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S&P 500   4,277.08 (-0.65%)
DOW   33,990.94 (-0.47%)
QQQ   328.70 (-1.08%)
AAPL   174.73 (+0.98%)
MSFT   291.25 (-0.50%)
META   175.63 (-2.14%)
GOOGL   119.90 (-1.48%)
AMZN   142.21 (-1.78%)
TSLA   913.30 (-0.69%)
NVDA   183.44 (-2.83%)
NIO   20.22 (-3.30%)
BABA   90.12 (-2.73%)
AMD   98.04 (-2.16%)
MU   61.52 (-3.66%)
T   18.48 (-0.48%)
CGC   4.03 (+6.61%)
F   16.07 (-2.19%)
GE   79.77 (-1.60%)
DIS   123.05 (-1.53%)
AMC   22.42 (-9.63%)
PYPL   99.85 (-2.18%)
PFE   49.40 (-0.92%)
NFLX   241.87 (-1.55%)
S&P 500   4,277.08 (-0.65%)
DOW   33,990.94 (-0.47%)
QQQ   328.70 (-1.08%)
AAPL   174.73 (+0.98%)
MSFT   291.25 (-0.50%)
META   175.63 (-2.14%)
GOOGL   119.90 (-1.48%)
AMZN   142.21 (-1.78%)
TSLA   913.30 (-0.69%)
NVDA   183.44 (-2.83%)
NIO   20.22 (-3.30%)
BABA   90.12 (-2.73%)
AMD   98.04 (-2.16%)
MU   61.52 (-3.66%)
T   18.48 (-0.48%)
CGC   4.03 (+6.61%)
F   16.07 (-2.19%)
GE   79.77 (-1.60%)
DIS   123.05 (-1.53%)
AMC   22.42 (-9.63%)
PYPL   99.85 (-2.18%)
PFE   49.40 (-0.92%)
NFLX   241.87 (-1.55%)
S&P 500   4,277.08 (-0.65%)
DOW   33,990.94 (-0.47%)
QQQ   328.70 (-1.08%)
AAPL   174.73 (+0.98%)
MSFT   291.25 (-0.50%)
META   175.63 (-2.14%)
GOOGL   119.90 (-1.48%)
AMZN   142.21 (-1.78%)
TSLA   913.30 (-0.69%)
NVDA   183.44 (-2.83%)
NIO   20.22 (-3.30%)
BABA   90.12 (-2.73%)
AMD   98.04 (-2.16%)
MU   61.52 (-3.66%)
T   18.48 (-0.48%)
CGC   4.03 (+6.61%)
F   16.07 (-2.19%)
GE   79.77 (-1.60%)
DIS   123.05 (-1.53%)
AMC   22.42 (-9.63%)
PYPL   99.85 (-2.18%)
PFE   49.40 (-0.92%)
NFLX   241.87 (-1.55%)

Biden's mission in Europe: Shore up alliance against Russia

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden waves to the media as he walks to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, June 25, 2022. Biden is traveling to Germany to attend a Group of Seven summit of leaders of the world's major industrialized nations. After the meeting in the Bavarian Alps, the president will go to Madrid on June 28 to participate in a gathering of NATO member countries. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

MUNICH (AP) — President Joe Biden is out to sustain the global alliance punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine as he embarks on a five-day trip to Europe as the 4-month-old war shows no sign of abating and its aftershocks to global food and energy supplies are deepening.

Biden first joins a meeting of the Group of Seven leading economic powers in the Bavarian Alps of Germany and later travels to Madrid for a summit with leaders of the 30 NATO countries. The visit comes as the global coalition to bolster Ukraine and punish Russia for its aggression has showed signs of fraying amid skyrocketing inflation in food and energy prices caused by the conflict.

Biden was given a red-carpet welcome after he arrived in Munich on Saturday night, greeted with Bavarian music, dozens of people in traditional dress and children presenting him with flowers. He also signed a guest book.

Biden and the G-7 leaders intend to announce a ban on importing gold from Russia, according to a person familiar with White House planning who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Gold is Moscow's second largest export after energy.

The Ukraine war has entered a more attritional phase since Biden's last trip to Europe in March, just weeks after Russia launched its assault. At that time, he met with allies in Brussels as Ukraine was under regular bombardment and he tried to reassure Eastern Europe partners in Poland that they would not be the next to face an incursion by Moscow.

Russian's subsequent retreat from western Ukraine and regrouping in the east has shifted the conflict to one of artillery battles and bloody house-to-house fighting in the country's industrial heartland, the Donbas region.

While U.S. officials see broad consensus for maintaining the pressure on Russia and sustaining support for Ukraine in the near term, they view Biden's trip as an opportunity to align strategy for both the conflict and its global ramifications heading into the winter and beyond.


