Thursday morning headlines

Stocks wobble: Wall Street is back in worry mode, with the Dow down about 40 points.

Retailers stumble: Consumers cut back on their spending in April, partly because Easter fell early this year and they spent more than expected in March. From the WSJ:

Overall, retailers' April numbers across the industry spectrum are lower than even the muted expectations going into Thursday's same-store sales reports. Among those disappointing are mass merchant Costco, large retailers Target Corp. and Gap Inc., and teen retailers Buckle Inc. and Hot Topic Inc. There were some bright spots. Macy's Inc. raised its first-quarter guidance after same-store sales rose 1.1% in April, ahead of the company's guidance for flat April sales and Wall Street's expectations for a 0.4% decline.

CEOs more confident: Seven out of 10 company heads expect the economy to expand in the 2.1 percent to 3 percent range this year (really modest growth), up from five in 10 in February. (WSJ)

Hispanics hit hard: Jobless rate in this group has risen from just under 5 percent in May 2006 to just over 13 percent in October 2009. From the Chicago Tribune:

Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics over the past three years, the study shows Hispanic workers were more likely to be employed in the construction sector, which was hit hard during the housing collapse, and in states such as California, Florida and Nevada, which experienced dramatic declines in housing prices and the biggest increases in foreclosures.

Burkle delays IPO: Americold Realty Trust would have been the biggest initial public offering in the U.S. this year. Guess they figured the timing wasn't great. (DealBook)

Reserve early: Fares are way up for summer travel and the airlines have reduced capacity even further. For travelers, it's not a pretty picture. From the WSJ: says prices for summer trips are 18% higher than last year, and overall bookings, despite the higher prices, have surged 30% compared to last year. says domestic ticket prices for trips around Memorial Day are up 16% compared to last year. International airfares are jumping, too. Travelocity says international tickets for travel around Memorial Day weekend averaged $742 compared to $613 in 2009, a 21% increase.

Saban interested in Newsweek? Just chatter at this stage, but the L.A. billionaire has expressed an interest in the newsweekly in the past. Another name popping up is Ron Burkle. (NY Post)

Freedom not for sale: Executives of the OC Register's parent also said there are no plans break up the company or make major cutbacks. Freedom has just emerged from bankruptcy. (OC Register)

Freedom gets sued: Unsecured creditors claim that the company's former directors and current interim CEO enriched themselves at their expense. (OC Register)

Health Net gets military contract: Aetna had been awarded the big Defense Department business, but Woodland Hills-based Health Net appealed the decision, and the Government Accountability Office audit found errors with Aetna's bidding process. (LABJ)

State sues ex-Calpers officials: Former director Alfred Villalobos is accused in a civil suit of receiving more than $47 million in "undisclosed and unlawful commissions" for selling securities to the pension fund giant. Former CEO Federico Buenrostro is accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars' worth of gifts from Villalobos. (LAT)

Boeing workers reject contract: No plans so far for the 1,700 C-17 workers in Long Beach to walk off the job. The proposed 46-month contract included pay raises and a signing bonus but also hiked employee medical and pension costs. (Press-Telegram)

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
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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
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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