Monday morning headlines

Stocks edge lower: Big ups, big downs - what's a trader to do? From the WSJ:

We have done a whole lot of churning this year to get nowhere. The bulls can't get excited for too long because the next thing you know the market is tumbling into the abyss. The bears can't get too excited for too long because there's always a trampoline at the bottom of that abyss.

Supreme Court takes on health care law: Ruling next year could become a major pivot point in election. From the NYT:

The case focuses on whether Congress overstepped its constitutional authority in enacting parts of the law. Lower courts have reached divergent conclusions. Even judges in lower courts who ultimately voted to uphold the law have homed in on the question of the limits of government power, at times flummoxing Justice Department lawyers.

Lawmakers trade on inside information: Another reason to hate Congress - and apparently it's all legal. ("60 Minutes")

NBA season on the line?: The players union must get back to the league this week on the owner's latest contract offer, but feedback so far has not been good. (ESPN)

Obscure state board overturning firings: The California Personnel Board has reversed dozens of firings, with the executive director telling the LAT that working for the state is "different" from the private sector (I'll say):

When thousands of dollars belonging to elderly residents of a veterans home went missing, police set out to catch the thief. A video camera they hid showed nurse's aide Linda Riccitelli creeping into a 93-year-old man's room and sticking her hand in a dresser drawer stashed with bait money. Investigators confirmed the cash was gone and the video showed that no one else had opened the drawer. Prosecutors charged Riccitelli with burglary, and the Department of Veterans Affairs fired her. To most, it seemed like an open-and-shut case. But a little-known state agency that rules on employee discipline saw things differently. It ordered Riccitelli re-hired, with three years' back pay because, they said, the evidence was "circumstantial."

USC enrolls the most international students: The 8,615-student total is up from 7,987 the previous year, according to a study. UCLA had the sixth-highest international enrollment. (LAT)

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 California stories:
Volcanic cinder in Owens Valley
Holiday shopping: On your marks, get set... spend!
14 California bookstores in nine days
Uproar over health care sites could be settling down
BART strike to end Tuesday in the Bay Area

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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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