Market opens higher: Decent batch of earnings and a new round of dealmaking have investors in a buying mood. Dow is up about 100 points in early trading.
More foreclosures: Pair of studies conclude that most efforts to modify home loans will not prevent the loss of homes (what a surprise!!!!). From the WSJ:
The John Burns study estimates that five million houses and condominiums on which mortgages are now delinquent will go through foreclosure or related procedures that put them on the market over the next few years. That would represent the bulk of the estimated 7.7 million households behind on their mortgage payments.
Getting companies to hire: Two-thirds of the small business owners surveyed by American Express are looking for more customer demand. Most say they won't add jobs if they get a tax credit or bank loan. (OC Register)
Toyota troubles: Feds have received new complaints alleging that 13 additional deaths were caused by unintended acceleration. That brings the number up to 34. From the NYT:
One recent report details the October 2009 crash of a 2005 Toyota Highlander in New Hampshire that killed four people. Local news accounts indicated that the Highlander's driver, a 63-year-old Harvard University professor, lost control and crashed into another car. Both drivers and two members of the professor's family died. The police concluded that the floor mat had not interfered with the accelerator pedal but did not identify a cause. Only 2008 to 2010 model-year Highlanders have been recalled.
Deciphering "black boxes": It's called an "event data recorder" and it records vehicle and engine speeds, along with other information that can help determine the causes of accidents. But unlike the three U.S. automakers, only Toyota has access to its black boxes. From the WSJ:
Police and lawyers say Toyota sometimes fights their efforts to use black-box data to reconstruct accidents, in part because the company says the data it retrieves from the boxes may not be useful in accident reconstruction and has contained errors. The device is a prototype and "is still experimental," said Toyota spokesman Mike Michels. "We have found anomalies in the data that are part of our development of the system. It is our position that it is not reliable for accident reconstruction."
Gasparino to join Fox Business?: TVNewser reports that a deal is in the works that would send the CNBC reporter packing to the low-rated financial channel. Announcement is expected this week.
Mattel's hot toy: It's the iXL, a portable hand-held device made by the Fisher-Price division. The product, scheduled to be released this summer for $79.99, is being trumpeted this week at the Toy Fair in NY. (LAT).
Jobs cooperates on book: The Apple CEO plans to collaborate on an authorized biography, to be written by former Time magazine editor Walter Isaacson. In the past, Jobs has refused to participate in bios. (NYT)
Lacter on radio: This week's business chat with KPCC's Steve Julian looks at the struggling videogame business and Disney's push to release DVDs earlier than usual. Also at kpcc.org and on podcast ("Business Update with Mark Lacter").