Wednesday morning headlines

Stocks open sharply higher: Some reassuring comments from Europe might be helping. Wall Street is due to bounce back after the last few weeks. Dow is up 190 points.

Election roundup: California voters narrowly defeat tobacco tax and San Jose and San Diego passes controversial measure on retirement benefits for city workers. (SF Chronicle, San Jose Mercury)

Stockton moves closer to bankruptcy: City Council voted 6-1 to authorize the City Manager to declare Stockton insolvent if an agreement isn't reached with creditors by June 25. From the WSJ:

The city in February began negotiating with 19 parties, including retirees, city workers, bondholders and bond insurers under a new California law that requires municipalities to hold mediations before filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. If the city fails to gain debt relief from the creditors, a city report says Stockton will have to file for bankruptcy before the beginning of the fiscal year in order to insure the continuation of city operations such as fire and police.

Facebook ads don't sway most users: Four out of five surveyed say they've never bought a product or service through an ad they saw on the social network. Ouch. From Reuters:

The online poll also found that 34 percent of Facebook users surveyed were spending less time on the website than six months ago, whereas only 20 percent were spending more. The findings underscore investors' worries about Facebook's money-making abilities that have pushed the stock down 29 percent since its initial public offering last month, reducing its market value by $30 billion to roughly $74 billion.

More names for top Tribune Co. job: Add Peter Murphy, Disney's former chief strategy officer during the Michael Eisner era, the NY Post is reporting, citing unnamed sources. Another supposed candidate: Jeff Gaspin, who was Jeff Zucker's No. 2 at NBC (Zucker is another name that's popped up). And the Post says that current CEO Eddy Hartenstein wants to keep his job.

Hollywood tax credit winners: Television productions, many of them for basic cable, picked up 36 percent of the $100 million allocated by the California Film Commission. Nine feature film projects receive 32 percent. The commission had to conduct a lottery to determine which of the 322 productions would get the tax credits. (THR)

Super-low interest rates could delay retirement: One-third of the investors surveyed in a Wells Fargo-Gallup poll say they're not earning enough from their savings. Some people say they're taking more investment risks. (LAT)

Meg Whitman rules out D.C. job if Romney wins: The HP CEO and former Republican candidate for governor says the company needs someone to run the place for more than 18 months. (All Things D)

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?
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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
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