Stocks fall, then rise: Another day of cross-currents. Dow is up 50 points.
Earnings over price: Profits from companies in the S&P 500 are rising faster than their stock shares. From Bloomberg:
Corporate profits have topped analyst estimates for 12 straight quarters. Analysts that cover companies in the S&P 500 project earnings will rise this year to $104.27 a share, the highest level ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That would represent a 69 percent increase in earnings since 2009, compared with the 22 percent rally in the index in the past two years. Earnings for S&P 500 companies from Priceline.com Inc. to MasterCard Inc. and Lorillard Inc. are estimated to jump 9.6 percent from last year.
Gas prices keep rising: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is closing in on $4.25 and there's no relief in sight. From the WSJ:
Experts say that over the long run, increased oil production in the U.S. might temper global prices, and getting that oil to more refineries across the country could help bring down prices at the pump. But for now, U.S. prices remain tied most firmly to Brent [crude], which is being driven mainly by factors such as China's sharp economic growth, even as that has moderated recently.
Jobless claims flat: Weekly filings held steady at 351,000, which is a four-year low. Applications have fallen steadily since last October. (AP)
California settles on app policy: Attorney General Kamala Harris came to terms with Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion on privacy protections for smartphone owners. From the NYT:
The agreement will force developers to post conspicuous privacy policies detailing what personal information they plan to obtain and how they will use it. It also compels app store providers like Apple and Google to offer ways for users to report apps that do not comply. The attorney general's office said developers who did not abide by their own privacy policies would face prosecution under California's Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law.
Trouble for rival tax plans: Gov. Brown's initiative would not pass if the two other tax measures were also on the ballot, according to Sacramento-based pollster Jim Moore. Representatives of the two other campaigns challenged those findings. (LAT)
California health insurance going up: Expect rate increases in the 8 percent to 14 percent range for consumers with individual coverage. From the LAT:
Insurers defended their rate hikes, saying they are based on their claims experience with the customers they insure and not just the broader rate of medical inflation. They also say that healthier members dropped out of the individual market as premiums rose and the economy worsened in recent years, leaving behind a group of policyholders who have higher average costs.
Republicans back Brown's pension plan: They introduced a series of bills that mirror the governor's proposal that would require public employees to pay more toward their retirement benefits. Democratic lawmakers are generally not happy with the ideas. (LAT)
Council approves LAX concession deal: A 17-year lease awarded to Westfield Concession Management is supposed to spruce up the food and retail offerings at Terminal 2, the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and the Theme Building. The deal is expected to generate $331.1 million in revenue for LAX. (Daily Breeze)
Real estate news: Private equity firm the Gores Group will relocate from Westwood to Bev Hills. Billionaire Alec Gores bought a three-story office building there for $24.2 million. (THR) Also, YouTube signed an 11-year lease for a 41,000-square-foot office building in Playa Vista. (THR)