Stocks zigzag: The Dow is actually up a few points at last check, though the weaker-than-expected jobs report might be taking a toll in early trading.
Calpers shaping up?: The board president of the pension giant tells his fellow directors that it might not be such a great idea to have private meetings with middlemen who are getting paid huge fees for pushing investments. From the LAT:
The agency's recent woes have been a long time coming, said Edward Siedle, an expert on pension malfeasance and a former attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund, he said, is experiencing a string of embarrassments after years of not policing itself. "At every level, the fund has serious issues they have not dealt with," said Siedle, who is based in Florida. "There is no excuse for a fund that size to be hit with wave after wave of revelations of wrongdoing. It shows a lack of discipline. A lack of leadership. A lack of fiduciary responsibility."
Big loss for Hanmi: One of the big L.A. banks for the Korean American market has been ordered to raise $100 million by July or face seizure. The plan is to raise capital from private investors in South Korea. Hanmi lost almost $60 million in the third quarter. (LAT)
Videogame preview: Activision Blizzard reported a profit for the third quarter, though CEO Bobby Kotick has kept expectations low for the holiday season. From the LAT:
"If the consumer materializes and spends money, we'll do well," Kotick said in an interview. "If not, things will be a challenge. And today, you really have no way of knowing what will happen. Consumers saw significant discounts last year after Black Friday, and they're waiting for it to happen again this year."
DVD wars: First Wal-Mart slashed the online prices of 10 big holiday releases to $10. Then Amazon and Target matched. Then Wal-Mart lowered its price to $9.99. All this comes after Wal-Mart launched an aggressive $10 online book promotion. From the WSJ:
The DVD battle resulted in prices that guaranteed the retailers would lose money on the movies. However, promotions to sell new movie releases close to or below cost in order to drive customer traffic are already common in retailing. Just this week, Wal-Mart was advertising "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" at less than $14, which is less than analysts believe retailers pay for such titles.
Gas prices still flat: An average gallon in the L.A. area is $3.013, a penny lower than last week, according to the Auto Club.