Tuesday morning headlines

Stocks open higher:. Decent economic news keep investors upbeat - even though volume is still sluggish. Dow is up 40 points.

L.A. home prices inching higher: From June to July the increase was 1.3 percent, according to the Case Shiller Index. Over a 12-month period prices rose 0.4 percent - significantly lower than several other cities in the index. From press release:

"The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing," [said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices].. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year's pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.

Jump in consumer confidence: The Conference Board index hit 70.3 in September, up from a revised 61.3 in August. That's a seven-month high. (Business Insider)

Big demand for California munis: So big that the state increased the size of its bond offering. A 30-year maturity on the deal offered a yield of 3.72 percent, the lowest in the state's history. From the WSJ:

Since California is a high-tax state, its tax-free bonds typically are in high demand from individuals and the state usually offers its bonds to these smaller buyers first before it opens it up its deals to institutional buyers such as mutual funds. Given its chronic budget issues and boom-and-bust economy,

Tesla cuts forecast: The electric car company expects full-year revenue of between $400 million and $440 million, down from its prior outlook of $560 million to $600 million. (Reuters)

Reward offered in art heist: Bond trader Jeffrey Gundlach is willing to pay $1.7-million for the safe return of an art collection stolen from his Santa Monica home. From the LAT:

The biggest unanswered question: Was the caper the work of sophisticated art thieves or street burglars who couldn't tell a Renoir from a Rockwell? The theft has shaken the Southern California art world, as movie moguls, pop stars, actors and star lawyers wonder whether it could happen to them. "Everybody's talking about it; the buzz is out there," said Cheryl Perkey, a Los Angeles art consultant to wealthy collectors and celebrities. "People who have valuable collections, that's always in the back of their mind, the safety of their collections."

More by Mark Lacter:
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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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