Thursday morning headlines

Stocks are wavering: Not much direction in the early going as the market comes off yesterday's big loss. Dow is down about 15 points.

Fewer jobless claims: Finally, some decent employment news: Filings for unemployment benefits fell last week, but only to 422,000 - still way too high for significant job growth. (AP)

Mixed results for retailers: Costco and Macy's did well, but Victoria's Secret and Hot Topic did not. From AP:

Stores are now reporting that their shoppers are finally feeling the pain of rising prices for food like dairy and meat and gas prices that are more than $1 higher per gallon than a year ago. Higher costs are "finally taking a bite and affecting sales," said Ken Perkins, president of research firm Retail Metrics. "It definitely raises the caution flag going into the summer." Of 24 retailers, about 60 percent missed expectations and 40 percent beat expectations, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Californians spent more: Taxable sales were up 8.5 percent in the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier. But gas accounted for the biggest gain in spending. (OC Register)

Californians mixed on dealing with deficit: New poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that 40 percent prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, and 36 percent want mostly spending cuts. (Capitol Alert)

Auto bailout cost $14 billion: That's less than 20 percent of the $80 billion that the government provided to the auto industry. From the WSJ:

The White House report said the money invested in GM and Chrysler ultimately saved the government tens of billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs, including the cost of unemployment insurance and lost tax receipts that the government would have incurred had the big Detroit auto makers collapsed. Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the industry has created 115,000 jobs, its strongest period of growth since the late 1990s, the report said.

Dodger inquiry nears end: The baseball commissioner's office wants to complete its review of the team's finances by June 22, the LAT reports. That could help determine whether owner Frank McCourt's lucrative deal with Fox goes through - and whether he gets to keep the team.

L.A. controller subpoenas parking documents: Wendy Greuel wants more information on the city's Gold Card service, which provided elected officials with a way to fast-track constituent appeals of parking citations. (LAT)

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

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
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook