Stocks back up: Yesterday's rally fizzled later in the day, as weak demand for Treasuries boosted rates. At last check the Dow was up about 50 points.
CA employment: As posted earlier, 20,400 jobs were lost in February and the unemployment rate held steady at 12.5 percent.
Jobless benefits extension blocked: This time, it's Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn, who is preventing the Senate from passing a $9-billion measure to extend aid for a month - and lawmakers are ready to leave town for a two-week recess. They're now looking at a way to provide the benefits retroactively when the Senate returns. (Bloomberg)
Latest foreclosure plan: Ideas include refinancing several million delinquent homeowners into government-backed mortgages, and temporarily reducing the payments of borrowers who are unemployed. From the NYT:
The biggest new initiative, which is also likely to be the most controversial, will involve the government, through the Federal Housing Administration, refinancing loans for borrowers who simply owe more than their houses are worth. About 11 million households, or a fifth of those with mortgages, are in this position, known as being underwater. Some of these borrowers refinanced their houses during the boom and took cash out, leaving them vulnerable when prices declined. Others simply had the misfortune to buy at the peak.
DWP's pricey power: Department of Water and Power is talking about raising rates by 37 percent over the next four years. That includes a 21 percent jump over the next year to pay for renewable energy. A city council committee is looking at the numbers. (LAT)
Death claims mount: LAT reports that more than 100 deaths have been blamed on sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles, nearly twice the number reported two months ago. Remember those are just claims.
Last look at Q4: Economic growth in the final three months of 2009 was 5.6 percent, down from the earlier estimate of 5.6 percent. That's still the strongest showing in six years, though the first three months of 2010 are expected to be somewhat lower. (AP)
Gores looking for deal: That would be Alec Gores, whose L.A.-based private equity firm is interested in Polycom, the video-conferencing specialist. Gores would like to merge Polycom with one of his portfolio companies. (FT)
Still-higher gas prices: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.101, up about three pennies from last week. (Auto Club)