Stocks higher: Better-than-expected retail numbers might be helping, though the market has been pulling back in the last hour. Dow is up about 70 points.
Consumers keep buying: Retail sales jumped 1.1 percent in September, the largest gain in seven months and another indication that the economy, while weak, is not dead. (AP)
But consumer confidence still terrible: Actually, the Reuters/University of Michigan number was worse than expected. Clearly, this makes no sense.
Good quarter for Mattel: Barbie dolls and "Cars 2" toys were behind a 6 percent increase in third-quarter earnings for the El Segundo-based toymaker. (AP)
Gas prices back up: Blame tighter supplies in California. An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $3.845 per gallon, about 3 cents higher than last week, according to the Auto Club. Meanwhile, oil prices are higher because of renewed confidence about the economy. (AP)
Gap closures create headaches: Mall owners already struggling to fill space must now deal the loss of a major retailer. Gap plans to shutter almost 200 of its stores in North America by the end of 2013. From the WSJ:
Gap stores are ubiquitous in U.S. shopping malls, and the planned closings comes at a bad time for mall owners, who are already weathering competition from online shopping sites and vacancies left from the bankruptcies of retailers such as Borders Inc., Linens 'n Things and Circuit City Stores Inc. Market researcher Reis Inc. reported last week that regional mall vacancies rose to 9.4% in the third quarter from 9.3% in the second, a record since it began publishing the data in 2000.
NY park cleanup postponed: The owner of the property where protesters have been camped out for several weeks is looking for a way to appease everybody. From Bloomberg:
Demonstrators formed cleanup crews that swept and mopped through the night as crowds gathered ahead of the owner's planned move. More than 3,000 people had gathered at the site, according to an e-mail from Patrick Bruner, an Occupy Wall Street spokesman. "I've slept here, and the conditions are more sanitary than my own apartment," said Max Hodes, 28, from Brooklyn, who said he's a member of the protesters' crew that swept and scrubbed the area last night. "We have a moral imperative to stay here," he said, standing next to brooms and buckets.
iPhone goes on sale: It's the usual lineup of early adapters waiting to purchase Apple's latest smartphone, which is supposedly faster and better equipped. Steve Wozniak, who created Apple with Steve Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was first in line at a store in Los Gatos. (AP)
Netflix to offer CW shows: The streaming deal could be worth as much as $1 billion and illustrates how much the media markets are splintering. From the NYT:
The CW deal results from a yearlong evolution at Time Warner in which the chief executive, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, established a set of guidelines for monetizing content via subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. "Our rules included bypassing the quick and easy money," Mr. Bewkes said in an interview Thursday. "We established a strategy to responsibly work with Netflix." That strategy included not separating the rights to TV shows, which would have allowed the same show to be sold into syndication on a traditional TV network and then sold, at a diminished rate, to an online subscription service.
McCourt's debt overload: The Dodger owners owes so much money that even selling the team for double or more what he had paid might not make him whole. From the LAT:
Baseball currently believes the total long-term debts for all McCourt entities funded by Dodgers revenue to be close to $600 million -- not including the $150-million bankruptcy loan, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment publicly. The Dodgers did not respond to a request for clarification of their current debt status. In case of a sale, McCourt would have to pay off taxes as well as debts. In July, McCourt told the divorce court that "a sale would result in ... the incurrence of between $80 million and $200 million in tax liabilities."
Latest on NBA talks: Commissioner David Stern is talking about no basketball on Christmas Day unless the two sides can cut a deal by next week. Lots of posturing, very little movement. (LAT)
Princess to resume stops in Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta: The turnabout comes a couple of months after the cruise line decided to bypass the two Mexican port cities because of concerns about drug-related violence. The additions don't take effect until November of next year. (LAT)
Big Long Beach real estate deal: Molina Healthcare is buying the Arco Center office high-rise for $83 million. The Long Beach-based health care company has been leasing more than 100,000 square feet of the property. (Press-Telegram)