Stocks tumble: Weak economic data appears to be the culprit. Dow is down about 190 points.
Jobless claims rise: Filings totaled 429,000, up 9,000 on the week. That's 11 straight weeks above the 400,000 mark, generally considered the point at which employment growth slows. (Reuters)
Oil tumbles: Big sell-off this morning to under $90 a barrel on word that members of the International Energy Agency would release 60 million barrels from strategic reserves in an effort to ease prices. From the WSJ:
The IEA, which represents major energy consuming countries, said the release was needed as the impact of the Libyan supply disruption has become more pronounced. The country hasn't exported oil for months, as fighting continues between rebels and forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi. The normal uptick in demand from refineries during the summer, when U.S. gasoline demand peaks, will further exacerbate the shortfall, the IEA said. Meanwhile, global economic growth appears to be slowing, with high oil prices threatening to worsen that trend. On the Nymex, crude futures are down more than 20% since late April as the U.S. economy has slowed.
Eric Cantor pulls out of debt talks: House Minority Leader says there's an impasse over taxes. This can't be helping the market. (Business Insider)
Mishmash over state budget: First it looked like Gov. Jerry Brown would give up on tax extensions and craft an all-cuts budget. Now there's word that he's still looking for enough Republican lawmakers to bring the tax question to the public. Is anybody in charge? (Capitol Alert)
Shenanigans at Dodger charity: State Attorney General says that more than $100,000 was paid by the Dodger Dream Foundation to a consulting firm, but that the contract mostly benefited Jamie McCourt. The money has been repaid. (LAT)
Best Buy to downsize stores: Portions of its stores will be walled off and then subleased to smaller retailers. Other chains have been doing the same thing. From the LAT:
"Big-box has already seen its heyday," said Brad Thomas, a retail analyst with Keyblanc Capital Markets. "Retailers just don't need as much space as they once did. Across the retail industry there is an effort to reduce the size of your stores as retail and purchases increasingly occur online rather than through brick-and-mortar stores." Sharing space is one strategy, downsizing is another. Staples, Office Depot and Wal-Mart are among retailers looking to build smaller stores in the future, especially in urban areas.
NBC denies Trump salary: The network says that a NY Post report about how much he'll be making next year on "Celebrity Apprentice" is "grossly inaccurate and has been significantly overstated." (THR)
Hollywood real estate: Joe Roth, the former Fox chairman, is selling his Streamline Moderne property in Santa Monica to showbiz lawyer Jeanne Newman and Fox executive Gary Newman. Price is in the mid-$9 million range. (THR)