Stocks fall sharply: Most everything has been brought down by new worries about Europe, though some of the earlier losses have been pared. Dow is down 150 points.
Fears about Spain: Madrid's borrowing costs on its 10-year bonds hit a record 7.45 percent, raising concerns that the country might be heading towards a Greek-style bailout. From AP:
The markets fear the prospect of double-disaster: Spain needing a bailout that would strain the eurozone's bailout funds, and a possible Greek abandoment of the euro that could spread even more fear across the eurozone. Right now, Spain has received a commitment of up to (EURO)100 billion from other eurozone countries to bail out its banks, which suffered heavy losses from bad real estate loans. Eurozone finance ministers signed off on the aid Friday and said (EURO)30 billion would be made available right away. But that incremental step cut little ice with investors. The speculation is widespread that the government may need its own, direct bailout.
McDonald's has weak quarter: The fast food giant reported a 4 percent drop in earnings, the result of slowing sales and a stronger dollar. (When the U.S. dollar is rising against the other world currencies, companies that do business internationally take a hit.) (AP)
Strong weekend for "Dark Knight": The final installment in the Batman trilogy picked up $162 million in ticket sales, according to various projections. That's slightly below estimates that were made before Friday morning's shootings in Colorado. From the LAT:
There is no way to quantify how much Friday's shooting rampage affected opening weekend receipts for "The Dark Knight Rises." Many moviegoers purchased their tickets to the film in advance of the weekend; a handful of theater chains said they would honor buyer requests for refunds. A number of cinema executives interviewed by The Times on Sunday said they did not notice a discernible difference in attendance over the weekend.
Office market slowly improving: Overall vacancy in L.A. County slipped to 18.6 percent in the second quarter from 19.1 percent a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield, the first year-to-year vacancy decline in five years. From the LAT:
Results may vary, as the old warning goes. Orange County's traditionally desirable John Wayne Airport area office market is reviving as tenants take advantage of depressed rents to move up from less popular markets such as Santa Ana and Anaheim. Affection from growing tech companies has made Santa Monica and Venice so hot that they are lifting nearby areas such as Culver City and Playa Vista, where office space is more plentiful and rents are cheaper. Vacancy in aging office buildings near Los Angeles International Airport, meanwhile, continues to rise and topped 35% in the second quarter.
Weak sales for all-electric cars: Just 4,100 of them have been sold in the first six months of the year, up 6 percent from a year earlier. Plug-in hybrids, which use battery power before a gasoline engine kicks in, are doing much better. (LAT)
Wet Seal ousts CEO: The OC-based teen retailer has not named a replacement for Susan McGalla, who had been the company's chief executive since January 2011. Wet Seal stock has lost half its value over the last year. (AP)
DreamWorks Animation picks up Casper: The animation studio is acquiring Class Media for $155 million - and with it a library of vintage film and television characters that include "Casper the Friendly Ghost," "The Lone Ranger," and "Lassie." (Bloomberg)
Gas update: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.811, according to the Auto Club, up 8 cents from last week.