Stocks nearing 2007 levels: The Dow is up about 50 points - and on track to close at its highest level in more than four-and-a-half years.
Mixed signals on gas: L.A. area prices appear to have peaked for now, with an average gallon of regular at $4.117, according to the Auto Club. But oil and gas futures have been going up. From the WSJ:
Zachariah Yurch, head of trading at commodity fund Gamma-Q LLC in Columbus, Ohio, which manages $52 million in assets, is betting that prices of gasoline and diesel will continue to rise as supplies fall due to several recent refinery accidents and the closing of refineries in the Northeast. The U.S. fuel market "already is tight, and it'll continue to remain tight" in coming months, Mr. Yurch says.
Unloading Facebook: Billionaire Peter Thiel, one of the company's earliest investors, has sold the majority of his shares. All told, he has made more than $1 billion from his investment. From the WSJ:
It isn't unusual for early investors to sell their stakes in public companies, especially if the company was private for many years. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was loathe to take the company public, but said he did so in part to provide liquidity to employees and early investors, like Mr. Thiel. Facebook faces more lock-up expirations in October, November and December, which will put more than 1.4 billion Facebook shares onto the market.
Best Buy earnings fall sharply: The troubled electronics retailer is reporting a 90 percent drop in second-quarter net income, the result of poor sales and charges for restructuring. (AP)
"Fifty Shades of Grey" boosts Barnes & Noble: The bookstore chain says that its quarterly earnings were narrowed in part because of the 2011 erotic novel. Also helping are sales of e-books. (AP)
DreamWorks Animation cuts distribution deal: The Glendale-based studio that produced "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar" will leave Paramount, its home since 2006, and sign on with 20th Century Fox beginning next year. Sony had also been in the running. (LAT)
San Onofre workers laid off: More than 700 employees at the nuclear plant are affected by the cuts. Some of the layoffs are the result of recent problems that have kept the facility shuttered since the beginning of the year. (LAT)
West Hollywood bans plastics bags: The statute requires customers to either bring a reusable shopping bag to stores or pay 10 cents for a paper bag. Larger retailers will be required to stop using plastic bags within six months. (WeHo News)
Urging J.C. Penney to reopen: L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky wants the full board to ask the retailer to reconsider its decision to close its doors in the city of San Fernando. The location was shuttered a month ago. (Daily News)