Stocks inch higher: Still flirting with Dow 12,000; at last check the index was up about 15 points.
Another jump in jobless claims: Here's why the week-to-week numbers are of little use - after last week's big drop, filings rose by 51,000, to 454,000. The four-week moving average, a more reliable indicator of employment activity, also rose, to 429,000. (Reuters)
Poll finds support for Brown plan: The combination of spending cuts and tax extensions is finding support among more than half of likely voters, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. From the Contra Costa Times:
Californians appear to be giving the new governor some slack in his first month. Among all adults surveyed, 41 percent approve of his performance, 19 percent disapprove and 39 percent are not sure. Among likely voters, 47 percent approve, 20 percent disapprove and 33 percent are not sure. Voters' overall mood has lifted, as well. Since October, those who feel the state is moving in the right direction has more than doubled, to 38 percent from 16 percent.
Mayors moaning in Sacramento: They took their frayed arguments about the benefits of redevelopment agencies to Gov. Jerry Brown - to little effect, it appears. From the LAT:
"My hunch is that redevelopment is a somewhat mysterious process to the average voter," he said. "If you're saying you're going to close the county hospital or lay off firefighters or you're going to eliminate something called redevelopment, I think more people are going to say, 'I think we can do without redevelopment. We can't do without public safety or schoolteachers.' "
Council signs off on Broad giveaway: The billionaire's fancy-dancy art museum will get a parking garage and exterior flourishes, courtesy of $52 million from the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency. You know the location, the blighted area right next to Disney Concert Hall. (LA Weekly)
Debating cause of financial crisis: The main findings by a government commission headed by Philip Angelides blame regulatory weakness, Wall Street avarice and corporate incompetence. But Republicans on the panel say that government was mostly at fault. From the NYT:
Steve Fraser, a Wall Street historian, said he did not think that the report would do much to stop the financial sector's return to business as usual. "I am surprised -- more than surprised, shocked even -- that all that's transpired since 2007-8 has produced as little as it has, in terms of reckoning with how out of control this financial system was and the damage it's done," he said.
Foreclosure update: December filings in California were up almost 15 percent from the previous month and down 18 percent from December 2009, according to RealtyTrac. That's one out of 203 households. (press release)
iPhone subject of class-action suit: California resident Donald LeBuhn claims that Apple knew about a design flaw that causes the glass casing to break. From the LA Weekly:
LeBuhn's beef starts with the fact that Apple markets the strength of the iPhone 4 glass as "20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic," and is "ultradurable" and made of the same material as the "glass used in helicopters and high-speed trains." This, LeBuhn claims, is all part of Apple's ruse. In actuality, he says in the lawsuit, "Months after selling millions of iPhone 4s, Apple has failed to warn and continues to sell this product with no warning to customers that the glass housing is defective."
JP Morgan buys Playa Vista property: It's 500,000 square feet of office space that's being leased by Fox Interactive Media. Purchase price is about $300 million, or almost $600 a square foot. (THR)
Flights canceled: Snow storm back east is causing havoc with flights coming in and out of L.A. At last check, Newark and JFK were still closed. (NYT)