Another down day for stocks: It's all about Europe and continued economic concerns at home. Dow is down 80 points.
Real estate prices perking up: Second-quarter home values posted their first year-over-year increase since 2007, according to Zillow's index. From Bloomberg:
Home prices have begun to rise amid an increase in demand, interest rates at record lows and a tight supply of properties for sale. The residential market is showing strength even as job growth weakens and concerns that the European debt crisis will hurt the U.S. economy, said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist. The country's unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent for 41 straight months. The three months ended June 30 was "a really solid second quarter in the midst of some economic headwinds, which indicates the housing market has some organic fundamental strength on its own," Humphries said in a telephone interview.
L.A. City Council to consider pot ban: The proposal would prohibit retail sales but allow patients and caregivers to grow marijuana as collectives. The city's marijuana dispensaries are considered illegal as a result of a court decision. (LAT)
El Monte in financial trouble: Another city is on the ropes - voters could be asked to consider a tax on "sugar sweetened beverages" this fall in an effort to raise badly needed revenues. From the Pasadena Star-News:
Officials say the city faces longterm budget challenges, such as the $2 million in deferred salary increases it owes bargaining units in 2015, drops in sales tax revenues and the expected rise in employee and retiree medical costs. The elimination of its redevelopment agency and a reduction in state and federal funding will also create financial problems for the city, officials said.
Harman family stops funding Newsweek/Daily Beast: Stereo mogul Sidney Harman helped rescue the troubled newsweekly, and after his death the Harman family said it was committed to continued support. But the Harman group no longer plans to fund the enterprise. That means another investor, IAC's Barry Diller, is in control. From the NYT:
Newsweek's circulation has fallen slightly this year, though its advertising revenue is up, according to industry estimates. IAC will now be tasked with supporting Newsweek and The Daily Beast, which by most estimates lost $20 million and $10 million in 2010, respectively. In the quarter that ended March 31, IAC, which includes Web sites like Match.com and CollegeHumor.com, reported that it had $776 million in cash and cash equivalents.
DreamWorks Animation mulling cable channel: The purchase of Classic Media provides access to over 450 titles, including "Casper the Friendly Ghost" and "Rocky and Bullwinkle," and more than 6,500 animated and live action episodes. (Reuters)
LB bridge contract awarded: A group of construction firms and designers will begin work on a $1 billion span to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The 1.5-mile span is expected to be about 50 feet taller than the existing bridge and allow for larger ships to pass. (Press-Telegram)