Stocks open lower: Investors are still being tentative, despite recent gains. Dow is down about 10 points.
Gas prices keep falling - slowly: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area dropped another half penny from Monday, to $4.329, according to the Auto Club. That's down about a nickel from a month ago.
March car sales looking good: Chrysler was up 34 percent from a year earlier, while Ford was up 5 percent. Numbers from the other automakers are due out later today. From the NYT:
Over all, analysts said they expected automakers to sell more than 1.4 million vehicles in March, about 15 percent more than a year ago and the most since 2007. Unseasonably warm weather across much of the country helped draw shoppers to dealerships, as did declining unemployment, new models like smaller version of the Toyota Prius hybrid car, and wider availability of auto financing.
Anschutz ups his offer: The Denver billionaire is now willing to buy an entire NFL franchise, not just the minority stake of an existing club, AEG head Tim Leiweke tells the LAT. Up to now, Anschutz and the league had been squabbling over revenue. From the Times:
Leiweke said Anschutz instructed him to get the project clear of city approvals before beginning serious negotiations with a team. "Get past your obstacles," he recalled Anschutz telling him. "And if you get clear of that, I'll get in a room and make a deal with the NFL." Anschutz is willing to be flexible on a deal structure to address league concerns about AEG attempting to strip coveted assets, including marketing deals and relations with premium customers, from the control of the principal team owner, Leiweke said.
"Slime" blamed for bankruptcy: Ground beef processor AFA Foods, which has two plants in Vernon, is seeking protection from creditors. Company cites bad publicity in connection with its use of beef trimmings that have been dubbed "pink slime." From the LAT:
The Southern California plants have been operating "well below capacity" and one will be closed indefinitely this week, the company said. It did not provide details about likely layoffs among its 850 employees. The company said it supplies beef to major retailers, such as Safeway and Wal-Mart Stores, and fast-food outlets, including Burger King, Jack in the Box, Carl's Jr. and Wendy's.
Northrop workers urged to protest cuts: Republican Congressman Buck McKeon, a big supporter of the aerospace industry, says that the budget reductions being considered will result in layoffs. From the LAT:
"Stage an insurrection in this country," he told the cheering crowd. "When you leave here today call ... your loved ones" to help support the industry. The $487 billion in cuts are what the Pentagon and White House agreed on last summer, but there are nagging worries in the aerospace industry that Congress will cut as much as $600 billion more. In such a scenario, the Aerospace Industries Assn., an Arlington, Va., trade group, estimated 1 million jobs of all kinds would be lost nationwide, including 126,000 in California.
Feds raid pot advocate's home: No word on why agents raided the home of Richard Lee, along with the nation's first marijuana trade school and a popular dispensary. From the LAT:
A paraplegic who has used a wheelchair since a severe spinal injury in 1990, Lee has said he uses marijuana to treat muscle spasticity. He opened his dispensary Coffeeshop Blue Sky in 1999, worked with city officials to regulate the industry and founded Oaksterdam in 2007 to try to legitimize it. Lee used his marijuana earnings to put the legalization measure Proposition 19 on the ballot in 2010.
James Murdoch to leave British broadcaster: The son of Rupert is resigning as chairman of BSkyB to shield the company from the phone hacking scandal. The Murdoch family has a roughly 40 per cent stake in BSkyB. (NYT)