Stocks edge lower: Manufacturing activity may be slowing down, and besides, Wall Street is due for some kind of retreat. Dow is down about 20 points.
GOP plan to balance budget: Just slash spending by $5.8 trillion over the next 10 years and you're there. From the NYT:
The ambitious plan, drafted principally by Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the Budget Committee, proposes not only to limit federal spending and reconfigure major federal health programs, but also to rewrite the tax code, cutting the top tax rate for both individuals and corporations to 25 percent from 35 percent, reducing the number of income tax brackets and eliminating what it calls a "burdensome tangle of loopholes."
FAA orders airlines to look for cracks: The inspections involve older-model Boeing 737s that have gone through thousands of takeoffs and landings. From the NYT:
The recent string of similar problems has baffled safety experts who said the industry assumed it had successfully resolved the problem of metal fatigue after an accident in 1988 involving a 737 jet flown by Aloha Airlines. During the flight, an 18-foot section of the forward cabin ripped open and a flight attendant was blown out of the plane. Southwest insisted that it had done all the required inspections of its aircraft. But the latest problem focused attention on how the carrier uses its planes on up to 12 flight segments a day.
Oil prices finally take a dip: But crude futures are still very high - over $107 a barrel in NY trading. (Bloomberg)
KB Home widens loss: Fewer homes were delivered in the first quarter and net orders declined. But despite losing $114.5 million, the L.A.-based homebuilder said it was encouraged by higher traffic at the beginning of spring selling season. (AP)
Bell is billed $1.2 million in legal fees: Much of the work being done by Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson is related to the corruption investigations. One of the firm's partners is serving as interim city attorney. From the Daily Journal:
In total, the firm billed Bell $1,206,243.86 from August to December, according to the invoice summaries provided. The legal bills add to an already precarious financial situation for the mostly blue-collar community. A Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors audit published in January stated the city of 36,000 residents was in such poor financial shape that it would likely end up $2.2 million in debt at the end of the fiscal year, and it recommended dramatic cuts in services.
Chase keeps expanding in California: The banking giant expects to open about 100 branches in the state this year, 65 of them in Socal. Most of the branches were obtained in the bank's acquisition of Washington Mutual. (LAT)
Expo Line begins test runs: They'll be taking measurements for clearance and other fine-tuning. The train from downtown to La Cienega Boulevard could start running in November. (Neon Tommy)
American begins nonstop LAX-Shanghai service: United will follow up with nonstop service beginning in May. Until now, China Eastern Airlines was the only carrier that offered nonstops between L.A. and China's most populous city. (Daily Breeze)
UCLA conference center put on hold: The school wants a more detailed study on the project's finances. The move comes after an academic council came out against the proposal. (LABJ)