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AP

Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, giving the S&P 500 its first 4-week winning streak since November. The benchmark index gained 1.7% Friday, and other indexes also rose. Technology stocks drove much the broad rally. Inflation cooled more than expected last month, sending stocks higher. Investors see a greater chance inflation may have peaked, allowing the Federal Reserve to be less aggressive with its rate hikes than it has been this year. Crude oil prices fell, while bond yields were mixed.

AP

Shares are mixed in Asia after a muddled day on Wall Street, where benchmarks meandered following another encouraging report about inflation. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 surged 2.5%, catching up on gains after being closed Thursday for a holiday. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed 0.1% lower and the Nasdaq also fell, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly. Investors were weighing new data showing inflation at the wholesale level slowed more than economists expected in July. That bolstered hopes that inflation may be close to a peak and that the Federal Reserve will be less aggressive about raising interest rates than feared.

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A hostage standoff in which a gunman demanded a Beirut bank let him withdraw his trapped savings has ended with the man's surrender, and the bank handing over a reported $35,000 to his brother. Authorities say 42-year-old Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein entered a bank branch in Beirut on Thursday with a shotgun and a canister of gasoline and threatened to set himself on fire unless he was allowed to take out his money. None of the hostages were injured.

AP

Shares have advanced in Asia after benchmarks closed at three-month highs on Wall Street as investors cheered a report showing inflation cooled more than expected in July. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul saw gains of more than 1% early Thursday. U.S. futures edged higher, while oil prices slipped. The S&P 500 jumped 2.1% Wednesday on expectations that slower inflation will mean the Federal Reserve won’t hike interest rates as much as feared. Technology stocks, cryptocurrencies and other investments among the year’s biggest losers due to the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes led the way. The government said consumer inflation jumped 8.5% in July from a year earlier. But that was down from June's four-decade high of 9.1%.

AP

Falling prices for gas, airline tickets and clothes gave Americans a little bit of relief last month, though overall inflation is still running at close to its highest level in four decades. Government data released Wednesday showed that consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier. That's down from a 9.1% year-over-year increase in June. On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the first time that has happened after 25 months of increases. The reprieve offered no certainty that prices would stay on the decline. Inflation has sometimes slowed only to re-accelerate later.