Tuesday morning headlines

Stocks heading south: We're well into that dangerous month of September, so maybe investors figure it's time to pull back. Dow is down about 80 points in early trading.

Obama proposes business tax breaks: The list includes allowing businesses to deduct the full value of new equipment purchases, and expanding tax credits for R&D expenses. From the NYT:

Though liberal and labor groups have been agitating for public works spending, Mr. Obama and his advisers are emphasizing business tax cuts in hopes of drawing Republican support -- or, failing that, to show that Republicans are so determined to thwart Mr. Obama that they will oppose even ideas that they and most business groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, advocate.

Will infrastructure plan help L.A?.: The president's plan for major upgrades to the nation's roads, rail lines and runways could provide more impetus for extending the subway, but that assumes the idea gets through Congress. From the NYT:

That is a big if. Though transportation bills usually win bipartisan support, hasty passage of Mr. Obama's plan seems unlikely, given that Congress has only a few weeks of work left before lawmakers return to their districts to campaign and that Republicans are showing little interest in giving Democrats any pre-election victories.

Little local hiring expected: Almost three-quarters of the employers surveyed in L.A. and OC counties say they'll maintain their current staffing levels in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Manpower survey. Only 11 percent plan to hire. (OC Register)

Asian Americans struggle to find work: They have the lowest unemployment rate of any ethnic group, but once they're out of a job they have a harder time getting hired than Latinos and whites. From the LAT:

Experts said the strong family and cultural ties that bind Asian entrepreneurs and a largely foreign-born Asian workforce can be a liability during tough times; laid-off workers often aren't sure where to turn for work outside their ethnic circles.

Mixed bag on union membership: The recession has taken a toll in areas like construction and manufacturing, but public-sector membership is holding its own, according to a report by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. In fact, there are more union members in the public sector than in the private.

American Apparel looking for help: The L.A.-based manufacturer and retailer is in talks to bring in an outside restructuring firm. There's still no talk of a bankruptcy filing. (Reuters)

Mark Hurd lands at Oracle: The ousted CEO of Hewlett-Packard becomes co-president of the database software company. (AP)

Rosslyn Hotel sold: The 97-year-old property at 112 W. Fifth St., once a notorious center of Skid Row drug dealing, has been operating as a 264-room housing project. SRO Housing Trust is buying the former hotel for $12.1 million. (LABJ)

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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
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