Market opens higher: The generally positive jobs report is helping out, along with strong earnings for Blackstone and a quarterly profit at AIG. Dow is up about 70 in early trading.
Sobering job news: Don't let those improving numbers fool you - even if the economy begins growing this summer, as is generally expected, laid-off workers are likely to be among the last to benefit. From the NYT:
Businesses that slashed their work force and inventories over the last year to cope with the economic deterioration are likely to hire temporary workers or pay overtime wages before they begin fielding applications for new full-time workers. That means hundreds of thousands more workers are likely to lose their jobs, perhaps well into next year.
Twitter mystery: Lots of guesswork about who might have been responsible for Thursday's attack, including one report that a single Russian activist blogger with accounts across the impacted services might have been targeted. From the WSJ:
Twitter has struggled to add more capacity as growing numbers of users join its microblogging service to distribute short messages to their followers. That growth has also made it a target for criminals and hackers, some of whom have broken into user accounts, among other exploits.
Gas shooting up: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $2.981 per gallon, almost 12 cents higher than last week, according to the Auto Club. Higher oil prices, spurred by a potentially improving economy, might be at play.
CA bonds holding up: The state has raised $736.3 million since February from private placements of short-term bonds. This week, the University of California provided almost $200 million. These sales are carried out with one buyer instead of being offered publicly to individual and institutional investors. From the WSJ:
In this way, the purchaser benefits from an attractive interest rate and the state gets money it mightn't have been able to raise in other ways. "It's a pretty decent investment," said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Bay Area Toll Authority, which bought $194 million of the securities in February. They carry a 3.34% tax-exempt rate and will be redeemed in September 2010.
New movie distributor: Apparition is expected eventually to release about seven films a year in the U.S., focusing on the beaten up independents. It'll be based in NY and headed by Bob Berney. (NYT)
NYT fires Ben Stein: The quirky Sunday columnist has been pilloried among some online biz writers for years (often unjustly I might add). The decision came after he appeared in an ad for a credit service, a big no-no under Times guidelines. (Gawker)
Platinum Equity at it again: Talk about when worlds collide - the Bev Hills private equity firm that bought the SD Union Tribune some months back is now making a $35 million bid for the Boston Globe (plus the assumption of $59 million in debt). Two other bidders are in the hunt. It's still unclear how low an offer the NYT, the Globe's owner, is willing to go. (Boston Globe)