Stocks pull back: The Dow is only about 50 points shy of 11,000, though it's down this morning. Professional traders often pooh-pooh those milestone marks, but they can be a big deal for the financial and economic psyches. (AP)
DWP rating withdrawn: Fitch says it will reassess the "AA-" rating it's given to the Department of Water and Power in light of the utility's squabble with the L.A. City Council. A downgrade would make it more expensive for DWP to borrow money. (AP)
Talking about budget mess: This week's business chat with KPCC's Steve Julian looks at the city's financial crisis, as well as the financial crisis facing the courts. Also at kpcc.org and on podcast (Business Update with Mark Lacter)
Apartment rents going up: Of the 79 cities being tracked by research firm Reis, 60 saw effective rents rise during the first quarter, with Miami topping the gains at 1.6 percent. (FT)
Oil going up: The price of crude is hovering above $86 a barrel, which is as high as it's been in 18 months. In the L.A. area, gas is selling for an average price of $3.111 a gallon, according to the government's weekly report. (AP, EIA)
Boost in CA's economy: The state grew by 8 percent in the first two months of the year, according to Comerica, the biggest gain in almost 10 years. Gains were especially strong in exports and high-tech manufacturing.
Actress sues "Desperate Housewives" creator: Nicollette Sheridan alleges that Marc Cherry assaulted her on the set and then had her fired for complaining about him. The suit seeks $20 million in damages. From The Wrap:
In one incident -- during the show's fifth season, in September 2008 -- she claims "he "forcefully hit her with his hand across her face and head" over a script disagreement during reherasal. She responded, "You just hit me in the head. That is not okay. THAT IS NOT OKAY," according to the lawsuit. She claims that Cherry went to her trailer to "beg for forgiveness," but after she reported him to ABC, her character was written off the show, "resulting in her losing millions in future earnings," the lawsuit said.
Gundlach starts fund: The ousted money manager of L.A.-based TCW is starting up two mutual funds: the DoubleLine Total Return Bond fund and the DoubleLine Emerging Markets Fixed-Income fund. Gundlach formed DoubleLine soon after leaving TCW. (LAT)
Loehmann's in trouble: One of the original clothing discounters has missed a $6 million interest payment, the NY Post reports. The retailer, with several L.A. stores, is owned by Dubai-based Istithmar, which has been facing its own financial problems.
The off-price clothier made a round of payments last week to apparel manufacturers and so-called "factoring" companies, which finance deliveries of inventory. Loehmann's has likewise committed to write more checks this week, sources said. Loehmann's, whose 63 stores are estimated to have generated more than $400 million in sales last year, is "still fighting to stay alive, and hasn't given up," according to one source familiar with the situation.
Rob Maguire wants to buy buildings: The former CEO of Maguire Properties is offering to assume the loans on KPMG Tower, U.S. Bank Tower and Plaza Las Fuentes. Current CEO Nelson Rising says he has no intention of selling the first two, but would be open to selling the third. (WSJ)
Lions Gate, Saban in venture: The movie and TV company and the L.A. billionaire have formed a partnership to operate Tiger Gate, the owner of pay television channels in Asia. (LAT)