Falling stocks: Big drop in the Dow even before the Fed finishes up its policy meeting. Some sour economic news isn't helping.
How to help stalled economy?: Federal Reserve policymakers will consider that question today. From the NYT:
Economists, including former Fed officials, say the central bank's interest rate policy committee is likely, at the least, to acknowledge the slowdown in the recovery, and to discuss steps like reinvesting the proceeds from its huge mortgage-bond portfolio, which could help the economy by keeping more money in circulation. Not since 2003 has the prospect of deflation been taken so seriously at the Fed, and not since the 2008 financial crisis have the markets been looking so closely to it for guidance.
Wal-Mart raising prices: Despite very low inflation, they're up by an average of 6 percent in a month, according to a check by J.P. Morgan Securities. The retailer is still cheaper than the supermarkets, but the gap is narrowing. (Reuters)
Productivity falls: The second quarter drop comes after several months of significant gains. It's another sign that growth has slowed. (AP)
Furlough plan blocked: Superior Court judge's temporary restraining order prevents governor from issuing unpaid furlough days in order to conserve cash. State will appeal. (LAT).
Ex-Anthem executive on rate hikes: Leslie Margolin, who abruptly resigned last month as president of California's largest for-profit health insurer, says she had opposed the company's decision to raise rates by up to 39 percent. From the LAT:
Margolin said she privately pressed WellPoint to abandon the company's get-tough approach to longtime adversaries -- doctors and hospitals -- and instead collaborate as part of a new "healthcare transformation strategy" to cut costs and improve patient safety and the quality of care. Last month, WellPoint replaced her. At the time, Margolin said her departure was a mutual decision. Interviews with company insiders, insurance industry leaders and others familiar with the situation now make clear that she was pushed out. "Her undoing was that she rocked the boat and wanted to do things a different way," said one person familiar with the events who declined to be identified for fear of retribution.
Streaming deal: Netflix announces agreement with Paramount, Lions Gate and MGM under which movies will be available on the Web just three months after they appear on pay television. (LAT)
Will Bell be fired?: The small town of Maywood may have picked the wrong municipality to run its services. It was looking to save money and avoid having to file for bankruptcy. From the LAT:
Maywood officials said they had no idea about Bell's problems when they agreed to hire the city. "We were not aware of these salaries. They were a complete surprise to me," said Maywood Mayor Ana Rizo. "I'm still digesting it all."
LAX facelift continues: Work on renovating Terminal 6 will begin later this year. The changes will include additional airline gates, more security lanes, and a new baggage screening system. From the Daily Breeze:
When completed, Terminal 6 would be able to accommodate Alaska Airlines' domestic and international flights, White told the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. The project, set for completion in early 2012, will be funded by Alaska Airlines, LAX and the Transportation Security Administration, airport officials said.
Gas prices bump up: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.170, up a few pennies from last week, according to a government survey.