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Russia’s economy contracts sharply as war and sanctions take hold.

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The stock market is set to notch the year’s best stretch of gains, as investors take comfort from early signals that inflation is slowing down and the economy is holding up.The S&P 500 rose on Friday, putting the index on course for its fourth consecutive positive week, a feat it hasn’t achieved since October. The index is now around 15 percent higher than its low point in June, though it remains more than 10 percent lower for the year.The rally stands in stark contrast to the first half of the year, when Wall Street suffered its worst start in half a century, as the war in Ukraine, soaring energy costs, rising i …

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