Friday morning headlines

Stocks are hovering: Hard to factor in the mishmash of political and economic news. Dow is down about 20 points for now.

Port talks resuming: The union representing clerical workers met with shipping operators Thursday night, but there's no word on whether any progress was made. Meantime, most of the terminals at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach have been shut down. From AP:

At issue is the union's contention that terminal operators have outsourced local clerical jobs out of state and overseas - an allegation that the shippers deny. Striking clerical worker Trinie Thompson, 41, said Thursday afternoon that her fellow strikers do work at computers - such as collections, customer service and setting up container movement - that can be handled from anywhere, and employers were taking advantage of that to use non-union workers overseas. "We're definitely concerned about the outsourcing of jobs here," said Thompson, who added jobs were being sent to Costa Rica, India and Taiwan. "We need to keep the jobs here in the United States."

Personal income flat, consumer spending dips: The sluggish October results were due in part to slower sales after Hurricane Sandy. The numbers were below expectations. (AP)

Electricity rates to go up: The Socal Edison hikes approved by the
California Public Utilities Commission will add an average of $7 a month to residential bills. From the LAT:

The unanimously approved new rates, retroactive to the beginning of this year, on Thursday as part of an every-three-years process of reviewing finances at the heavily regulated utility. The 5% increase for 2012 -- providing the Rosemead company with $5.7 billion in revenue -- is less than the 16.6% the company had sought. Rates, however, are estimated to rise an additional 6.3% for 2013 and 5.9% in 2014 under the PUC order.

Auto show open to public: Expect the usual large crowds this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with gadgetry and green technology among the big themes. From the OC Register:

If there's any theme to the show, it is, quite simply, more - especially with regard to luxury and green vehicles. There are more fastest-ever sport cars, including Jaguar's 186-mile-per-hour XFR-S sedan and Bentley Motors' 205-plus mph GT3 concept racer. There are more vehicles with environmental pedigrees, including a dramatic expansion of diesel from Audi and Mazda, as well as a hydrogen-fueled Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force concept and all-electric versions of the Fiat 500 and Chevrolet Spark. Playing to So Cal's temperate climate, there are more convertibles, such as the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, Fiat 500c Abarth, Hyundai Veloster C3 concept and Jaguar F-Type.

More by Mark Lacter:
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Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
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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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