Stocks gaining: Some decent economic news and more hope about European debt deal. Dow is up over 130 points.
Greek update: The proposed referendum on a bailout plan - what European leaders have gone ballistic over - has been scrapped. Plus, Prime Minister George Papandreou could be close to forming a coalition government, though he says he will not step down. From the FT:
Mr Papandreou's strategy for an in-or-out referendum was undermined by Evangelos Venizelos, his deputy and finance minister. In a written statement after arriving back from the G20 summit in Cannes, Mr Venizelos said: "If we want to protect the country we must, under conditions of national unity and political seriousness and consensus, implement without delay the [European summit's] decision of October 26." Pressure mounted on Mr Papandreou ahead of an emergency cabinet meeting after three more legislators declared their opposition to the referendum plan, wiping out the ruling Pasok socialist party's slim parliamentary majority at a stroke.
Dip in jobless claims: Weekly filings fell 9,000, to 397,000, the lowest level in five weeks and only the third time since April that applications have fallen below 400,000. (AP)
Mixed bag for retailers: October chain store sales generally came in below estimates as consumers continue to spend cautiously. From AP:
But retailers are hoping that their lowered optimism won't seep into the holiday shopping season in November and December, a period when merchants can make up to 40 percent of their annual revenue. "Consumers are regrouping and retrenching and saving their pennies for the holiday season," said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a research firm.
O'Malley interested in Dodger bid: The team's former owner tells the LAT that he wants to form an ownership group and return as chief executive. "I want to reconnect the team and the community," he said.
Price tag on Dodger sale?: Perhaps as high as $1.5 billion, which would easily be a record for a U.S. sports team, reports the WSJ.
An array of business, finance and media titans have already expressed interest in buying the team or becoming a part of an ownership group. Many have deep connections to the Southern California region. They include former sports agent Dennis Gilbert, who flirted with a bid for the Texas Rangers before backing out; magnate Ron Burkle, a co-owner of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins; the developer and philanthropist Eli Broad, who bid for the Dodgers in 2004; Dallas Mavericks basketball-team owner Mark Cuban, who bid for baseball's Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs; cable-industry veteran Leo Hindery and financier Marc Utay, who tried to buy the Cubs in 2008; Tom Schieffer, a former president of the Texas Rangers who ran the Dodgers earlier this year after MLB seized the team; and Peter Guber, the film producer and founder of Mandalay Entertainment, an owner of the NBA's Golden State Warriors and numerous minor league baseball teams.
News Corp. not interested: Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey says that the company's Fox Sports unit won't bid for the team. (Bloomberg)
Activists shut down Port of Oakland: As many as 7,000 people blocked the main port entrance, chanting slogans and halting all truck traffic going in or out. Later, police in riot gear arrested dozens of protesters who broke into a vacant building. From AP:
Port officials hoped to resume maritime operations Thursday "and that Port workers will be allowed to get to their jobs without incident. Continued missed shifts represent economic hardship for maritime workers, truckers, and their families, as well as lost jobs and lost tax revenue for our region." Big trucks were backed up Thursday morning as footage on KGO-TV showed about a dozen protesters manning a chain link fence blocking a port entrance. Truck drivers argued with protesters, who said they planned to stay until at least 9 a.m.
DirecTV expands headquarters: The El Segundo-based satellite service will rent additional space in a deal valued at more than $300 million - the largest lease in L.A. County in the last decade. Subscriber growth was strong in the third quarter. (LAT)
Lobbyists set records: Various interest groups in Sacramento have spent more than $200 million in the first three quarters of the legislative session, a 5 percent jump over the year earlier. (California Watch)