Tuesday morning headlines

Stocks nudging higher: Have investors already assumed that Washington will come to terms on a budget deal? Dow is up about 30 points.

Getting close on budget talks?: President Obama's latest deal brings the two sides closer, though House Republicans are still balking at some details. From the NYT:

The two sides are now dickering over price, not philosophical differences, and the numbers are very close. Mr. Boehner had offered the president a deficit framework that would raise $1 trillion over 10 years, with the details to be settled next year by Congress's tax-writing committees and the Obama administration. In response, Mr. Obama reduced his proposal to $1.2 trillion from $1.4 trillion on Monday at a 45-minute meeting with the speaker at the White House. That was down from $1.6 trillion initially. The White House plan would permanently extend Bush-era tax cuts on household incomes below $400,000, meaning that only the top tax bracket, 35 percent, would increase to 39.6 percent.

Stake in rifle maker to be sold: Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is unloading its investment in Freedom Group, which manufactures the rifle used by the gunman in the Newtown attacks. The California State Teachers' Retirement System had a stake in the fund used to finance Freedom Group. (DealBook)

Nielsen to buy Arbitron: The TV ratings service is acquiring the radio ratings service in a $1.26 billion deal. From the LAT:

The TV industry has always had a complex relationship with Nielsen. Broadcasters and cable networks often grumble that the ratings giant is not moving fast enough to monitor new platforms and that its sample on traditional media is too small to be as accurate as possible. Many broadcasters also own radio stations, and it remains to be seen how happy they will be that audience measurement for both mediums will be done by the same company.

Amgen expected to plead guilty: The case appears to involve the Thousand Oaks-based biotech giant illegally marketing its drugs, the NYT reports.

Amgen announced 14 months ago that it had set aside $780 million for a settlement of federal and state investigations and 10 separate whistle-blower lawsuits. Much of the investigations are believed to involve its anemia drugs, Aranesp and Epogen. In more recent regulatory filings, Amgen said the settlement was likely to include an 11th whistle-blower suit, one regarding the marketing of Enbrel, its blockbuster drug for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Options considered for LAX rail site: Both Metro and Los Angeles World Airports have come up with four potential stations that would connect to a people mover serving the terminals. From the LAT:

The most expensive options are two underground station designs inside the central terminal area, west of Sepulveda Boulevard. Another proposal calls for a station to be incorporated into a planned transportation center adjacent to Parking Lot C, near the northeast edge of the airport. The facility would serve light rail trains, buses, taxis, ride-share vans and charter vehicles. The fourth possibility is to put a station about a mile east of LAX at Aviation and Century boulevards at Manchester Square, where a consolidated car rental facility and additional airport parking are planned. Wherever the station is located, it is expected to connect to an automated people mover that would ferry passengers to and from airline terminals.

Dockworkers allege eavesdropping: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union says that a port terminal operator conducted secret surveillance on confidential communications concerning contract negotiations. From the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press:

The complaint was filed Nov. 14, about two weeks before the union's clerical workers went on an eight-day strike that shut down most of the cargo terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the busiest seaport complex in the country. In the document, the union local alleges that the surveillance dates back at least six months. An APM official said the company is treating the accusation seriously and put an employee on administrative leave as it conducts its own investigation.

Edison Mission Energy files for bankruptcy: This is the power-generating unit of Edison International (also the parent company of Southern California Edison). Mission has agreed on a reorganization plan with its parent company and holders of its $3.7 billion in debt. (LAT)

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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