Stocks keep falling: The Dow is off over 100 points in early trading. Retail sales took an unexpected tumble last month.
Hollywood accounting: Location shooting for movies, TV shows and commercials took a big drop in the first quarter, with much of the fall due to the recession, a threatened actors strike, and tax incentives being offered by other states. (Variety).
New candidate for governor: Georges Marciano, founder of the Guess clothing empire, will be running as an independent in 2010. He plans to focus on exposing and eliminating political corruption. Right. (AP)
Boston station to air Leno: NBC affiliate WHDH-TV wanted to run a 10 p.m. newscast instead of Jay Leno's primetime show, but it changed course when the network threatened to move to another station. Both sides have issued "everybody is happy" press releases. (Boston Globe)
Kerkorian cutting deal?: Sources tell the NY Post that the Bev Hills billionaire is working on a settlement with his partner, the government of Dubai's investment unit, Dubai World, over the massive CityCenter project in Vegas. The still-to-be-completed complex is on the verge of default.
Higher gas prices: An average price of regular in the L.A. area is $2.34 a gallon, up a few pennies from last week. From the LAT:
Since the beginning of the year, the average gas cost has risen 46 cents in California and 36 cents nationally, partly because of supply constraints. Part of that rise also can be attributed to the fact that crude oil futures have increased, with a lot of fits and starts, from barrel prices in the low $40 range since the beginning of the year, said Doug MacIntyre, a senior oil market analyst at the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration. Gasoline prices are being bolstered, he said, by signs that Americans may have cut as much fuel consumption as they can.
Lacter on radio: This morning's business chat with KPCC's Steve Julian includes the latest on gas prices and how locally produced military planes are under the gun. Also on kpcc.org and on podcast.