Stocks bouncing around: Dow is up about 30 points as investors figure out which way the wind is blowing today. So far it's variable.
Jobless claims inch higher: Weekly filings rose 2,000 to 414,000, which suggests little change in the job market. Companies are not hiring much, but they're not laying off much either. (AP)
Obama's job speech: Prevailing narrative (heavily pumped by Republicans) is lukewarm or worse. The president will propose a more than $300 billion stimulus plan that includes payroll-tax cuts, money to build roads and renovate schools, and direct aid to state and local governments. (Bloomberg)
Amazon cuts deal with Sacramento: The state agrees to postpone collecting sales taxes from Californians for another year and in return the company agrees to drop its challenge of the new sales tax law. From the Sacramento Bee:
Amazon and major brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble agreed to lobby Washington over the next 11 months for an Internet sales tax law that applies across 50 states. "Basically, Amazon will get a safe harbor to lobby Congress and the retailers will go hand in hand with them to adopt a law that will apply to all of the states," said Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier. If no federal deal emerges by July 31, 2012, Amazon would have to begin collecting California sales taxes starting on Sept. 15, 2012.
Stadium bill extended to other projects?: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg plans to introduce companion legislation to the AEG exemption that would empower the governor to determine which big-ticket developments receive fast-track legal review. From the LAT:
The existing bill requires challenges to the stadium to be filed in the court of appeal and be decided in 175 days. Proponents of the stadium argue that would give investors and the NFL confidence that the project won't be mired down in years of litigation. They contend the stadium will be carbon neutral and create tens of thousands of jobs.
Questioning the wisdom of AEG exemption: Daily News editorial has it right:
if the rules that have guided the building of projects in California are standing in the way of job creation, wouldn't it be true for every development in the state? Yet Padilla says he doesn't have plans to seek to permanently change the CEQA process, though he would be open to it. It's hard to fault anyone trying to create jobs in California, especially in economically hard-hit Los Angeles. But this smacks of the same kind of governing by special interest that has brought California and Los Angeles to the brink of economic destitution. Besides, it's just inherently offensive to allow wealthy interests to tailor long-established environmental-review processes to their needs but deny it to any other developer.
ESPN renews "Monday Night Football" contract: The Disney-owned sports network agreed to pay almost $2 billion to carry the NFL games each year, a 73 percent jump from its 2006 agreement. The deal lasts through 2021. (NYT)
"L.A." Chargers would have higher valuation: At least $200 million higher, according to Forbes magazine's annual survey of NFL franchises. Currently, the San Diego Chargers are worth $920 million, or 23rd highest in the league. The Dallas Cowboys are the league's most valuable team, at $1.85 billion.
Coda finally in business: The Santa Monica-based electric car maker opens an unusual retail storefront at the Westfield Century City mall that will display its $44,900 sedan ($34,900 after applying for government incentives). The car won't be available until late this year or early next. (LAT)
ArcLight opens in San Diego: It's the chain's first venture outside of L.A. County. The subsidiary of L.A.-based Pacific Theatres has locations in Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, and most recently in El Segundo. (LAT)