Market edges higher: Earnings results continue to be somewhat better than expected. Dow is up a few points in early trading.
Ford posts a profit: The second-quarter numbers end of a string of four straight quarterly losses, though only because of a one-time $3.4 billion gain related to debt restructuring. (AP)
Budget vote nears: The compromise spending plan will be considered in the 80-member Assembly and 40-member state Senate on Thursday afternoon. The actual vote is not expected until early Friday. From AP:
Schwarzenegger predicted the agreement to balance the state's books would get through the Legislature despite "some hiccups, some obstacles, some bumps in the road" put up by special interest groups. But the plan's passage remains uncertain in a fractious Legislature that has been mired in a seemingly endless fiscal crisis for at least the past two years. Lawmakers from both parties also are reluctant to anger their constituents -- not to mention jeopardize their own political ambitions -- through a raid on local governments. Local governments have already announced they are ready to sue.
Smoothing over prisoner issue: The governor sidestepped the sticky matter of releasing inmates by telling Republicans that they would only be voting for an "unallocated" cut in corrections of $1.2 billion - not on how the cuts would be implemented. Don't laugh, it apparently worked. (Contra Costa Times)
Budget helps stadium effort: A provision in the budget package extends the life of the state's redevelopment areas, a move that officials in the City of Industry have been pushing for more than two years. It would essentially provide a way to use public funds to help finance an NFL stadium. From the LAT:
"They were able to find a mechanism to provide the infrastructure for an NFL stadium, but they aren't able to find the mechanism to fund nutrition for a hungry child," Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said Wednesday. "It's galling. It's really galling."
Big drop in location shooting: The number of L.A.-area production days fell 31 percent in the second quarter, with much of the loss coming from feature films. Production days for commercials also saw a big drop; TV fell only slightly. From THR:
"Our recent television-production figures have been all over the map due to last year's work stoppage," FilmLA president Paul Audley said. "But we are deeply concerned by our long-term loss of commercial and feature-film production. The advertising sector has been hard hit by the economy, and feature films are consistently shot in incentive-generous locales outside California."
LAX traffic falls: The airport handled 9 percent fewer travelers in June than for the same period last year, That's the 15th consecutive month that passenger traffic has dropped. At this rate LAX will handle about 55 million passengers in 2009, which would be the lowest number since the mid-1990s. (Daily Breeze)
Disney eyes paid Web site: The idea would be to offer movies, TV shows, games and other content on a subscription basis. CEO Robert Iger did not offer details. From Variety:
"People are willing to pay for what they perceive to be value," Iger said during a Q&A sesh held as part of the Brainstorm Tech confab in Pasadena hosted by Fortune mag. "We think there's a lot of head room in being able to charge for product on the Web," Iger said. He added that Disney has been spending a lot of time examining how much consumers spend per hour on various entertainment options.