Wednesday morning headlines

Market still tentative: Mixed economic data and political uncertainty are keeping many investors on the sidelines. Even so, the Dow is up about 40 points.

Decent jobs report: U.S. businesses added 162,000 workers to the rolls in September, according to ADP, which is a bit higher than expected. The ADP data has not been a reliable indicator of the government's employment numbers, which come out on Friday. (AP)

T-Mobile parent buys MetroPCS Communications: The complex cash-and-stock deal could put pressure on Sprint Nextel, particularly in low-cost cellphone service. From DealBook:

"The T-Mobile and MetroPCS brands are a great strategic fit - both operationally and culturally," René Obermann, the chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, said in a statement. "The new company will be the value leader in wireless with the scale, spectrum and financial and other resources to expand its geographic coverage, broaden choice among all types of customers and continue to innovate."

Gas prices jump: All of a sudden, an average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.259, according to the Auto Club, up more than a dime from last week. Exxon Mobil's Torrance refinery lost power on Monday and may suffer production problems for another week. That sent wholesale prices surging. From the Mercury News:

It's a combination of low inventories and multiple California refinery problems," said Tom Robinson, head of Robinson Oil Corp. "Really since the Chevron Richmond fire, inventories have been tight. As other refinery problems occur, there isn't much or any available inventory. "Retailers are not yet reflecting the wholesale price increases they have experienced, so unless supply problems improve quickly, retail prices will definitely be going up."

Dodgers done: Last night's 4-3 loss to the Giants puts L.A. out of the post-season. Not to worry, says Mark Walter, the team's chairman - he says his investment group has the money to make significant acquisitions. From the LAT:

Walter acknowledged he was frustrated when his high-priced lineup didn't immediately produce this summer. "But you just have to let it happen," he said. "You think you're going to keep this team down forever? We did not make this move for this year. Of course, we hoped it would help this year. But that's not why we did it. You noticed the guys we picked up, we think they're in the middle of a long number of years for us."

S&P raises L.A. County credit rating: The upgrade is from AA- to AA, with S&P citing the county's stable outlook and strong general fund reserves. A better credit rating means that the county can pay less to borrow money. (Reuters)

Food truck owners battle El Segundo: The SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association says in a suit that the 10-minute limit on selling from parked vehicles conflicts with state law. From the Daily Breeze:

"It's our position it really is just a ban," said Kevin Behrendt, an attorney for the group whose members include dozens of the trendy trucks that roam in and around Los Angeles selling everything from lobster rolls and rice bowls to snowballs. El Segundo is one of six cities the association has sued within the past couple years because of disputes over ordinances, Behrendt said. But in other cases, he added, the group has worked with local governments as they've amended their laws.

Layoffs in San Diego: A total of 80 people will be let go at both the U-T and the North County Times (recently acquired by U-T owner Doug Manchester). The cuts involve one-third of the total North County Times' staff, including 24 from the newsroom. (North County Times)

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