As the dollar weakens....: That's right, U.S. stocks take off. That's what's happening so far this morning. A drop in the Greenback means that American companies doing business overseas see their profits increase. Dow is up about 100 points.
Divorce final: AOL becomes an independent company today, nearly 10 years after its disastrous marriage to Tiger Wo... no, sorry, Time Warner. Stock is down in early trading. (MarketWatch)
CA foreclosures decline: For the fourth straight month the state's foreclosure activity declined on a month-to-month basis, according to RealtyTrac. One out of every 180 housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, still up 22 percent from the year earlier.
Apple plans reboot: At last they're looking at easier ways for consumers to buy music through iTunes. From the WSJ:
The key vehicle for the move is Apple's newly acquired music-streaming service La La Media Inc. for which Apple paid $85 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Where Apple's iTunes requires users to download music onto a specific computer, Lala.com lets users buy and listen to music through a Web browser, meaning its customers can access purchases from anywhere, as long as they are connected to the Internet. Apple is considering adopting that same model for songs sold on iTunes, a change that would give consumers more ways to access and manage their iTunes purchases--and wouldn't require them to download Apple's software or their purchases.
Surprise Broadcom ruling: Co-founder Henry Samueli was cleared by a federal judge of lying to investigators in a probe of stock options backdating. From the LAT:
"That you truly understood what happened here means a lot to me," Samueli told the judge. "You have restored my faith in the criminal justice system." In June 2008, Samueli entered a guilty plea to a single count carrying a maximum fine of $250,000. Under a deal with prosecutors, he also agreed to pay a $12-million penalty. The plea deal called for no prison time.
More trouble for ports: And it has nothing to do with the economy. From the LAT:
Sea levels in California are expected to increase 16 inches over the next 40 years, causing flooding and endangering facilities throughout the state, according to a report by the California State Lands Commission. By 2100, the ocean could rise as much as 55 inches, the report said. Most of the 40 ports and shipping hubs surveyed by the state said they were not prepared for the rise in sea levels.
Lakers Inc.: They're now the NBA's most valuable team, according to the annual Forbes survey. Franchise is worth $607 million, bettering the Knicks for the top spot. Lakers' revenue is $209 million and operating income is $51.1 million.
Calpers update: California's giant pension fund is firing or will soon fire the folks responsible for its plummeting real estate portfolio. From the Sacramento Bee:
In a memo to the CalPERS board, outside adviser Pension Consulting Alliance Inc. said this week it expects the fund's real estate portfolio "to continue to deteriorate over the next 12 months and potentially longer" because of weak market conditions. It added that CalPERS took on too much debt on some deals and has underperformed the market.
Latest on THR sale: Will this modest $70 million deal ever get done? NY Post reports that Lachlan Murdoch has dropped out of an investment group looking to buy The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and other titles. He's been replaced by former Bear Stearns boss Alan Schwartz.