect, Baker agreed at that time to stop pushing the dollar down. In exchange, Japanese and West German leaders agreed to stimulate economic expansion in their countries.

But last week, Baker appeared to lose patience with Stoltenberg for allowing German interest rates to creep up, arguing that this was not in the spirit of the Louvre accord.

"They should not expect us to simply sit back here and accept increased tightening on their part on the assumption that somehow we are going to follow them on a path of deflation. That's an assumption that's not warranted," Baker said Saturday.

Baker's intent was to suggest that if, in the absence of a Federal Reserve Board interest rate to match the German pattern, the dollar would move down, the United States would reluctantly accept a lower dollar rate. But an already agitated stock market took Baker's willingness to see the dollar decline both as evidence of fractured international cooperation, a trigger for a new inflationary thrust, and as evidence of a possible recession.

Some private analysts, critical of Baker for raising this issue at a time of market uncertainty, suggested yesterday that the brief Frankfurt statement by Baker, Stoltenberg, and Poehl would not be enough to restore confidence.

C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Institute for International Economics, said: "The statement sounds lame to me. They need some substance, some program to deal with this chaos. Just to assert what they did means nothing."

On the other hand, Hormats, a former assistant secretary of State, welcomed the statement as an improvement over the "acrimony" of last week. He noted that the use of the word "flexibility" in the statement left open the possibility that the dollar might be allowed to come down some, especially against the German mark, which Hormats said would be a healthy development.

"If our inflation rate is 4.5 per cent, and theirs {the Germans'} is 1 percent, then it wouldn't hurt if the dollar dropped some against the mark. Sure, it might increase inflation a little bit, but not much," he said.