Stocks open way lower: No sign of the summer swoon ending - too many worries about the economy. Dow is down 240 points.
Slight drop in jobless claims: Weekly filings were at an even 400,000, which is the lowest level in four months but still stubbornly high. (AP)
Oil keeps falling: Another sign of investor concern about the economy. NY crude is trading close to $91 a barrel. (AP)
Retailers report decent July: Deep discounts and hot weather brought people to the malls. Limited Brands, Costco, and Target all topped sales expectations. From AP:
While the numbers signal a strong start to the back-to-school shopping period, roughly between mid-July through September, there are concerns that shoppers will soon return to their habits of the Great Recession by focusing on necessities and waiting for ever bigger discounts. That could be a big problem for retailers during what is typically the second-biggest shopping period of the year because many will be raising prices in order to deal with rising fuel, labor and other production costs.
Big jump in GM profits: The automaker that some had given up for dead earned $2.5 billion in the second quarter, up 89 percent from a year earlier. (NYT)
Downtown stadium plan wins key vote: As expected, City Council committee signs off on the agreement with developer AEG to build a $1.2 billion stadium and replace a $275 million wing of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Full council vote is scheduled for Tuesday. (LAT)
McCourts back in divorce court: The one-day hearing had been billed as deciding who owns the Dodgers, but subsequent developments - including the team's bankruptcy filing - make the stakes in today's trial unclear. (NBC4)
Grousing at AMC: The cable channel has given "Mad Men" executive producer Matt Weiner a fat raise while making cuts at two of its other shows. Apparently, that's not sitting well. From the LAT:
AMC President Charlie Collier strongly denied that the cost of keeping "Mad Men" is in any way hampering the network's programming strategy. "We're investing more than we ever have before," Collier said in an interview. "The fact that future seasons of 'Mad Men' were going to be expensive is not a surprise to us." He was also quick to defend the network against complaints about its recent dealings with producers. "We've taken some of the most expensive, riskiest shows around and nurtured them and managed to grow our network."
LAT Media Group launches free weeklies: The Pasadena Sun and Sunday Valley Sun will be serving the San Gabriel Valley. (LAT)