Stocks open higher: Wall Street waits for yet another European summit later this week. Dow is up 80 points.
Stockton to file for bankruptcy: City Council voted to adopt a budget in which debt payments, retiree health care, and employee salaries will all be cut. From Bloomberg:
The city has cut services so much the last two years that "public safety is at a crisis level," officials said in a June 5 fiscal report. Stockton had a record number of homicides last year and are on pace to exceed that number in 2012, according to the report. Unemployment, at 15.4 percent in April, was almost double the national average according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Stockton also suffered from dwindling tax dollars in the wake of the recession and accounting errors that overstated municipal revenue.
News Corp. board to consider split: The division of entertainment and publishing would probably involve a spinoff, with current shareholders receiving stock in the new publishing company. The Murdoch family would retain control of both companies. Announcement could be made as early as Thursday. (NYT)
Facebook's outlook: Analysts are able to present their recommendations for the first time since the offering, and the general assessment is cautious optimism. The stock is trading at around $32; the offering price was $38. From Reuters:
Analysts said they see significant long-term potential for Facebook - the top social networking website - and expect it to corner a substantial share of the global Internet advertising market. But risks remain, given limited visibility over the business model and uncertainty over mobile monetization. Barclays Capital, Stifel Nicolaus and Citi Investment Research & Analysis set a "hold" or equivalent rating on the stock, while Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets began coverage of Facebook with their top ratings.
Another drop in consumer confidence: The Conference Board's index was at 62 in June, down from 64.4 the previous month. It's the fourth straight monthly decline. (press release)
Legislature to vote on budget: Gov. Brown has delayed signing the main budget bill so he could negotiate further cuts. Lawmakers have until the end of today to vote on nearly two dozen "budget trailer" bills. From AP:
The state's new spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 relies heavily on voters approving Brown's initiative to raise the state sales tax and increase the income tax on people who earn the most. If voters reject the temporary tax on the Nov. 6 ballot, a series of automatic cuts would be triggered, including three weeks less of school for the next two years.
Caruso gets $15 million tax break: Santa Barbara County supervisors approved a measure exempting high-end hotels from 70 percent of the county's bed tax for 15 years. Caruso has been struggling to develop the dilapidated Miramar Hotel in Montecito. (LAT)
Changes in the county assessor's office: Santos Kreimann, who replaced Assessor John Noguez on an interim basis, is reassigning two of Noguez's top lieutenants: Mark McNeil and Andrew Stephens. McNeil and Stephens were targeted in the D.A.'s search of the Assessor's Office in late April. From the Weekly:
McNeil has long been a friend and contributor to Noguez. When McNeil got married last fall in North Carolina, Noguez read a poem at the ceremony. Over the years, McNeil gave $5,500 to Noguez's campaigns for Huntington Park City Council and county assessor. Stephens gave $7,000 to Noguez's campaigns. Both were promoted to top positions in the office after the 2010 election.