Stocks down again: No panic so far, perhaps because equities remain the best bet for many investors. But the mood is sour. Dow is down about 80 points.
White House miscalculated: Relatively calm financial markets this week run counter to what the White House has been predicting - and only deepens Republican resistance. From NYT columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin:
The administration may have made a strategic mistake in warning too soon that the market would react negatively. It ultimately undercuts the government's negotiating position because the doomsday scenario has not played out, even though the deadline is fast approaching. "They have lost all credibility," said Neil M. Barofsky, the former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. "It's so typical of the way Treasury and the Fed treat everything -- it is always to warn that Armageddon is coming."
L.A. home prices slightly higher: The Case-Shiller Index edged up 0.5 percent between April and May, but was down 3.2 percent from May 2010. From press release:
"We see some seasonal improvements with May's data," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "This is a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are to be expected and were seen in 16 of the 20 cities.
Another small bump in gas prices: Average price of regular in the L.A. area is $3.864, up a couple of pennies from last week, according to the government survey. Higher oil prices are behind the price increase.
Recession hits Hispanics hardest: From 2005 to 2009 the median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent, according to a Pew Study. Over the same period, the median wealth of whites fell by just 16 percent. From the NYT:
Nearly two-thirds of Hispanics' median net worth in 2005 came from home equity, according to the report, and when the housing market collapsed, so did their wealth. Median home equity for Hispanics fell by 51 percent in the period of the survey. The drop was compounded by the fact that Hispanics tended to live in the places that were hit hardest in the recession, like Florida and California, the report said.
More Marie Callender's closures: Stores in Pasadena, Torrance, and Costa Mesa have been shuttered. The chain's parent, Memphis-based Perkins & Marie Callender's Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection in June, resulting in 31 closures. (OC Register)
Disney to buy Indian media company: UTV Software Communications makes movies, operates TV channels and produces video games. Mouse House is paying $454 million for the 49.6 percent stake that it does not already own. (DealBook)
New leadership for Meruelo Maddux Properties: The downtown real estate firm emerges from bankruptcy, with founder Richard Meruelo gone and Martin Caverly the new CEO. Several downtown properties could be sold. (Downtown News)
L.A. sues AT&T: The city alleges that it's owed almost $5 million in unpaid "communications user tax," plus penalties and interest. Taxes date back to 2005. (LAT)