Thursday morning headlines

Stocks bouncing around: Market is looking for direction after yesterday's big loss. Dow is up about 50 points. Treasury yields are at their lowest level of the year.

Jobless claims are down, but still high: Flings totaled 414,000, down 16,000 from the week before. Claims need to be well below 400,000 to generate consistent job growth. (Reuters)

Foreclosures fall in California: One out of every 259 households received a filing last month, according to RealtyTrac, with default notices at a 31-month low. From press release:

Six California cities posted foreclosure rates in the top 10, led by Stockton at No. 2 (one in every 139 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month), Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 3 (one in every 140 housing units), and Modesto at No. 4 (one in every 154 housing units). Other California cities in the top 10 were Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in every 169 housing units), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 8 (also one in every 169 housing units), and Merced at No. 10 (one in every 193 housing units).

Redevelopment agencies abolished?: The budget package killed off funding, but agencies that agree to divert a certain amount of the property tax they collect to schools, fire protection districts and transit districts can continue to exist. Sounds like there's still some sorting out to do. (Mercury News)

Online sales tax approved: Supporters say it would generated $200 million a year; opponents say the law is unconstitutional and won't work. From the Mercury News:

Under federal law, states can tax sales only if the seller has a physical presence in the state. The California bill seeks to get past that issue by letting the state tax board collect from any retailer with a so-called business "nexus" or connection with an affiliate inside California. Supporters say it would make the tax code more fair, forcing Internet retailers to collect taxes just as brick-and-mortar stores already do.

Warner Bros. to distribute films in China: Studio is looking to reach as many as 200 million homes through a joint venture with a Chinese firm. From the LAT:

China is in the midst of replacing largely antiquated and fragmented cable systems with more sophisticated digital technology. In addition to films from the Warner Bros. library, which include the "Batman" and "Harry Potter" series, the service would include recently released movies that would appear on Chinese pay-per-view services about the same time they are released on DVD.

Baseball expanding Dodgers inquiry: Commissioner's office is interviewing former team executives, and at least some of the questions involve security at Dodger Stadium, the LAT is reporting.

Borders gets reprieve on stores: Bookstore chain has reached a tentative deal with lenders that avoids closing 51 stores this summer. Borders has already closed more than a third of its stores. (Bloomberg)

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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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