Monday morning headlines

Stocks dip: Markets are generally muted in early trading (could be a slow day because of the Jewish holiday). Dow is down 25 points.

Gas update: L.A. area prices actually dropped a couple of pennies over the weekend, with an average gallon of regular at $4.153, according to the Auto Club.

Look for drop in earnings: Corporations are finally feeling the pinch of a sluggish global economy. From the NYT:

After reducing spending and eliminating jobs during the recession, American companies reaped huge gains by keeping expenses down and putting off aggressively hiring new workers as growth slowly returned. Strong profits have also propelled the stock market higher, reassuring investors whose other assets, like real estate, have declined in value over the same period. But while the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index on Friday reached its highest close since 2007 -- after the Federal Reserve's announcement of its latest stimulus effort -- the cycle of steady earnings increases appears to have run its course.

Big demand for iPhone 5: Preorders topped 2 million in 24 hours, with demand exceeding the initial supply. (AP)

Brown's legacy on the line: So says LAT columnist George Skelton about the governor's tax hike initiative.

Prop. 30 actually has a decent chance of passing. Then Brown would be riding tall and living up to all his billing and promise. He'd indeed be the astute old pro we'd hoped for, the rescuer. He would have stabilized the budget and preserved the schools. Meanwhile, remember, he also pushed through overhauls of public employee pensions and workers' compensation insurance. He abolished wasteful redevelopment agencies. And he potentially saved billions by shifting custody of low-level felons from state prisons to less expensive local law enforcement. He'd be in position to focus next year on education reform, a business-friendly loosening of the California Environmental Quality Act and development of renewable energy. But first Prop. 30 must pass.

Romney in town: The Republican candidate speaks to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. (KPCC)

Magic talks Dodger chemistry: The team's minority owner says that the summer trades were necessary, even if the early results have been disappointing, From the Daily News:

In basketball, you might make one subtle move and that'll put you to the top. That can happen here if you're on the cusp of winning a title. For us, this team wasn't there, even close to being there. So we had to make the trade to get the nine players. And we're happy. Now, you're right. We do lack the team chemistry. But for the long-term plan, everything's been the right move. We've made the right decisions. We didn't make the trades for this season. We made the trades for next season on, and we feel we're really going to be a good baseball team.

Box office: "Resident Evil: Retribution" claimed the top spot over the weekend, with $21.1 million. The 3D reissue of "Finding Nemo" collected $17.5 million. (THR)

Traffic picks up at Port of Long Beach: Inbound activity was up nearly 3 percent in August compared with a year earlier and outbound was up 5.7 percent. Traffic fell last month at the Port of Los Angeles.

More by Mark Lacter:
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Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
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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*
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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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