Explaining Southern California's economy

How are Los Angeles companies handling the stock-market slide?

U.S. Markets Open Under Uncertain Economic Conditions

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When will it end?

AP doesn't sugarcoat the bad news for investors:

The stock market extended its longest and deepest slump of the year Tuesday, caught between a recurring nightmare of European debt and the beginning of uncertain corporate earnings reports at home.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 220 points and was on pace for its third triple-digit decline in four trading sessions. It hit its lowest point since Feb. 3, during the market's strong and steady climb earlier this year.

Prices for U.S. government debt rose for the fifth day in a row as investors sought a safe place for their money.

So how are public companies located in Los Angeles handling the decline?

The Big Three — Disney, Northrop Grumman, and Occidental Petroleum — are actually doing okay. They're all down, of course, but nobody has fallen off a cliff. Occidental has fared the worst, due to the assumption that weak demand for gas is going to hurt profits, most likely.

Mattel is also holding fairly well, while KB Home, already pushed down below $10 a share by the ongoing housing crisis, isn't drifting too much lower.

DIRECTV has seen some unusual activity. While most other public companies in L.A. have seen a steady decline since the markets began to drop, DIRECTV experienced a recovery — before the bad jobs data from last week hit. Fewer people getting jobs clearly means fewer people signing up for DIRECTV!

The story here is that L.A. has a nice, economy, where public companies are concerned. The only thing we're lacking is a really big Internet employer. But perhaps that will change in the years ahead.

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