Election Day headlines

Go vote: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Turnout not as high as 2008?: Despite a record number of registered voters in the state, one million fewer Californians are expected to go to the polls, according to the Field Poll. (Sacramento Bee)

Stocks open higher: Perhaps investors are just relieved that the election is almost over and they can worry about other things. Dow is up 60 points.

Bracing for tax hikes: No matter who wins today, an increase in the capital gains tax is a pretty good bet, according to NYT columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin:

Many investors have already begun selling stocks and companies in anticipation of tax increases. Speculation was rampant last week that one of the reasons for the timing of the sale of George Lucas's company, Lucasfilm, to Disney for $4.1 billion in cash and stock, was the impending changes in tax policy. (Mr. Lucas has said that he plans to donate a majority of his wealth to charity.)

Intrade odds: The online trading market has President Obama with a 71 percent chance of being reelected. Despite many projections of an Obama win, a core group of conservative pundits and pollsters expect Romney to score the upset.

Fallout over Arizona donation: State regulators are considering criminal charges against the parties responsible for contributing $11 million to initiative campaigns in what officials say was a money laundering operation. From the Sacramento Bee:

A lawyer for Americans for Responsible Leadership, the Arizona-based donor at the center of the controversy, appeared to acknowledge the possibility of future legal action in a letter he filed this morning with the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Attorney Michael D. Bopp wrote that while new disclosures from Americans for Responsible Leadership and The Center to Protect Patient Rights may relate to state codes banning hidden intermediary contributions, the groups do not admit wrongdoing.

iPad market share takes a dip: Still quite strong - the Apple tablet had 50.4 percent of the market in the third quarter, but that's down from 65.5 percent during the previous three months. From the Mercury News:

The biggest gainers were Samsung, which increased from a 9 percent share in the second quarter to 18.4 percent in the third quarter after releasing its Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in August, and Amazon, which increased from 5 percent to 9 percent despite releasing its newest tablet, the Kindle Fire HD, late in the quarter, on Sept. 14. Analysts blamed part of the drop in iPad shipments on the new iPad Mini, which shipped Friday.

American Suzuki files for bankruptcy: The Brea-based automaker also said it would no longer sell vehicles in the U.S. From AP:

American Suzuki Motor said it has enough cash to operate during the restructuring and intends to honor all car warranties and buyback agreements. It will work with its car dealerships to help them transition into parts-and-service operations. In some cases, the dealerships will be shuttered, it said. Once it exits bankruptcy protection, American Suzuki Motor said it will focus on selling Suzuki motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and marine outboard engines.

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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