Stocks edge lower: That's despite an unexpectedly strong jobs report from ADP. Dow is down about 12 points.
Jump in December hiring: Private employers added 297,000 jobs last month, according to ADP, triple the consensus estimate by economists and up from the gain of 92,000 in November. The government's jobs report for December comes out on Friday. From Reuters:
"You cannot ignore the strength of this report," Tom Porcelli, a U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets. "With small business now beginning to start to ramp up hiring, it's safe to feel better about the labor backdrop." Adding to the rosy picture, the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell last month to the lowest level in 10 years, according to a report by consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Brown takes aim at Prop 13: The governor doesn't propose an increase in property taxes, but tells reporters that the initiative helped contribute to the state's financial mess. From the LAT:
Voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978, when Brown was governor the first time. The measure slashed property taxes, which were used to fund schools and local governments, and made it harder for cities and counties to raise taxes. Brown campaigned last year on a vow to work with cities and counties to decentralize power. But he has not specified how local governments might pay for some of the programs that are currently driving the state's budget into perennial multibillion-dollar deficits.
Aussies love L.A.: Australia had more visitors coming to Los Angeles than any other nation, topping Britain and Japan. From the LAT:
The Aussies were part of a larger rebound of L.A.'s tourist industry. Last year saw the number of visitors and level of tourism spending return to pre-recession levels after a significant dip in 2009. "It really shows that we have turned the corner on the road to recovery after these very difficult economic times," said Mark Liberman, LA Inc. president and chief executive.
Borders asking for time: The struggling bookstore chain wants to delay its payments to publishers as part of a plan to refinance debt (it's been in talks with lenders). Shares of Borders are trading at under a dollar. (NYT)
Cash infusion for El Toro development: A group of investors is pumping $400 million into the long-stalled Heritage Fields project, a master-planned community on the site of the former military base. (WSJ)
Early profit for Oprah's network?: Discovery Communications expects L.A.-based OWN to be operating in the black in the first year of operation. The new network had good viewership in its first weekend. (NYT)
HuffPost lawsuit: James Boyce and Peter Daou claim they came up with the original idea. Huffington says the allegation is ridiculous. (NY Post)