Stocks head south: Not much economic or earnings news - just time for a breather, perhaps more. Dow is down about 25 points.
Obama releases budget: Let the games begin - the administration says its proposal would cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years. Republicans say it's not nearly enough. (Reuters)
More upbeat about growth: Economists surveyed by the WSJ expect gross domestic product to expand at a 3.6 percent annual rate in the current quarter, up from 3.2 percent in the final months of 2010. They put the chance of a recession at only 12 percent.
Remember "Made in Japan"?: New figures show that China has topped Japan as the world's second-largest economy. From the WSJ:
With those figures, Japan's full-year GDP was $5.47 trillion--about 7% smaller than the $5.88 trillion China reported in January. Both still remain considerably smaller than the American economy. Japan and China combined are still worth less than the U.S.'s 2010 GDP of $14.66 trillion.
Think L.A. home prices have dipped?: Try Seattle. The Emerald City has seen prices plummet 31 percent from its mid-2007 peak and, according to Zillow, still has as much as 10 percent to fall. From the NYT:
The fact that even a fairly prosperous area like Seattle was ensnared in the downturn shows just how much of a national phenomenon the crash has been. The slump began when the low-quality loans that drove the latter stage of the boom began to go bad, but the resulting recession greatly enlarged the crisis. Many people could not get a mortgage, and others simply gave up the hunt. Now, though the overall economy seems to be mending, housing remains stubbornly weak.
Mubarak wealth greatly inflated: Forget about the $70-billion estimates that had been reported last week - U.S. officials put the figure closer to $2 billion to $3 billion. (NYT)
Saban, Eisner consider bids for Thomas the Tank Engine owner: Mattel and Hasbro might also be interested. Apax Partners is seeking about $1 billion for HIT Entertainment, though bids may come in closer to $500 million, Bloomberg reports.
Tom Gores gets close to buying Pistons: The L.A. billionaire has an exclusive two-week negotiating period to cut a deal for the Detroit basketball team. The CEO of investment firm Platinum Equity has been looking at the Pistons for months. (LABJ)