Stocks bouncing around: After opening on the up side, the market is paring back - perhaps influenced by not-so-wonderful economic news. Dow is about even.
Another weak month for home prices: The L.A. area was down 1 percent from October to November and down 5.4 percent from November 2010. Most of the 20 metro areas surveyed posted monthly and annual declines. From Calculated Risk:
"Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall. Weakness was seen as 19 of 20 cities saw average home prices decline in November over October," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "... Nationally, home prices are lower than a year ago. The 10-City Composite was down 3.6% and the 20-City was down 3.7% compared to November 2010.
Drop in consumer confidence: Kind of unexpected given the recent batch of positive news. Conference Board survey shows that consumers are concerned about gas prices and the availability of jobs. From Bloomberg:
Consumers are "less optimistic about business conditions and their income prospects," Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. "Recent increases in gasoline prices may have consumers feeling a little less confident this month."
Dodger update: Peter O'Malley is teaming up with a South Korean conglomerate. (Foreign ownership is not unprecedented - the Seattle Mariners' ownership group includes Japanese investors.) (LAT)
Brazilian Blowout suit settled: A North Hollywood company will have to warn hairstylists about potential dangers of the hair-straightening treatments, according to terms of the settlement with the California attorney general. (LAT)
Good quarter for Mattel: Strong holiday demand for Barbie dolls resulted in better-than-expected earnings for the El Segundo toy company. (AP)
Gas prices creeping up: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.832, according to the government survey, up four cents from last week.
Greuel gets Hollywood money: L.A.'s city controller has received donations from Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, J.J. Abrams, and other showbiz heavyweights for her mayoral campaign. (THR)
Kaiser nurses on strike: The 24-hour walkout, which involves 160 Kaiser Permanente facilities statewide, is in response to a proposal to cut health-care and retirement benefits. Kaiser says it has contingency plans. (KPCC)