Monday morning headlines

Stocks climbing: Encouraging signs in Washington about a deal that would avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Dow is up 160 points.

Investment plans on hold: Large number of public companies are curtailing their capital spending plans this year or next, reports the WSJ:

Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software--a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector--stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined. At the same time, exports are slowing or falling to such critical markets as China and the euro zone as the global economy downshifts, creating another drag on firms' expansion plans.

Credit card debt is up: Also, credit card payments at least 90 days overdue increased in the third quarter, though the rate is still low. (AP)

Little relief from mortgage settlement: Banks are using short sales instead of mortgage modifications or principal reductions to meet their obligations of a landmark agreement with 49 of the nation's state attorneys general. From the LAT:

"I am a little surprised that the percentage for short sales are still high," said Kevin Stein, associate director of the housing advocacy group California Reinvestment Coalition. "Our hope and expectation was that principal reduction for first lien loans would be the bulk of it." [A report by UC Irvine law professor Katherine Porter, who was appointed by the state attorney general's office to monitor the deal], raises concern that Chase's aid, most of which came through short sales, did not reach enough of the state's hardest-hit counties. In an interview, Porter said she believed some of the families who received a short sale may have preferred principal reduction.

Californians more upbeat: USC/LAT survey finds that 43 percent say the state economy has started to improve, almost double the level in July 2011. (LAT)

Virgin America trimming flights: The airline that's partly owned by Richard Branson will also delay deliveries of new aircraft. Virgin America said its quarterly net loss was $12.6 million compared with $3.3 million a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

Big numbers from Activision: Day One sales of the Santa Monica videogame maker's "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" brought in a record-setting $500 million. (ATD)

Huge weekend for "Twilight": The final installment of the popular vampire series brought in $141.3 million, the eighth biggest opening weekend of all time. In second place was "Skyfall" at $41.5 million. (EW)

Pasadena to consider NFL games: City Council will hold a public hearing on whether the Rose Bowl should be used to host a pro football team. From the LAT:

Many Pasadena residents who live near the Rose Bowl complain that the city's proposal to host an NFL team for up to five years would invite massive traffic jams, unleash rowdy fan behavior and displace recreational users from the Arroyo Seco. The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and others say the prospect of millions of dollars in public revenue and game-related local spending is a windfall well worth the inconveniences.

More by Mark Lacter:
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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*
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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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