Thursday morning headlines

Stocks still sluggish: Shaping up to be another lackluster session. Dow is up about 10 points.

House considers tax package: Looks as if it'll get through without the changes that many Democrats are looking for. (Reuters)

Jobless claims decline: The four-week average fell for the sixth straight week to 422,750. But economists say the number has to drop below 400,000 in order to lower the unemployment rate. (AP)

Anschutz not committed to stadium plan: Turns out that the billionaire backer of Staples Center, L.A. Live etc. has yet to fully back the downtown stadium idea that his lieutenant, Tim Leiweke, has hatched. From the LAT:

"Not yet," said Leiweke, AEG's president and chief executive, who did not attend his company's news conference Wednesday evening to unveil the renderings of three competing design firms. He stopped to answer some questions on his way to his car at LA Live. "He's getting there. This is a work in progress, and we've never made any bones about that. It's always been a work in progress. "We had to get everything lined up in order for [Anschutz] to give us the green light. We're working on it, and we're making progress. But we're not there yet."

Stadium designs underwhelming: LAT architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne calls the three competing plans "safe, sleek, inoffensive corporate architecture."

Planning Commission considers downtown towers: Big meeting today on the proposed Korean Air complex that would replace the Wilshire Grand Hotel (they're looking at a 2015 opening). The developers already have announced a deal for existing hotel workers. (blogdowntown)

Socal rents on the upswing: They were up in November at an annual rate of 0.9 percent, as measured by the government's Consumer Price Index, compared with 0.5 percent the previous month. (OC Register)

New ad deal for MySpace, Google: It'll replace the three-year, $900 million pact that expired this fall - and Peter Kafka notes that it'll be nothing like the old one. News Corp., the owner of Bev Hills-based MySpace, wants to unload the struggling social networking site.

New service for unsold tickets: ScoreBig, an L.A.-based startup, wants to establish a Priceline-type operation for concert and sports tickets. From the WSJ:

The Los Angeles company lists the tickets on its website, showing the date, game or performer involved, and a general description of the seat's location, rather than a specific row or section. Instead of a price, it shows potential bidders the size of the discount other buyers have received on similar seats. Losing bidders are barred from bidding on the same event for 24 hours. ScoreBig says the uncertainty makes the service more appealing to casual buyers than to hard-core fans. Though the company guarantees it will never charge more than 90% of a ticket's retail cost, it doesn't offer much more information, even to winning bidders.

Kathleen Brown leaving California: The governor-elect's sister, who runs Goldman's West Coast municipal finance team, is transferring to a new post in Chicago out of concern over potential conflicts. (Bloomberg)

More by Mark Lacter:
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Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
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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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