Stocks taking off: Surprisingly strong tech earnings - and outlooks - might be helping as investors look for reasons to buy into the market. Dow is up 185 points.
Wells Fargo profit jumps 48 percent: The nation's biggest retail bank beat analyst estimates - despite continued problems with bad loans. Wells has quietly emerged from the financial crisis as one of the nation's strongest banks. (NYT)
New rules for airlines:. Better disclosure of fees and fares are among the provisions that take effect today. From the NYT:
Other provisions increase the compensation carriers must pay passengers who are involuntarily bumped from flights (from up to $800 to as much as $1,300 for the longest delays). They also require the airlines to refund checked baggage fees if luggage is lost, and require airlines to promptly notify customers of delays over 30 minutes. The provisions impose a four-hour limit on time spent on the tarmac for delayed international flights, expanding a policy that has been in place for domestic flights for a year.
Villaraigosa to release budget: Library hours will be restored (thanks to voters approving Measure L) and the cops won't lose any bodies, but most other municipal departments will be on the chopping block. From the Daily News:
Much of the budget hinges on the outcome of a union vote on a proposed three-year contract, the results of which are expected next week. Unless members agree to pay more into their pension program, they face up to 36 furlough days as well as layoffs, said officials who have seen or been briefed by the Mayor's Office on the spending plan. "What will be seen is a budget that tries to address the deficit and is a transition from the very dramatic cuts the city made last year and the year before," said one City Hall official, who asked not to be identified because the budget had not been officially released.
Richard Riordan to endorse Austin Beutner for mayor: The former L.A. mayor will make it official later this morning. It was Riordan who recommended that Beutner be brought on as an economic adviser to Mayor Villaraigosa.
Proposal to cut welfare costs: County Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich want to control the rapid growth of the county-funded general relief program (really the last option for the indigent population). From the Daily News:
"Although Los Angeles County constitutes one-third of the state's population, we are shouldering 71 percent of the state's general relief participants," Antonovich said. "If we continue this trend, it will have a devastating effect on our ability to provide quality services."
More work for OC: Cal State Fullerton economist Anil Puri expects 19,000 jobs to be created in the county in 2011, not a big number but light years better than two years ago when nearly 110,000 jobs were lost. Unemployment, however, is expected to remain high. (OC Register)