Tuesday morning headlines

Stocks keep meandering: Little movement so far this week. Dow is hovering around the line.

Apple hits $700 a share: Another first for the company. Strong early sales of the iPhone 5 did the trick. (AP)

FedEx says economy getting worse: The package delivery giant is cutting its quarterly earnings forcast. From AP:

FedEx is seeing a drop in demand for more expensive priority services. As the global economy has slowed, FedEx customers have switched to cheaper deferred delivery services. FedEx hasn't been able to cut costs fast enough to match the decline in demand. This trend is most prominent in the Express unit, where FedEx has already made cuts but plans to make more. It's reducing flights, taking planes out of service, and last month it offered buyouts to employees.

Northrop trims workforce: Almost 600 aerospace workers are participating in a voluntary retirement program, another sign of defense-related cutbacks. The company still has more than 20,000 employees throughout Southern California. (LAT)

Most homeowners stuck with high rates: More than two thirds had rates of 5 percent or higher at the end of the second quarter, and about one third had rates above 6 percent, according to CoreLogic. (LAT)

Pot shop measure qualifies for ballot: Opponents of the city's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries have enough signatures to force a referendum on the council action. From the LAT:

The council can repeal the ordinance, which was passed two months ago, and possibly replace it with a modified version; call a special election to consider the pot measure; or place the measure on the ballot in the March 5 election, when voters will choose a mayor, city controller, city attorney and eight council members. Councilman Mitchell Englander, an outspoken foe of pot shops, said he wanted to keep fighting storefront marijuana sales but had not decided exactly how to respond. One possibility, he said, would be for the council to place its own medical marijuana ban on the ballot to compete with the one that just qualified.

Dole deal is done: The Westlake Village company is selling its packaged foods and Asian fresh fruit businesses to Japan's Itochu Corp. for $1.7 billion. Dole says it would use the proceeds to pare down debt. (DealBook)

Complaints about Wilmington refinery: Residents are worried about the effects from thick smoke at the Phillips 66 facility. The eruption left a chemical odor over the South Bay. From the Press-Telegram:

Abruptly stopping the refinery's distillation of the various hydrocarbons that make up crude oil can cause the product to become volatile. To prevent combustible gases from escaping into the atmosphere, overpressurized product is transferred to a flare stack, which burns off the hydrocarbons to more safely release them into the atmosphere. Though the flare is actually a safety device, its resulting flame and odor can appear threatening.

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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