Stocks are wobbly, but..: Last trading day of the quarter, and the Dow is still just a few points shy of its closing high for the year - not what you might expect, given all the unrest around the world.
Another dip in jobless claims: A total of 388,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits, down 6,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average rose a bit, to 394,250, but economist Joshua Shapiro said "The downtrend ... is undeniable." (AP)
Ex-Berkshire executive has regrets: David Sokol, who was considered a possible heir apparent to Warren Buffett, told CNBC that he shouldn't have bought stock in Lubrizol shortly before he recommended that Buffett buy the company. Sokol resigned yesterday. From Reuters:
In a half-hour interview, Sokol insisted he never had any inside information on Lubrizol and that he bought the shares solely as a good investment for his family. "I'd like to invest my own money, control a significant piece of it, and control my own schedule," Sokol said, later adding "I didn't know anything others don't know." Sokol also said he has on past occasions invested in companies that he suggested Buffett buy, noting one example of a bank that Buffett did not ultimately acquire.
State budget breakdown a missed opportunity: The Republicans come out looking the worst in failing to reach a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown, but all sides are losers. From LAT columnist George Skelton:
Blame everyone and everything. Blame the Democratic governor and, to a lesser extent, Democratic legislators. Blame short-sighted Republican lawmakers. Blame the labor unions that intimidate Democrats. Blame the hate-mongering radio entertainers and a Washington-based anti-tax demagogue (Grover Norquist) who petrify Republicans. Blame a governing system that invariably produces gridlock. And blame the voters for creating the ungovernable system.
Community colleges slash enrollments: That's what happens when $800 million in funding gets cut. The plan is to reduce enrollment by 400,000 and drop thousands of classes. (LAT)
California home sells for $100 million: A Russian billionaire bought the 25,500-square-foot Los Altos Hills mansion in what's described as the highest known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S. From the WSJ:
The buyer, Yuri Milner, 49, who heads Digital Sky Technologies and whose investments include Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., had no immediate plans to move into the home, said a spokesman. Mr. Milner is the stocky founder of DST, a Moscow-based fund that's made a splash in Silicon Valley via its investments. Its first in the U.S. was a $200 million check for Facebook in 2009. His primary residence is in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.