Monday morning headlines

Stocks edge lower: Some concerns about Spain, but the market will probably be biding its time until the April job reports later in the week. The Dow is down 30 points.

Consumer spending slows: Perhaps a hiccup due to the run-up in gas prices, but March's increase was just 0.3 percent, following a 0.9 percent gain in February. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic growth. (AP)

Gas update: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.180, according to the Auto Club. Price declines have been slowing in recent days.

Hollywood payday for Obama: George Clooney says the fundraiser he'll co-host for the president on May 10 will generate $10 million - what would be the largest amount ever for a single Obama campaign event. (WSJ)

Walmart opponents using Mexico scandal: Labor groups are using the bribery allegations in efforts to rescind a building permit for a store in Chinatown. From the NYT:

"There definitely is a pattern of giving campaign contributions to politicians who support what they want," [said Dorian T. Warren, a political science professor at Columbia who is writing a book about Wal-Mart's efforts to expand into Chicago and Los Angeles]. But because the Mexican accusations include bribing local officials, "when you take that to the context of New York or Los Angeles, it's going to make it harder for politicians to accept campaign contributions from Wal-Mart."

Microsoft buys into Nook: The $300 million investment gives the computer giant a 17.6 percent stake in a spinoff that will center on the Barnes & Noble e-reader. From DealBook:

Both companies are spending heavily to maintain a foothold in light of Apple's success with the iPad. The Nook division's growth has come at enormous financial cost, weighing down on Barnes & Noble's bottom line and prompting the strategic review. The retailer added on Monday that it was still weighing other options for the business. Through the deal, the two companies will settle their patent disputes, and Barnes & Noble will produce a Nook e-reading application for the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, which will run on traditional computers and tablets.

At the movies: "Think Like a Man" stayed in the top spot for the second weekend in a row, while "The Five-Year Engagement" came in a disappointing fifth in its opening weekend. (THR)

Dodger sale expected to close today: Barring any last-minute snags, the team will have a new owner when it takes the field tonight in Colorado. (LAT)

L.A. billionaire nears big airplane purchase: Steven Udvar-Hazy's Air Lease Corp. is closing in on 60 Boeing 737 Max jetliners, the WSJ is reporting. Udvar-Hazy launched Air Lease in 2010.

Glendale Galleria begins makeover: Changes include the addition of a Bloomingdale's and an outdoor dining and gathering place. Project is set to be completed in the fall of 2013. (LAT)

Commercial real estate pickup in the Inland Empire: Industrial vacancies were falling during the first quarter and asking lease rates were climbing. (Daily Bulletin)

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook