Wednesday morning headlines

Stocks still in a funk: Just no reason to buy - Dow is up, but only a few points.

OPEC leaves production levels unchanged: Saudi Arabia made a push to raise quotas, but other member nations opposed the move. The decision has resulted in higher oil prices, with NY crude trading at over $101 a barrel. (AP)

State budget talks bog down: Republicans continue to balk at extending taxes for another few months in exchange for reforms in state spending, public pensions and regulatory policies. From the LAT:

Both sides said Tuesday that the crucial stumbling block is a demand by [Gov. Jerry] Brown that Republicans extend current vehicle and sales tax rates to help balance the budget until voters have their say. Those rates will otherwise expire July 1. Brown said such a "bridge tax" is necessary after talks on a June ballot measure collapsed earlier this year. Republicans said they were not willing to raise taxes themselves but would be willing to ask voters to do so.

Fewer homeowners are underwater: Nearly 23.8 percent of borrowers in the L.A. area owed more on their mortgages in the January-March quarter than their properties were worth, according to CoreLogic. That's down slightly from 24.6 percent at the end of the fourth quarter. (LAT)

More pilots being made: A record number were produced for the 2010/2011 development season, according to FilmLA, with roughly half of those being shot in L.A. The jump is due to an increase in cable TV production. (LAT)

L.A. billionaire would push Borders online: Alex Gores, who is competing to buy the bookstore chain, now in bankruptcy protection, would use the remaining stores to promote Web traffic. Also interested is private equity firm Najafi Cos. (WSJ)

Bob Hope losing passengers: The Burbank airport reports a 5.2 percent drop in passengers for April compared with the same period a year earlier. Airlines have cut back on the number of flights into and out of the facility. (Burbank Leader)

Fliers more satisfied?: Seems hard to believe, what with crowded planes and add-on fees, but a J.D. Power surveys finds that passengers are feeling better about the flying experience than they were a year ago. From USA Today:

They ranked JetBlue No. 1 among low-cost airlines for the fifth consecutive year. JetBlue also had a higher satisfaction point total than all other airlines. Alaska Airlines scored highest among so-called traditional network carriers for the third consecutive year, followed by Continental.

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
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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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