Stocks down again: For the third straight session, it's a seller's market. Dow is off 75 points.
Best Buy blues: The electronics retailer will close 50 big box stores as part of a cost-cutting effort. It also projected disappointing revenues for the year. From AP:
Best Buy, which has 1,450 locations nationwide and 2,900 globally, is focusing on closing some of its hulking stores to concentrate on smaller Best Buy Mobile outlets because of two emerging trends. Sales of TVs, digital cameras and videogame consoles have weakened, while sales of tablet computers, smartphones and e-readers have increased. And with the rise of competition from Internet rivals like Amazon.com, shoppers aren't flocking to big-box stores like they used to.
Jobless claims fall to 4-year low: Weekly filings for unemployment benefits were down 5,000, to 359,000. When applications are consistently below 375,000, it usually signals a drop in the jobless rate. (AP)
No change in U.S. growth: The economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the final three months of 2011, unchanged from a previous estimate. (AP)
Gas update: L.A. area prices keep slipping ever so slightly, with an average gallon of regular at $4.358, down almost 3 cents from a week ago and about level from a month ago, according to the Auto Club.
Angered over Dodger deal: LAT columnist Steve Lopez wonders how (and why) owner Frank McCourt made out like a thief:
It's unbelievable and thoroughly unacceptable that Frank McCourt ends up flush, with close to $1 billion in his pocket once the sale is complete, along with a continued role in the operation. This is the guy who bought the team with other people's money, drove fans away, had to repay $100,000 to the team's charity after a state investigation and led the team into bankruptcy while draining its resources and living like a king.
Not yet a done deal: Sports law attorney Michael McCann points out that a federal bankruptcy judge will want to make sure where the $2.15 billion purchase price is coming from and whether creditors are assured of getting their money. From SI.com:
The proposed sale must also gain approval from Judge [Kevin] Gross, who is overseeing the Dodgers' sale as part of the team's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He will conduct a hearing on April 13 in Delaware. Parties impacted by the sale, such as MLB, McCourt's creditors and his ex-wife Jamie McCourt, could submit briefs to Gross for his review. Although it is likely that Gross will approve the sale, he won't rubber stamp it. He will need to be satisfied that the sale addresses a core concern: McCourt's creditors will be paid back. Gross will want assurances, such as through financial records and testimony, that would corroborate the prospective owners' ability to pay this staggering amount.
News Corp. mulls sports channel: The move could provide higher affiliate fees and gives Disney-owned ESPN some competition. From Bloomberg:
In addition to Fox Sports Net regional channels and Fuel, News Corp. owns motor-sport network Speed, available in 78 million homes, the Fox Soccer Channel, the Big Ten Network, a partnership with the college sports conference, and Fox College Sports, consisting of Pacific, Central and Atlantic regional networks. News Corp. also shows games on broadcast television through Fox Sports.
Pay raise for B of A CEO: Brian Moynihan's compensation of $7.5 million in 2011 was up from $1.2 million the year before. But he did not receive a cash bonus for the third straight year, and his $950,000 salary was unchanged from 2010. (Charlotte Observer)
$7 million worth of fuel is missing: Turns out that millions of gallons of gas have been pumped at dozens of city fueling sites without any record of where it went, according to an audit by the City Controller. Some of the fuel may have been used for personal vehicles. (LAT)
Jump in LAX traffic: More than 4.4 million travelers passed through the airport in February, an 8.1 percent increase from a year earlier. The number of domestic passengers was up 10.1 percent. (Daily Breeze)