Stocks open higher: Wall Street has been unusually volatile in recent days so we'll see whether the gains can last. Dow is up about 30 points.
Facebook ups its IPO: Signaling strong demand, the company is offering 25 percent more shares than it had previously planned. From DealBook:
Facebook will easily outpace Google as the biggest Internet stock debut. Depending on the final pricing and number of shares, the company is also positioned to become the second or third largest I.P.O. ever in the United States behind Visa and possibly General Motors, according to Thomson Reuters.
Assessor probe widens: DA Steve Cooley says he intends to seek grand jury indictments in the case, which centers on tax breaks allegedly extended to campaign contributors of Assessor John Noguez. From the LAT:
In his first public comments about the expanding criminal probe, Cooley also accused the union that represents assessor's office employees of interfering with the investigation by ordering members to refuse to cooperate without permission from Noguez's office. "They're telling potential witnesses that, until they get permission from the No. 1 target, they can't talk," said Cooley, waving a copy of the memo at a conference table in his office. He added that whoever issued the order will probably be the first person summoned to testify under oath in front of the grand jury.
Avoiding layoffs?: A City Council committee proposes to use funds from a higher-than-expected property tax pool - as well as cuts from other areas. Mayor Villaraigosa has proposed eliminating 669 positions, 209 of which are currently filled. (LAT)
Governor is stymied: That toxic combination of dysfunction and partisanship has placed Brown in a tough position as he tries to handle a huge budget deficit. From the LAT:
"No governor, under the system we have in California, really has the ability to deal with the mess we've created," said Mark Paul, a former deputy state treasurer and the coauthor of a book about the state's financial quandary. "This is the third governor in a row who has run up against the same problem." Brown is stuck between Republicans who refuse tax hikes, Democrats who resist cuts and a tangle of special interests and voter-mandated budget requirements that make it politically easier to push the problem down the road. That's what Brown has started to do.
JPMorgan update: Shareholders backed Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon by turning back efforts to split those jobs. Meanwhile, the FBI has opened an inquiry into the bank's multibillion-dollar trading losses, and two shareholder suits were filed. (Reuters)
JPMorgan's infamous trade: WSJ tries to parse a very complicated hedge or bet, depending on your point of view.
J.P. Morgan's strategy is raising eyebrows in part because it uses different types of derivatives indexes that may not have moved in tandem. Also, the size of the trades is critical because the bank may not have always established protective positions that exactly matched the previous trades. "The timing, prices and particular choice of index that people are saying that J. P. Morgan used seems to support the view that there was more to the trade than just a hedge," said James Parascandola, a veteran credit-default-swaps trader formerly with MF Global Holdings Ltd. and Barclays PLC.
Gas update: As oil futures continue to fall, L.A. area gas prices continue to inch up, with an average gallon of regular at $4.407, according to the Auto Club, up another penny from Tuesday,
L.A. adopts "responsible banking": The ordinance requires banks doing business with the city to disclose detailed data on loans and foreclosure activity that can be easily accessed. Other cities have similar ordinances. (LAT)
Cellphones in flight:Ready or not, Virgin Atlantic is allowing passengers to talk and text, though only six passengers can make a call at the same time. From the OC Register:
George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog, told the Associated Press that Virgin will have to restrict times of day when passengers can make calls in order to not wake up fellow passengers on overnight flights. "But you know what will happen, no one will listen. There will be screaming matches, glares, and probably fisticuffs," he said in a statement. "I for one would gladly choose an airline that bans inflight yakking over one that allows it."
Aaron Sorkin to pen Jobs screenplay: The writer of "The Social Network" will adapt Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Apple CEO. (NYT)