Friday morning headlines

Wall Street opens higher: Good earnings for Citibank started things out on the plus side, but since then the market has been wavering. Dow is up about 10 points.

Debt update: New warnings from Treasury Secretary Geithner, another press conference by President Obama, and more posturing from Republicans. It's just another day in Washington. (McClatchy)

Inflation under control: Lower fuel costs are behind the sharp 0.4 percent drop in L.A. area consumer prices. It's the first
local decline since last November. (Bloomberg)

L.A. gas prices rising: An average gallon of regular is $3.802, up almost 2 cents from last week, according to the Auto Club. It's the first time in two months that the weekly survey has risen.

Consumer sentiment drops sharply: The preliminary July Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment index fell to 63.8 from 71.5 in June. With gas prices falling in recent weeks, that wasn't supposed to happen. (Calculated Risk)

Big earnings at Mattel: Sales of Barbie dolls and "Cars 2" merchandise contributed to a jump in second-quarter profit at the El Segundo-based toy company, topping analysts' expectations. (Reuters).

Could 405 reopen earlier than planned?: That's what some officials are saying, though that might be wishful thinking. From the LAT:

"They have a lot of work to do," said Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "The contractor will look for opportunities to expedite the schedule." Sotero cautioned that people should not expect the 405 to be back in operation sooner than scheduled because unexpected problems could arise.

What's driving growth of Latino population?: It's due to babies born in the U.S, rather than the arrival of immigrants, according to a study. From AP:

The analysis focuses on the growth of Mexican Americans, who make up more than 60 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population. Tracing a mass Mexican migration to the United States that began in 1970 and reached its height during the 1990s, it finds that young Mexicans who crossed the border many years ago are now adding to the population by having many children. That is a contrast to other racial and ethnic groups, who on average are older.

More solar rebates: The DWP program is for businesses and homeowners who generate their own electricity. It had been suspended in April because funding ran out. From the LAT:

To stretch its funding through the end of the program and allow more ratepayers to participate, the DWP will reduce the size of the rebates. For an average $32,000 solar power installation, the program previously covered up to 50% of the costs for commercial customers and 45% for residential buildings. Officials said the new rebate levels would be determined on a case-by-case basis -- taking into account variables such as how much time a building's roof is shaded -- and did not specify reimbursement rates.

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?
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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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