U.S. stocks closed at their highest level in almost four weeks, with equities spurred on by a rally in energy shares and deal activity among beer brewers while Federal Reserve policy makers debated whether to raise interest rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.9 percent to 1,995.12 at 4 p.m. in New York, its highest since Aug. 20, after the gauge rallied 1.3 percent yesterday.

Data today showed prices paid by American households declined in August as cheaper gasoline helped keep inflation below the objective of Fed policy makers. The consumer-price index dropped 0.1 percent, the first decline since January. The so-called core measure, which strips out often-volatile fuel and food costs, rose 0.1 percent for a second month.

Source: Bloomberg