Wednesday morning headlines

Wobbly market: After yesterday's big loss, stocks are moving in a tight range this morning, with the Dow down about 15 points at last check.

Too much market optimism: Uh-oh - a survey of big fund managers found lots of bullishness, which is often a sign that stocks are actually heading south. From the WSJ:

Stocks are already trading at rich prices according to several long term measures. A lot of smart people have been increasingly pessimistic. Any investor looking to invest fresh money has for some weeks been struggling to find anything worth buying. Even blue chip equities with good dividend yields, one of the last assets that were offering some value, have been playing catch-up.

Inflation still tame: Socal consumer prices rose only 0.3 percent from September to October and just 0.7 percent over the last 12 months. (OC Register)

GM expands IPO: The newly added shares will come from government and union holdings. The automaker's public offering should reduce Washington's stake in the company to 26 percent from 61 percent. (DealBook)

Holiday travel picking up: The AAA expects more Americans to be on the road this Thanksgiving, despite an increase in gas prices. (USA Today)

State lawmakers living it up: Budget crisis? About two dozen legislators are in Hawaii, hobnobbing with interest groups. From the Sacramento Bee:

The largest of two Hawaii conferences, held in Maui this week, is providing free travel and lodging to lawmakers underwritten by donations to a nonprofit group from some of the state's most powerful interests - energy providers, pharmaceutical companies and the prison officers' union. Lawmakers are joined by lobbyists and corporate officials who will seek their votes when the Legislature convenes next month.

Brown may keep Schwarzenegger's people: Aides say the governor-elect wants to focus on the budget rather than filling a couple of thousand government jobs. Among those that might stay is Budget Director Ana Matosantos, (LAT)

Another Calpers inquiry: State prosecutors are looking into a financial firm that does business with California's giant pension fund. No name mentioned. (LAT)

Icahn buys small stake in Mattel: It's less than 1 percent of the El Segundo-based toymaker - not nearly enough to flex any muscle. The company also will buy back more stock and raise its dividend. (LAT)

Former Northrop head joins Apple's board: Ronald Sugar will serve on the company's audit and finance committee. (Digital Daily)

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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