Tuesday morning headlines

Markets closed a second day: Not since 1888 have the exchanges been shut down two consecutive sessions because of the weather. Markets will almost certainly be open on Wednesday. From DealBook:

Over all, a second day of closed markets could have a relatively limited effect on trading when business resumes, according to Larry Tabb, the founder and chief executive of the Tabb Group, a financial research firm. An extended halt in trading could create some pent-up demand among traders that might lead to some higher volatility, he said. That could mean stocks of companies like insurers could see swings in their prices. But he predicted a short-lived effect on the markets.

Home retailers preparing: Chains like Home Depot and Lowe's are expecting stepped-up business as post-storm rebuilding gets underway. From the NYT:

Some 441 Home Depot locations from North Carolina to Bangor, Me., are expected to be in areas that will sustain storm-force winds, Mr. Spiron said. And those stores need to be ready for the onslaught of customers whose numbers are bound to rise. As of 5 p.m. Monday, 55 of Home Depot's 2,200 stores -- those directly in the storm's path -- were closed. The company expected to reopen them as soon as possible. "As we close, those days are going to be tough -- that's a big hole when you're not ringing cash registers," Mr. Spiron said. Once the storm passes, though, "there's a lot of business being done. It's a big deal in terms of the amount of goods we're going to move through."

Still no flights: Airlines report more than 200 storm-related cancellations to and from LAX and even when operations resume - perhaps in the next day or so - it will be several more days before passengers are re-booked.

Apple shakeup: Scott Forstall, who handled the company's mobile software efforts, and John Browett, who was in charge of retail operations, have been fired. From the NYT:

Mr. Forstall was an important executive at the company and the one who, in many respects, seemed to most closely embody the technology vision of Steven P. Jobs, the former chief executive of Apple who died a year ago. But Mr. Forstall was also known as ambitious and divisive, qualities that generated more friction within Apple after the death of Mr. Jobs, who had kept the dueling egos of his senior executives largely in check. Mr. Forstall's responsibilities will be divided among a few other Apple executives.

L.A. housing market looking better: Home prices increased 1.3 percent from July to August and 2.1 percent from August 2011, according to the Case-Shiller index. Most all the cities surveyed showed a month-to-month gain. From press release:

"The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market," [says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices].. "News on home prices confirms other good news about housing. Single family housing starts are 43% ahead of last year's pace, existing and new home sales are also up, the inventory of homes for sale continues to drop and consumer mortgage default rates are reaching new lows. Further consumer confidence continues to rise. Even as we end the seasonally strong home buying period, the statistics are positive."

Series a ratings bust: The Giants-Tigers matchup netted an average of 12.7 million viewers for Fox, down from 16.6 million last year. The last game on Sunday night lost out to football on NBC. (THR)

Calpers sues Compton: California's giant pension fund says the city has fallen behind on its payments to the tune of $2.7 million. The city manager says Compton is facing a short-term cash-flow problem. (Sacramento Bee)

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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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