Wednesday morning headlines

Stock sliding into red: The Dow opened on the plus side, but is now pulling back.

More low marks for Obama: Better than three-quarters of U.S. investors view the president's policies as anti-business and two-thirds say that the Republicans would do a better job, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Buy a home for $141,000... or $1.8 million: That's the stunning range in Southern California for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom property, according to Coldwell Banker. The lower price is in Lancaster, the higher price in Newport Beach. The U.S. average was $353,000.

Default rate nosedives: Expect the corporate rate to be about 3 percent by the end of the year, compared with the 14.6 percent peak in November, 2009. From the WSJ:

The default rate measures the percentage of companies with "junk" credit ratings that failed to meet debt obligations during a trailing 12-month period. The rate's decline suggests the corporate bloodletting set off by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is at or near its end. That should bode well for the nation's unemployment rolls, which swelled after the collapse of such companies as Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens N' Things Inc., and Nortel Networks Corp. in 2008 and 2009.

Blockbuster nears bankruptcy: The long-awaited Chapter 11 filing could happen in the next few days, reports the WSJ. Under the reorganization, the company would shutter many of its stores and focus on digital distribution.

Budget deadlock - Day 84: Senate and Assembly leaders will be in L.A. today to continue negotiations with the governor, who has been home sick. (Sacramento Bee)

Long Beach sells government building: Still struggling to balance the budget, officials are unloading a building known as City Hall East for $5.1 million.(Press-Telegram)

Disney secretary pleads guilty: Bonnie Hoxie admitted in a NY court that she tried to sell confidential earnings information in a scheme with her boyfriend. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors recommended that she get four to 10 months. (Bloomberg)

eBay founder won't endorse Whitman: Pierre Omidyar says she would do a "great job" if elected, but he opposes her stands on immigration and same-sex marriage. (SF Chronicle)

Coda accepting deposits: The Santa Monica electric car company, which will begin delivery in December, is pricing its four-door, five-passenger sedan at $44,900. That's higher than the electric offerings being introduced by GM and Nissan. From the LAT:

The cars are built on a chassis manufactured in China and based on a design licensed from Mitsubishi but greatly modified by CODA. About a third of the vehicle, primarily its electric power train, is made in the United States. Final assembly of the vehicles, including installation of the power train, is expected to take place at a factory in Benicia, Calif.

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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