Stocks down sharply: Attention has focused on Greece all week, and today the news is not so good. Dow is down 110 points.
Greece debt deal held up: The leader of a tiny but influential party within the nation's coalition government has changed his mind and is now opposed to the latest round of austerity measures required for a new bailout deal. (AP)
Consumer sentiment declines: The early February reading from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan shows a drop in the index to 72.5 from January's 75.0. Consumer sentiment has been trending upward in recent months. (Reuters)
Banks face additional litigation: Yesterday's big mortgage settlement is not the end of the government inquiries into possible wrongdoing. From the LAT:
The settlement releases the banks from claims involving foreclosures, mortgage customer servicing and loan originations. However, authorities can still investigate various fraud claims, including those involving the mortgage bonds whose meltdown triggered a global financial crisis. What's more, there is no criminal immunity or release from private claims by individuals or class-action lawsuits.
Good news for L.A.'s budget: A $72-million shortfall in the current fiscal year has vaporized through a series of cost-cutting measures. The city still faces a deficit of $150 million to $200 million in the next fiscal year, though that's down from as much as $250 million. From the LAT:
"We're down to the bone and so the next challenge is really figuring out how we're going to do business differently," [said budget head Miguel Santana], noting that the city is looking at contracting out some city-run services and programs, such as its animal shelters and the zoo. Santana said the city will also have to seek concessions from unions on increased contributions to pensions and healthcare, which are contributing to the city's ongoing budget turmoil. "That's going to be a hard conversation to have, but we need to do that," he said.
Gas prices edging higher: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.820, according to the Auto Club, up 2.6 cents from last week.
Theater owner challenges Kodak: CIM Group filed an objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to the camera company's efforts to back out of its 20-year naming rights deal for the Kodak Theatre. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Big quarter for Activision: The huge success of the latest "Call of Duty" installment helped boost profits and beat expectations. The company's "World of Warcraft" online game continues to lose subscribers, but at a slower pace. (LAT)
Cruise ships can't release sewage: The federal ban designates a "no discharge zone" that run three miles off the California coast. The regulations follow a 2005 state law that bans ships from dumping waste. (LAT)