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VOL. 42 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 7, 2018

US stocks jump as inflation slows; tech rebounds

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are climbing Thursday morning after the Labor Department said inflation slowed a bit in August. Technology companies like Apple and Microsoft made some of the largest gains after a recent bout of uncertainty, and chipmaker Qualcomm jumped after it announced a big stock repurchase.

Stock indexes in Turkey and other emerging markets rose after the Turkish central bank raised interest rates sharply in response to the nation's currency crisis.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gained 14 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,903 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 168 points, or 0.7 percent, to 26,167. The Nasdaq composite jumped 61 points, or 0.8 percent, to 8,016. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,720.

TECH TUNAROUND: Apple climbed 1.5 percent to $224.41 and Microsoft added 1.4 percent to $113.32. Technology companies slumped last week as investors worried about the prospect of heavier regulation for companies like Facebook and Alphabet. The sector has bounced up and down this week.

Qualcomm rose 2.8 percent to $73.77 after it announced a $16 billion share repurchase. Other chipmakers including Skyworks and Broadcom also rose. They stumbled a day earlier.

PRICES: The Department of Labor said its index of consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent in August, and it's risen 2.7 percent over the past year. That's a bit slower than the 2.9 percent it reported in July. Investors have worried that faster inflation could threaten economic growth and the current bull market.

MUST SEE: Cable channel operator Discovery rose another 3 percent to 31.63. The stock jumped 7.7 percent Wednesday after the company announced a deal that will make more of its programming available on the streaming service Hulu.

CLEANUP IN AISLE FOUR: Supermarket company Kroger dropped 10.2 percent to $28.49 after its sales fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

TALKING TURKEY: Turkey's central bank raised its key interest rate to 24 percent from 17.75 percent in an attempt to contain the nation's currency crisis as well as inflation. The Turkish lira rose about 3 percent against the U.S. dollar and Turkey's main stock index gained 2.3 percent.

Experts have said that Turkey needed to raise interest rates, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly and publicly pushed it to keep rates low. That shook investors' confidence, as they grew worried about the bank's independence and Turkey's ability to react to rising inflation, slowing growth, and its diplomatic spat with the U.S.

DRUG DEVELOPMENT: Progenics Pharmaceuticals sank 16.32 percent to $6.11 after an imaging agent it is developing for use in the treatment of prostate cancer treatment failed in a clinical study.

Acorda Therapeutics dropped for the eighth day in a row. It dropped 12.3 percent to $16.21 after announcing that the Food and Drug Administration will take three more months to review its inhaled Parkinson's disease treatment Inbrija.

The stock nosedived 25 percent Monday after the company said an appeals court ruled that four patents on its drug Ampyra are not valid. That paves the way for other companies to launch generic versions of the drug, which is intended to help multiple sclerosis patients walk.

OVERSEAS: The German DAX added 0.5 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1 percent and the South Korean Kospi rose 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 2.5 percent.

CENTRAL BANKS: The European Central Bank confirmed it will halve its bond-buying stimulus program, a step it announced earlier this summer. The Bank of England held off any changes to its policies as it monitors developments in the Brexit talks this fall.

ENERGY: After two days of gains, benchmark U.S. crude slid 2.2 percent to $68.82 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 0.8 percent to $79.11 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stayed at 2.96 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.80 yen from 111.22 yen. The euro rose to $1.1685 from $1.1632.

____

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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