Allies differ over whether their goals are merely to restore peace or to force Russia to pay a deeper price for the conflict to prevent its repetition.

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said the summit will address problems such as inflation and other “challenges in the global economy as a result of Mr. Putin’s war — but also how to continue to hold Mr. Putin accountable" and subject to "constant consequences.”

“There will be some muscle movements,” he said from Air Force One as Biden flew to Germany.

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is set to address both summits by video. The U.S. and allies have shipped his country billions of dollars in military assistance and imposed ever stricter sanctions on Russia over the invasion.

Kirby said previously that allies would announce new “commitments” to further sever Russia from the global economy and make it more difficult for Moscow to acquire technology to rebuild the arsenal it has depleted in Ukraine, and to crack down on sanctions evasion by Russia and its oligarchs.

G-7 summits have traditionally put global finance issues front and center, but amid soaring inflation in the U.S. and Europe, few concrete actions are expected.

“There are different drivers of inflation in these various economies, different things that can be used to address it,” said Josh Lipsky, director of the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. He foresees “a lack of an ability to do something coordinated on inflation, other than really talk about the problem.”

Biden has blamed much of the rise in prices on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, especially in the energy markets, as U.S. and allied sanctions have limited Moscow's ability to sell its oil and gas supplies. Sustaining the Western resolve will only get more challenging as the war drags on and cost-of-living issues pose political headaches for leaders at home, U.S. and European officials said.

Finding ways to transition from Russian energy to other sources — without setting back longstanding goals to combat climate change — is set to be a key discussion point.

“There’s no watering down of climate commitments," Kirby said.

Russia was once a member of what was then the G-8. It was expelled in 2014 after it invaded Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, a move that foreshadowed the current crisis.

A top priority of Western officials heading into the summit is finding a way to get Ukraine's vast grain harvest out onto the world market, as the United Nations and others warn of tens of millions of people being cast into hunger because of tight supplies. The most impactful changes would require an agreement from Russia to stop targeting food and food infrastructure as well as agreeing to the establishment of a sea corridor to allow exports of grain from Ukraine.

In Madrid, Biden will help promote NATO's effort to welcome Finland and Sweden into the alliance after the Russian invasion of Ukraine led the two historically neutral democracies to seek the protection of the mutual-defense association.

Kirby declined to say whether Biden will meet with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has indicated he plans to block the two countries' accession into NATO unless he receives concessions. Adding new members requires unanimous support from existing NATO members.

U.S. officials have maintained optimism that the two countries will be welcomed into the alliance, but have played down expectations for a breakthrough in Madrid.

Biden speaks often of the world being in a generational struggle between democracies and autocracies that will set the global agenda for the coming decades. He aims to use the trip to show that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has “firmed up” democracies on the threats from autocracies in both Moscow and Beijing.

The president is also securing a significant step by NATO to recognize China as an emerging challenge to the alliance. The formal reference of China in NATO's new “Strategic Concept,” the first update to its guiding principles since 2010, fulfills efforts by multiple U.S. presidents to expand the alliance’s focus to China, even in the face an increasingly bellicose Russia.

In a symbolic step, NATO has invited Pacific leaders from Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia to the summit. Kirby said China “will be a significant focus” for the G-7 and cited Beijing's “coercive economic practices.”

Biden is also set to relaunch a global infrastructure investment program meant to counter China's influence in the developing world, which he had named “Build Back Better World" and had introduced at the 2021 G-7 summit.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused NATO of trying to “start a new Cold War” and warned against the alliance “drawing ideological lines which may induce confrontation.”

___

Superville reported from Telfs, Austria. Associated Press writers Will Weissert and Aamer Madhani in Washington contributed to this report.

7 Stagflation Stocks to Help Navigate Periods of Low Growth

Stagflation is an ugly mix of low economic growth punctuated by high unemployment. And at the root of it all is inflation. For a long time, many economists believed that stagflation was not possible. However, the 1970s changed that thinking. Not only were U.S. consumers facing high inflation, they were also dealing with high unemployment.  

And according to some analysts, history may be getting ready to repeat itself. While economists seem to be split on the probability of a recession, there is growing concern that the United States is entering a period of stagflation. In an effort to combat inflation, the Federal Reserve is pledging to aggressively increase interest rates. There's already evidence of slowing economic growth and waning demand. The next shoe to drop may come in the employment numbers.

This means that investors need to turn their attention to stocks that have the attributes to combat stagflation. This includes companies that have the potential to deliver strong free cash flow. One reason for this is that a healthy cash flow can be applied to reward shareholders with a dividend. And that can boost the total return. Here are seven stocks that can help investors do just that.

View the "7 Stagflation Stocks to Help Navigate Periods of Low Growth".

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