Stocks taking off: Guess Wall Street has decided to look at the positive parts of the euro zone's latest plan to stem the debt crisis. Dow is up 160 points.
About that deal: European leaders agreed to enforce stricter fiscal and financial discipline in their future budgets. Britain and several other nations did not go along. From the NYT:
Though not a perfect solution, because it could be seen as institutionalizing a two-speed Europe, the intergovernmental pact could be ratified much more quickly by parliaments than a full treaty amendment. Crucially, the deal was welcomed immediately by the new head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi. "It is a very good outcome for euro area members and it's going to be the basis for a good fiscal compact and more disciplined economic policy in euro area countries," Mr. Draghi said early Friday morning. The support of Mr. Draghi and the bank to continue to buy the bonds of troubled large countries like Italy and Spain is crucial to buy time for their economic adjustment and restructuring, to reduce their debt and avoid a collapse of the euro.
Toyota slashes profit outlook: The sharply downgraded forecast is being blamed on a strong yen and the massive flooding in Thailand. The Japanese automaker is on track to lose its title as the world's largest automaker. From AP:
It's been a rough year for Japanese car makers, who were first hit with the earthquake and tsunami in March. They had largely rebounded from the disaster when they confronted the immense flooding in Thailand this autumn. Car production as far away as North America was scaled back as the creeping floodwaters put suppliers out of action. The flooding, which was Thailand's worst in half a century, will result in an output loss of 230,000 vehicles, said Executive Vice President Satoshi Ozawa at a news conference in Tokyo.
Gas prices fall for fifth straight week: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.627, a drop of six cents from last week, according to the Auto Club.
Consumer sentiment edges higher: The Reuters/University of Michigan index increased in early December to 67.7, up from the November reading of 64.1. But that's still low - in flush years it's well over 100. (Calculated Risk)
Howard Buffett to succeed his father: But the younger Buffett, to be profiled this Sunday on "60 Minutes," says that his dad won't be stepping down as head of Berkshire Hathaway "until he's buried in the ground." From the Deal Journal:
Also in the "60 Minutes" piece, Warren Buffett repeats his assertion that Howard, a farmer and a Berkshire board member, will serve as a guardian of the company's culture. "You worry that somebody will be in charge of Berkshire that uses it as their own sandbox in some way," Warren Buffett tells Leslie Stahl, according to advance excerpts provided by the show. "The odds of that happening are very, very, very low, but having Howard there adds just one extra layer of protection."
Dodgers can sell TV rights: It's a big loss for Fox Sports, which had been trying to hold off other suitors for another year. But a bankruptcy judge ruled that the team can move up that date. From the LAT:
The ruling could send Fox Sports scrambling on two fronts -- to appeal in the hope of stopping the sale, and to negotiate in the hope of reaching a new deal in the next five weeks. However, the Dodgers would have the right to talk with other potential broadcast partners thereafter, with Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, AT&T and Verizon among the possibilities.
Interim housing official resigns: Ken Simmons is the guy who replaced Rudolf Montiel as head of the scandal-ridden L.A. housing authority. He's stepping down at the request of the mayor, who has taken some heat for being out of the loop in the decision to pay Montiel an exit package of $1.2 million. (LAT)