Friday morning headlines

Market opens higher: Stocks are staging a bit of a rally, with the Dow up about 30 points.

Lower gas prices: Good timing for the holiday - an average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.093, according to the Auto Club, almost a dime lower than last week. Meanwhile, oil prices are creeping back to over $100 a barrel. (AP)

More passengers at LAX: April saw a 7.2 percent increase from a year earlier, with domestic and international boardings up about the same percentage. This weekend is expected to bring more passengers than a year ago. (Daily Breeze)

Consumer spending slows: It's a sign that folks are forking over more for gas and food. (Reuters)

Sale of Crystal Cathedral: Under a proposed plan, the 40-acre campus would be sold to an unidentified real estate investment group, which would lease back the property to the church. It's a way of exiting bankruptcy protection. (LAT)

Gift-banning bill shelved: A state Senate committee cited the $204,000 annual cost of enforcing the ban. "The score is lobbyists 1, public 0," said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause. (LAT)

No funding for Leimart Park station: The MTA board said it would be a good addition for the new Crenshaw Line, but decided not to chip in any money. From the LAT:

Aides to [Supervisor Mark] Ridley-Thomas said they had identified millions of dollars that could be used for the project, saying certain pools of money designated for some future work had already been tapped for other uses. But Metro officials and some board members staunchly opposed using those funds, saying it would set a poor example if money set aside for other projects were used for the Crenshaw Line. The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line will run from the Expo Line along Crenshaw Boulevard through South L.A. and Inglewood and terminate at the Green Line near Los Angeles International Airport. Officials hope it will be complete by 2018.

L.A. clerical workers avoid furloughs: They agreed to labor concessions that include paying 2 percent toward retiree health care (4 percent on July 1). The 4,100 clerks will be protected from furloughs through fiscal year 2013-14. (City Maven)

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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