Stocks sharply lower: New worries about global economy, Wal-Mart reports so-so sales at its U.S. stores - there's a lot of stuff to chew on. Dow is down about 120 points.
Good month at the ports: October imports were up 3.2 percent at the Port of L.A. from a year earlier and 33.5 percent at the Port of Long Beach, another sign that retailers are expecting a solid holiday season.
Wal-Mart profit rises, but...: Same-store sales in the U.S. were down during for the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Executives said the fourth quarter should be better. (Reuters)
Gas prices edge higher: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area rose four cents in the last week, to $3.177, according to the government's survey. That's a jump of about 17 cents a gallon since the beginning of October.
GM's closed club: The U.S. automaker has raised its offering price by about 14 percent due to high demand, but good luck getting into Thursday's IPO. From the LAT:
The situation is not much of a surprise on Wall Street, where little guys often are shut out of deals, especially coveted ones where demand far outstrips supply and where fast-rising prices usually provide quick profits to anyone getting IPO shares. But some experts said an opportunity to reward average Americans is being wasted, even though the Treasury Department said two months ago that individuals would have "ample opportunity" to participate in the IPO.
State building sale goes through: But several California officials aren't happy about it. A recent report said the costs involved over the long run will be roughly equivalent to borrowing at 10 percent interest for 35 years. Treasurer Bill Lockyer calls it "poor fiscal policy and bad for taxpayers." (LAT)
California stuck on bond sale: The state has already unloaded almost half of the $10 billion in short-term notes being offered to investors, but it'll be shelling out more in interest expenses than if the offering had happened a couple of months ago. (Dow Jones)
MTA considers toll lanes: A preliminary study recommends that five locations be looked at, including portions of the 405 and 105. They're already converting 14 miles of the 10 to so-called HOT lanes. (LAT)
Gaspin leaves NBC: The head of NBC Universal TV Entertainment was aced out as part of an executive shakeup by the network's new owner, Comcast. From Bloomberg:
Comcast plans to announce a new management team at NBC Universal as soon as this week, people with knowledge of the matter said on Nov. 12. Robert Greenblatt, former programming chief at CBS Corp.'s Showtime network, will oversee NBC's TV entertainment operations, they said. Bonnie Hammer, president of cable entertainment and production at NBC Universal, will retain oversight of networks including USA and SyFy, and add Comcast's E! Entertainment, the people said. Lauren Zalaznick will remain head of NBC's women- focused Bravo and Oxygen networks, gain NBC's Spanish-language Telemundo and add Comcast's Style network, they said.
Beatles on iTunes: After many years of negotiations, Apple has finally struck a deal with the boys and their record company, EMI. From the NYT:
[Apple CEO] Steve Jobs has tried to make a deal with EMI and the Beatles many times before, but negotiations have always broken down, usually accompanied by a flurry of online rumors, accusations and conspiracy theories. Further complicating the relationship between the parties, Apple Corps, the Beatles' company, and Apple, the computer company, had been embroiled for decades over trademark disputes. In the past, Paul McCartney has said that a deal for Beatles' downloads would have to be approved by all the band members or their heirs.