Wednesday morning headlines

Stocks falling: Could be some profit taking, could be a reaction to a less-than-terrific jobs report. In any case, the Dow is down about 15 points in early trading.

Job losses in March: ADP, the private employment service, reports that U.S. employers trimmed 23,000 jobs, worse than many analysts had expected. On Friday, the government comes out with its own March report that will include the hiring of thousands of census takers. From Reuters:

"It throws a little cold water on the idea we were going to be adding jobs in March, which is a little disappointing, people thought finally this might be the month," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist for LPL Financial in Boston.

Wall Street is hiring: Recruiters say this is the busiest season in two years. Energy and health care positions seem especially in demand. From Time:

"At the end of last year there was a lot of hiring talk but firms were still reluctant," says top Wall Street recruiter Gary Goldstein of Whitney Group. "Now there is activity. Employers seem much more secure that the market is in recovery."

Toyota sales looking better: A senior executive is looking at a gain of 30 percent to 35 percent in March, helped along by generous incentives. Carmakers will report their actual numbers on Thursday. (NYT)

Location shooting on the upswing: Movie, TV and commercial filming in the L.A. area was up 25 percent in the first quarter. Commercials, in particular, saw a big jump from last year - and the TV pilot season was better than forecast. (LAT)

Hedge fund targets local company: The fund, Barington Capital, says that the CEO of Pasadena-based Ameron International makes too much money and that the stock is undervalued. From the LAT:

Ameron, which dates back to 1907, produces infrastructure goods such as concrete and steel water pipelines and fiberglass pipe for the oil and chemical industries. The businesses aren't glamorous, but Ameron's stock from 2005 to mid-2008 rocketed amid investors' excitement over the global infrastructure build-out. The company's fortunes then plunged with the crash in global markets beginning in September 2008.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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