Stocks are wobbly: Bouncing around quite a bit but the general movement is down. Dow is off about 40 points in early trading.
Encouraged about economy: A panel of forecasters expects growth of 3.2 percent this year, slightly higher than when the previous survey was done in February. Next year is expected to be about the same. (AP)
L.A.'s wealthiest: Patrick Soon-Shiong was the richest of them all in the Business Journal's annual ranking, at $7.1 billion. In the second spot is Kirk Kerkorian ($6.3 billion). Rounding out the top five are Eli Broad ($5.9 billion), David Geffen ($4.3 billion), and Ron Burkle ($3.65 billion).
End of the line: About 110,000 Californians had exhausted their maximum 99 weeks of jobless benefits as of May 17. From the OC Register:
There is growing pressure to help the so-called "99ers" who have exhausted their benefits or soon will, especially in places like Orange County which have been in recession longer than the nation as a whole. Orange County started losing jobs in May 2007 after the subprime mortgage industry that was based here imploded. That was seven months before the U.S. recession officially began.
Expunging convictions: With jobs so tough to come by, folks with a criminal history have an especially tough time. So, more of them are petitioning the court to dismiss past records. From the Daily Journal:
In California, anyone who was convicted of a crime but served no prison time and has remained out of trouble can expunge his or her record for a $125 fee. Attorneys said it's not just the unemployed who are asking for a second chance - but also those trying to hold on to jobs. "I recently had a woman come see me who had worked for the city for 15 years and had a misdemeanor conviction for disturbing the peace," said Elie Miller, an attorney with Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that is helping Robles clean up her record.
Drilling waivers: Despite the supposed moratorium for new offshore oil wells, at least seven permits have been granted. From the NYT:
Asked about the permits and waivers, officials at the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Service, which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, reiterating that the agency had no intention of stopping all new oil and gas production in the gulf.
Underwhelming "Shrek": The latest in the DreamWorks Animation series picked up about $71 million in its opening weekend, but that was well below expectations. (The Wrap)
Karatz puts up home: The convicted former CEO of KB Home is using his Bel-Air home as collateral so he can remain free on bail. Karatz has valued the home at $8.5 million. He will be sentenced in September. (LAT)
Bob Kerrey favored to head MPAA: The major studio heads have decided on the former U.S. senator to replace Dan Glickman as CEO of Hollywood's chief lobbying group. (LAT)
Checkers changing hands: The downtown boutique hotel is being purchased by Chesapeake Lodging Trust for $46 million. The Checkers is expected to remain operating as a Hilton. (Downtown News)