Monday morning headlines

Stocks open lower: Selling settles down after Friday's 205-point loss, but the Dow is still off about 30 points.

Gas update: Prices are finally coming down significantly - an average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.469, according to the Auto Club, down about 18 cents from last week.

Big boost in online shopping: FedEx expects to ship 280 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up 13 percent from a year earlier. (AP)

Dish to resume carrying AMC: The satellite service settled a four-year breach-of-contract lawsuit with Cablevision Systems that had resulted in dropping shows like "Mad Men." (LAT)

Renter's market: Office vacancy in L.A. County was 18.7 percent in the third quarter, down from 19 percent a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield. From the LAT:

The challenge for many downtown office landlords is that their gleaming high-rises were created to please the tastes of conservative white-collar corporations. The companies most in need of more space, however, are made up of creative types who find such office buildings too square to bear. Many traditional companies such as law and accounting firms, meanwhile, are shrinking their offices. As their leases expire, they reduce their footprints. In some cases, the companies have fewer workers than they did five years ago. In other cases, they are putting more workers in less space by using open "collaborative" floor plans that are now in vogue.

Short sales getting a bit easier: Fewer realtors say that closing a short sale is difficult compared with 2011 and 2010, according to a survey by the California Association of Realtors. (OC Register)

Box office recap: "Paranormal Activity 4" led the way with $30.2 million in its opening weekend. That was followed by "Argo" ($16.6 million) and "Hotel Transylvania" ($13.5 million). (Entertainment Weekly)

News Corp. denies LAT story: The Times reported that the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company was in early early negotiations with Tribune's debt holders to acquire the paper, along with the Chicago Tribune. (Bloomberg)

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?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

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
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook