Friday morning headlines

Stocks open higher: Rally continues, perhaps bolstered by decent economic news. Dow is up 60 points.

August prices picked up: L.A.-area inflation rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, higher than the 1.7 percent national figure, and 0.6 percent from July. Much of the increase was the result of higher gas prices. (press release)

Gas prices heading higher?: Oil traders are getting nervous over what's happening in the Middle East, pushing the cost of crude to more than $100 a barrel. For now, L.A.-area gas prices are down a touch from last week, with an average gallon of regular at $4.170, according to the Auto Club.

Consumer sentiment moves higher: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index is at its highest level in four months, as Americans become increasingly optimistic about the economy. (Reuters)

Weak August for retail sales: The 0.9 percent increase was largely the result of gas station and auto sales. Outside those categories, sales rose only 0.1 percent. (AP)

Last non-tax day on Amazon: And for the other online retailers. Sales taxes will range from 7.25 percent to 9.75 percent, depending on where you're loctaed. From the SF Chronicle:

The Board of Equalization, which is charged with implementing the law, has sent out notices to approximately 200 out-of-state businesses, and requires all that are subject to the law to register with the state. Dozens of auditors, attorneys and tax specialists have been hired to assist in enforcement. The board would not disclose the names of businesses that have received notices, but while Amazon says it will comply, and expects "a smooth transition," some online retailers have demurred.

Planning Commission approves stadium plan: Now it's on to the City Council, where approval is a virtual certainty. But a lawsuit involving developer AEG could delay construction. (LAT)

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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