Turbulent markets: They can't use the fat finger defense today. Despite the strong jobs report, the Dow fell around 200 points this morning. It's now coming back - down 80 at last check - but this will be a topsy-turvy day.
Still no explanation: The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are among the regulators looking into yesterday's mess. The report of a single Citigroup trader pressing a "b" instead of an "m" has not been verified - and indeed there are indications that the "fat finger" explanation is not holding up. From DealBook:
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, for its part, went against its own policy not to comment on rumors, and issued a statement saying "activity by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in CME Group stock index futures markets does not appear to be irregular or unusual in light of market activity." The exchange's statement matched Citigroup's denial, as unconfirmed reports were circulated of an error by a Citi trader, and as markets more generally sought to pin the blame for the brief and death-defying dives of certain shares on Thursday afternoon.
A Council happening: The city budget is on today's agenda - and no doubt there will be plenty of chatter about the Villaraigosa/Riordan rumble. Also on tap is a proposed moratorium on rent increases. (Daily News)
Boeing C-17 workers talk strike: Negotiations have broken down over pension and health care. The president of Local 148 of the United Aerospace Workers is talking about a walkout as early as Monday. From the Press-Telegram:
Many workers believe the new contract could be the final long-term agreement guaranteeing old-age benefits as C-17 production begins scaling back in anticipation of a scheduled plant closure later this decade. Boeing plans to close the Long Beach plant, which employs some 5,000 people, as early as mid-2013, but production could continue if more foreign orders are drummed up in coming years.
Burkle sues Barnes & Noble: The L.A. billionaire, who has been trying to raise his stake in the book seller, says that the company's shareholder rights plan favored the controlling Riggio family. The B&N board disagrees. (AP)
Preparing for upfronts: Demand for commercial time next fall is likely to be much stronger than a year ago - and rates are expected to be higher. From the NYT:
Unilever, which sells brands like Axe, Dove, Good Humor, Lipton and Ragú, will take part in the upfront market, [said Rob Master, North American media director for the giant marketer] but is also looking at interactive media, social media and other places to spend its marketing dollars. In fact, Mr. Master and other Unilever executives are in California this week, he said, to meet with Silicon Valley companies like Apple, Facebook and Google -- all of which offer alternatives to traditional ways to advertise, like television commercials.
Deconstructing DreamWorks: The partnership of Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen "fell short on so many levels," says reporter Nicole Laporte, who is out with a new book, "The Men Who Would Be King." From Speakeasy:
You had three guys who weren't used to being team players. Spielberg never had to share power with anyone. Same with Geffen. Less so with Katzenberg because he was a studio exec. The big challenge from day one was how do three guys with outstanding careers come together to become a supergroup? They're solo artists. Unfortunately, they remained in those individual roles.
Voting on L.A. football: Business Journal Web site poll finds that an 46 percent would like to see an NFL stadium near Staples Center and 36 percent want it in the City of Industry. Another 16 percent don't want a football team in L.A.