Stocks move higher: Good earnings from several big consumer companies, plus the euro stabilizes. Dow is up about 40 points.
Council approves cuts: The plan is to eliminate 761 positions and make a bunch of service cuts, including library hours and tree trimming. The council also approved between 16 and 26 furlough days. From the LAT:
Over the course of a 10-hour meeting, the council rejected a last-minute request from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to delay a vote while the city's budget team continues to negotiate with the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which represents 22,000 public employees. That request baffled some council members, who thought that the mayor had been seeking to trim the workforce. "I can't understand what mayor we're talking to sometimes," said Councilman Greig Smith. "One day he says, 'Let's do it.' The next day he says, 'Let's not do it.' "
Cities joining up: Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, all faced with multimillion-dollar budget deficits, are considering whether to consolidate a number of programs and services. They'll start by looking at maintenance, supplies, and animal shelters. (Burbank Leader)
Rapid recovery?: Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco are offering a more upbeat forecast than many other analysts - and no sign of a double-dip recession. (LAT)
Home Depot looking good: The home-improvement chain reports a better-than-expected first quarter and is boosting its 2010 outlook. Tax credits for home purchases may have played a role. (AP)
Consumers still cautious: Wal-Mart reports a 10 percent increase in first-quarter net income compared with a year earlier, but revenue at stores open at least a year (considered a key indicator) fell 1.1 percent. (AP)
Ranking bankruptcies: California had more than 6 filings per 1,000 residents for the 12 months ended March 31. That ranks the state 8th in per-capita bankruptcies (Nevada is first). (OC Register)
Summer vacations to pick up: Americans are expected to spend more money than they did last year, according to an American Express survey. (LAT)
Icahn, Lions Gate talking settlement?: The Santa Monica-based movie and TV studio says that Icahn's $7-a-share hostile offer is inadequate, but it's open to negotiations. (Reuters)
Estee Lauder buys Smashbox: The cosmetics giant is looking for a hipper presence in its lineup. L.A.-based Smashbox was founded by the great-grandsons of Max Factor. (LAT)
Securities industry probe: A former employee of SF-based
Thomas Weisel Partners Group is accused of "stuffing" auction-rate securities into client accounts without getting their permission. (Bloomberg)
Subway to the Sea update: MTA meeting tonight will have construction experts explain how they plan to drill under Bev Hills and into Westwood. (KPCC)
Lacter on radio: This morning's business chat with KPCC's Suzanne Whatley (Steve Julian is away) looks at the strike by C-17 workers in Long Beach and the defense industry in Southern California. Also at kpcc.org and on podcast (Business Update with Mark Lacter).