Stocks move higher: Perhaps a turnaround after yesterday's big loss. Dow is up 110 points.
Report: Feds looking at Walmart: A criminal investigation has been launched into allegations of bribery at the company's Mexican subsidiary, Bloomberg is reporting.
The Justice Department is investigating potential criminal charges under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to the person familiar with the probe who wasn't authorized to speak publicly about it. Wal-Mart is conducting its own review of allegations that its representatives paid local officials in Mexico to get stores opened faster in the early 2000s. The investigations by the government and the company may prompt executive departures and U.S. penalties if it reveals senior managers didn't take strong enough action, governance specialists said. The probes also may slow Wal-Mart's expansion in Mexico and other markets.
L.A. home prices still dropping: The Case-Shiller Index shows a 0.8 percent decline from January to February and a 5.2 percent decline from February 2011. From AP:
The declines partly reflect typical offseason sales. The month-to-month prices aren't adjusted for seasonal factors. Still, prices fell in 15 of the 20 cities in February compared with the same month in 2011. That indicates that the housing market remains far from healthy despite the best winter for sales in five years.
James Murdoch says he was clueless: Rupert's son told a British judicial inquiry that his subordinates did not keep him informed about the full extent of hacking at newspapers then under his control. The elder Murdoch is also expected to testify. (NYT)
Mexican immigration at standstill: The economic downturn and stepped-up law enforcement at the border are among the reasons cited in a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. From the LAT:
"We're fairly confident that by the end of the period we were seeing more people moving to Mexico than leaving" for the United States, said co-author Jeffrey S. Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. Illegal immigrants from Mexico residing in the U.S. still outnumber their legal counterparts, but the proportion has shifted, the report found. The number of Mexican illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. fell from 7 million in 2007 to about 6.1 million in 2011. In the same period, the number of legal immigrants from Mexico residing here increased from 5.6 million to 5.8 million.
Consumer confidence unchanged: The Conference Board Index stands at 69.2, down slightly from 69.5 last month. "Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," says the organization's Lynn Franco. (press release)
Lawsuit could delay stadium: An environmental group is challenging the constitutionality of a state law that speeds up judicial review of large-scale projects, such as the proposed Farmers Field. The nonprofit Planning and Conservation League says the law violated the separation of powers between the Legislature and the courts. (AP)
L.A. bankruptcies fall sharply: Individual and business filings were down 21.6 percent in March compared with a year earlier. (OC Register)