Stocks fluctuate: Kind of a mixed bag this morning, with lots of attention being paid to the dollar (and perhaps to what Obama might say tonight). Dow is up a bit in early trading.
Dollar drop boosts gold: Investors are looking for new safe havens because of concerns about the U.S. lagging any economic recovery. Gold has been hovering near $1,000 an ounce. Crude is running around $72 a barrel. (AP)
For what it's worth...: Comerica Bank's California Economic Activity Index rose three points in July to 99 and is up eight points from a low of 91 in March. "The California economy has begun to rebound over the last several months," said Dana Johnson, Comerica's chief economist. (OC Register)
Obama wants public plan: In his big speech tonight, the president will press for a government-run insurance option, despite strong opposition by Republicans and many members of his own party. From the WSJ:
The president is likely to say that a government-run insurance plan, known as the "public option," will not provide a level of subsidies that give it an unfair advantage over private insurers, according to aides familiar with the speech preparations.
CA legislature passes health bill: The measure would make it harder for insurers to cancel coverage for policyholders diagnosed with serious illnesses, a practice known as rescission. But good luck getting the governor to sign it. From the LAT:
As lawmakers acted on the health insurance issue and dozens of other matters Tuesday, the governor vowed to stop signing bills until further notice. He rebuked legislators for failing to make progress on the state's water needs and its prison overcrowding crisis, as well as for refusing to act on confirmation of several of his key appointments. His staff announced that he would not sign any bills absent progress on those issues.
Gas jumps again: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.113, according to the government survey, up around eight cents from last week. Reduced production from the state's refineries is being blamed for the uptick. From the LAT:
Analysts attributed California's price surge to a supply squeeze in the state. Production of reformulated California gasoline fell to 5.8 million barrels in the most recently reported week, which ended Aug. 28, about a million barrels below the rate for the same week last year, according to the California Energy Commission. Some of the decline is because of the slow return from maintenance overhauls by two Northern California refineries, analysts said.
Disney bolsters videogame unit: The Mouse House has hired the founder of the company behind the hit series Halo - and it's bought Wideload Games, the development studio he runs. In his new role, Alex Seropian will coordinate production at Disney's videogame studios. (LAT)
Stadium exemption opposed: The Board of Supervisors wants to stop developer Ed Roski from getting an exemption that would require an environmental study on his quixotic stadium project. A bill that covers the exemption is apparently floating around the Capitol. (Daily News)
Wedding bells at 99 Cents Only Stores: Today being 9-9-09, the wacky discount retailer will treat nine couples to "99-cent weddings" at its Hollywood store. Actually, it includes $99.99 in cash free night's stay at a Brentwood hotel. (NBC Los Angeles)