Stocks around the line: Slow start to trading as many investors remain on the sidelines. Dow is up 11 points.
Big jump in jobless claims: Filings for unemployment benefits rose 46,000 to 388,000. That follows a big drop last week. Both swings are being attributed to technical factors, and some economists are just averaging out the two weeks. From AP:
Last week, California reported a large drop in applications, pushing down the overall figure to the lowest since February 2008. This week, it reported a significant increase. The gyrations occurred because it processed applications last week that were delayed from the previous week. A department spokesman said the seasonally adjusted numbers "are being distorted ... by an issue of timing."
Mortgage rates near record low: The average 30-year fixed fell to 3.37 percent from 3.39 last week. (AP)
Gas update: Prices still falling - slowly. An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.588, down about a dime from last week, according to the Auto Club.
China's recovery picking up: Industrial output grew 9.2 percent in September compared with a year earlier, and retail sales expanded 14.2 percent. Both figures beat expectations. From the NYT:
Weak overseas demand for Chinese exports and government policies aimed at combating inflation and soaring property prices have combined to slow the once red-hot pace of expansion. The picture for September appeared to show that the economy, at least for now, is no longer decelerating and may have stabilized, albeit at a lower level of growth. "Clearly, concerns over continued slowdown can now be put to rest," Dariusz Kowalczyk, an analyst at Crédit Agricole in Hong Kong, said in a research note. The data, he added, confirm "that growth is picking up and that China is not at risk of hard landing."
Newsweek to cease publication: Sad but not unexpected - the weekly newsmagazine will transition to an all-digital subscription format beginning next year. Layoffs are expected. From the NYT:
Losses at the weekly continued to mount even after the sale in 2010 to Sidney Harman, a 92-year-old audio magnate. He bought the property for a dollar and eventually, with Ms. Brown, merged it with the The Daily Beast, the Web site owned by IAC/InterActiveCorps. The future grew grimmer still after Mr. Harman died in the spring of 2011. His heirs had said they would continue to support the ailing weekly, but last summer the family announced it would no longer invest in the magazine. Losses at the magazine have been reported to be about $40 million a year, and Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC, which owns both The Daily Beast and Newsweek, made it clear he would not underwrite the losses forever.
County assessor still receiving salary: John Noguez, who was arrested in a corruption probe, will continue to be paid unless he is convicted of a crime, resigns or is removed from office.Noguez took a voluntary paid leave of absence in June. (LAT)
Warner's big Superman win: A federal judge ruled that heirs of the character's co-creators cannot seize control of the lucrative property. From the NYT:
The 18-page decision, issued late Wednesday by Judge Otis D. Wright II of Federal District Court here, pertains to a lengthy effort by the heirs of the Superman co-creator, Joseph Shuster, to recapture rights to the character from Warner. A judge ruled in 2008 that an interest in Superman should revert to the heirs of the character's other creator, Jerome Siegel. Congress rewrote copyright law in 1999, allowing heirs to reclaim prior copyrights under certain conditions. But Judge Wright ruled that the Shuster heirs were different from the Siegels. The Shuster heirs cannot reclaim rights to the character because of an agreement made in 1992, shortly after Mr. Shuster died, he said.
Amazon opens distribution center: The million-square-foot fulfillment center in San Bernardino will employ year-round at least 1,000 people - good news for an area that continues to face high levels of unemployment. (KPCC)