Thursday morning headlines

Stocks keep advancing: Investors are creeping back into the market. Dow is up about 35 points.

Better economy getting noticed: NBC/WSJ poll shows that 30 percent believe the country is moving on the right track, up eight points from a month ago. The number of wrong-trackers fell five points. From the WSJ:

"Republicans had better bring their A game to the election in November, as today's results are a reminder that as attitudes about the economy improve, so does President Obama's standing,'' said Bill McInturff, a GOP pollster who conducts the Wall Street Journal survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. "The president still has a very long road ahead of him, but for the first time in a long time he finds that he has the wind at his back," Mr. Hart said.

Jobless claims back up: Weekly filings rose 21,000 last week, to 377,000. Applications had plummeted two weeks ago, but keep in mind that January is often a volatile month on the employment front. (AP)

Council redistricting madness: Proposed boundary changes are creating an uproar all over the city - and among some council members. Kevin has a detailed look. From the LAT:

The maps sent one council district deeper into the San Fernando Valley, pulled another completely out of it and, in a third, employed what Councilman Bill Rosendahl called an "outrageous case of gerrymandering." Politicians, community advocates and neighborhood leaders quickly criticized the maps, saying they did not reflect the public testimony and community desires expressed at a series of hearings in recent weeks. Koreatown activists, for example, complained that their request to keep their community in one district had been ignored.

Movie home facility won't shut down: The Motion Picture & Television Fund has improved its finances under new management - enough to justify keeping open the long-term care facility and even admitting new patients. From the LAT:

The nursing home has only 29 of the more than 130 residents who lived there in January 2009. The fund will expand to at least 40 beds for now, with priority given to former residents who moved to other facilities. The nursing home is part of a larger retirement community in Woodland Hills operated by the fund.

Amgen buys big biotech company: Blinatumomab, being tested against two blood cancers, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is the main prize in the purchase of Micromet for $1.16 billion. The Thousand Oaks-based biotech firm is looking for new products. (Bloomberg:)

Council approves downtown hotel deal: Developers will be able to keep as much as half of the tax revenue from two hotels being built near L.A. Live. From the City Maven:

The deal was approved 11-0, but only after Councilman Bill Rosendahl expressed frustration with the concept of economic assistance for downtown hotels. "I've got a whole string of hotels over there on Century Boulevard that don't get any support on that level and I think downtown is vibrant enough that we don't need to subsidize them. We want the hotels, we want the jobs, we want to develop forward but do we have to do this alleged corporate welfare concept?" Rosendahl said.

Marie Osmond replaces Martha Stewart: She'll be hosting a new daily talk show on the Hallmark Channel. Stewart was axed because of poor ratings. (NY Post)

Rosie show struggling: After a decent start, ratings are way down, so the honchos at Oprah's OWN channel are switching executive producers and changing the set. (Deadline Hollywood)

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 Downtown stories:
L.A.'s half-baked approach to quake readiness
A look around inside the Broad
LA to get denser and denser and denser
Some ideas to help Grand Park become the urban oasis we need
'Chinatown' screening in Union Station (photo)

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

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
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook