Stocks hover around the line: Another sluggish start. Dow is up a few points.
Gas prices start to fall: The drop was only about half a penny from Thursday, but it marked the first overnight decline in quite a while. Average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.395, according to the Auto Club.
Gas prices hit consumers: L.A.-area inflation rose 0.5 percent from January to February and 2.1 percent from a year earlier. Most of hike is due to fuel costs. (OC Register)
Consumer mood dips: Higher pump prices no doubt played a role in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading for March falling to 74.3 from 75.3 in February. Still, consumers did not expect the run-up in gasoline prices to last very long. (Reuters)
Warning on American bankruptcy: The airline's CEO says that a prolonged period of court protection raises the risk of a takeover or even liquidation. From the WSJ:
AMR is pressing its labor unions to accept concessions it says are essential to cutting its costs and returning to profit. [Tom] Horton, in Chicago to visit supplier Boeing Co. BA -0.30% and American Airlines employees at O'Hare International Airport, said AMR's turnaround plan "is a really good one...But it's not inevitable." He said he hammers home that message when he travels the country, meeting employees in crew rooms, cockpits and galleys, telling them, "We must move forward." AMR's labor unions have expressed dismay at the size of the cuts and negotiations are moving slowly.
Rocketdyne up for sale: The Canoga Park unit of United Technologies builds rocket engines and has played a key role in space exploration. From the LAT:
The sale of Rocketdyne comes less than a year after NASA ended its 30-year space shuttle program. Rocketdyne developed, built and refurbished 56 reusable engines for the program. NASA has outlined its engineering design for its next launch system, but the agency has not provided specifics on where the nation will travel in the solar system and when exactly it will conduct such missions. "Without a national space policy, growth will be limited," United Technologies Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes told the company's annual analysts meeting in New York.
Insider trading charged: A former executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent of Carl's Jr., is accused by the SEC of buying company shares after learning about acquisition plans. To settle the charges, Noah Griggs will pay $268,000. (LAT)
Steve Wozniak waiting in line for iPad: The Apple co-founder, who arrived at the Apple store in Century City at noon on Thursday, says he enjoys talking to people. (CBS Los Angeles)