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Business Highlights: Biden unveils budget, stocks end higher

March 28, 2022 GMT

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Biden’s budget plan: Higher taxes on rich, lower deficits

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is releasing a budget blueprint that tries to tell voters what the diverse and at times fractured Democratic Party stands for. It calls for higher taxes on the wealthy, lower budget deficits, more money for police and greater funding for education, public health and housing. The 156-page plan also shows the splinters that persist in Biden’s coalition. And there are possible gaps between the promise of what is being offered and the realities of what ultimately emerges. The proposal includes a minimum 20% tax on the incomes of households worth $100 million or more.

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EXPLAINER: How would billionaire income tax work?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax” included in President Joe Biden’s proposed budget is part of the administration’s effort to reduce the federal deficit. The White House says the proposal would eliminate the “sheltering of income for decades or generations.” Whether the proposal can successfully pass through Congress is a major question as the administration outlines its hope to tax the nation’s highest earners.

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Germany: G7 rejects Russia’s demand to pay for gas in rubles

BERLIN (AP) — The Group of Seven major economies have agreed to reject Moscow’s demand to pay for Russian natural gas exports in rubles. Germany’s energy minister told reporters Monday that “all G-7 ministers agreed completely that this (would be) a one-sided and clear breach of the existing contracts.” Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia will demand “unfriendly” countries pay for natural gas only in rubles from now on. Economists said the move appeared designed to try to support the Russian currency. Asked if Russia could cut natural gas supplies to European customers if they reject the demand to pay in rubles, the Kremlin spokesman said, “We clearly aren’t going to supply gas for free.”

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Biden budget seeks minimum tax on households worth $100m

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden intends to propose a minimum tax of 20% on households worth more than $100 million and cut projected budget deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next decade. That’s according to fact sheets released Saturday by the White House budget office. In his proposal expected Monday, the lower deficits reflect the economy’s resurgence as the United States emerges from the pandemic, as well as likely tax law changes would raise more than enough revenue to offset additional investments planned by the Biden administration. It’s a sign that the government’s balance sheet will improve after a historic burst of spending to combat the coronavirus.

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Commerce inquiry imperils solar industry, advocates say

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department says it is investigating whether imports of solar panels from Southeast Asia are circumventing anti-dumping rules that block imports from China. The decision could dramatically reduce solar imports to the U.S. and undercut President Joe Biden’s ambitious climate goals. Clean energy leaders said the investigation could lead to thousands of layoffs in the domestic solar industry and imperil up to 80% of planned solar projects in the U.S. Such an outcome would jeopardize one of Biden’s top clean energy goals and run counter to his administration’s push for renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

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Trump suit against Clinton part of longtime legal strategy

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump last week filed a sprawling lawsuit accusing his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. He accused them conspiring to sink his winning presidential campaign by alleging ties to Russia. It’s the latest example of a long-standing tactic by Trump. The former president has spent decades repurposing political and personal grievances into causes of legal action. Throughout his business and political career, he has used the courts as a venue to air his complaints and as a tool to intimidate adversaries, sully their reputations and try to garner media attention.

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Russian stocks slide as trading resumes for all companies

LONDON (AP) — Russian shares have slumped as its stock market resumed trading of all companies after a monthlong halt following the Ukraine invasion. The benchmark MOEX index slid 2.2% on Monday after the Moscow Exchange reopened for all of its several hundred listed companies, but with restrictions still in place to limit volatility. The last full trading session in Moscow was on Feb. 25, a day after the index tumbled by a third after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Prices whipsawed last week when the exchange tentatively reopened for two days of limited trading, with investors allowed to trade only 33 of the MOEX’s 50 companies. Some restrictions remained in place Monday to prevent another big selloff. Foreigners are unable to sell shares until April 1.

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Bountiful wind, sun boost German renewable power this year

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s energy industry recorded about 25% more electricity generated from renewable sources in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year thanks to unusually windy and sunny weather. Preliminary calculations released Monday indicate that Germany generated about 74.5 billion kilowatt hours of renewable power in the first quarter. Renewable energy provided about 54% of Germany’s energy needs in January and February. The German government has pledged to ramp up the use of solar and wind power as part of its plan to wean the country off Russian fossil fuels because of the war in Ukraine.

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Wall Street shakes off a midday slump and ends higher

Stocks shook off a midday slump and closed higher on Wall Street, though energy companies ended in the red as crude oil prices fell sharply. The S&P 500 ended 0.7% higher Monday, after being down as much as 0.6%. Tesla jumped 8% after saying it would seek shareholder approval to do another stock split. Crude oil prices sank 7%. China started to lock down Shanghai, its largest city and financial center, to conduct mass testing and control a growing outbreak of COVID-19. Bond yields fell after shooting higher earlier this month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.46%.

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Boris Becker speaks of money troubles at London trial

LONDON (AP) — Tennis great Boris Becker has told a jury about his struggles with money including payments for an “expensive divorce” and debts when he lost large chunks of his income after retirement. Becker is on trial in London accused of failing to hand over his assets after he was declared bankrupt. The 54-year-old Becker said Monday he wasn’t able to earn enough to pay his debts because of bad publicity when his reputation declined. He said he had “expensive lifestyle commitments” including a house in Wimbledon that cost 22,000 pounds ($28,800) in rent each month. Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017 and is on trial accused of 24 charges including failing to hand over his trophies and concealing property. The six-time Grand Slam champion denies the charges.

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The S&P 500 rose 32.46 points, or 0.7%, to 4,575.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94.65 points, or 0.3%, to 34,955.89. The Nasdaq rose 185.60 points, or 1.3%, to 14,354.90. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 0.08 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2,078.06.

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