Stories for November 2012

Friday, November 30

China Labor Watch Criticizes Mattel

A group that monitors working conditions in China has accused toymaker Mattel Inc. of multiple labor violations at Chinese factories.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week as the broader markets reacted to federal budget negotiations.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 4 points to 13,026. The Nasdaq fell 2 points to 3,010. The S&P 500 added less than 1 point to 1,416. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 135.

Podcast: Highlights from the Latest Business Journal

Editor Charles Crumpley provides highlights from the upcoming weekly edition of the Los Angeles Business Journal. The podcast for Dec. 3 is now online.

Strike Rolls on as Talks Resume

After spending much of the day posturing and seeking to sway public opinion, representatives of the two sides involved in the strike at the nation's two largest ports resumed contract talks last night, the Daily Breeze and Los Angeles Business Journal report.

New Guidelines Approved for Warner Center

The City Planning Commission has signed off on new development guidelines for Warner Center, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The Warner Center Specific Plan, a blueprint for development through the year 2035, has the overall goal of encouraging growth while protecting open space.

A Bevy of Believers Bid on True Religion

The True Religion denim label is being circled by a bevy of prospective acquirers — including one of its own directors, the New York Post reports.

King of TV for Now, CBS Girds for Digital Battle

Leslie Moonves, the president and chief executive officer of CBS, tells the Wall Street Journal how he turned the network around and why "wireless is useless if you're hitless."

California to Add Powerball Lottery

A day after lottery officials announced that winners in Arizona and Missouri will share the $580 million Powerball jackpot, California lottery officials decided the state will join the game, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Change Comes to Playground Funny Papers

No one is more accustomed to bubbles bursting than marketers of bubble gum, but even they have been surprised by recent sales declines. Now, in what the brand is calling a reimagined Bazooka, it has overhauled its logo and packaging, the New York Times reports.

The Science Behind Those Obama Campaign Emails

One fascination in a presidential race mostly bereft of intrigue was the strange, incessant, and weirdly overfamiliar emails that emanated from the Obama campaign, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. But they worked. Most of the $690 million Obama raised online came from fundraising emails. There was considerable method behind the madness.

McDonald’s Starved for Ideas as Burger King Lures Diners

At McDonald’s Corp., it’s business as usual – and that’s the problem, Bloomberg News reports. Burger King has been excelling at a game McDonald’s perfected years ago, introducing a steady stream of well-received new menu items.

NPD Offers Scary Numbers on Windows 8 Impact

A research report late on Thursday can't be comforting to Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, who has been putting a positive spin this week on how the new Windows 8 operating system has been received, the San Jose Business Journal and Wired report.

Stocks Drop This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 17 points to 13,004. The Nasdaq was down 10 points to 3,002. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,413. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 135.

Thursday, November 29

Retailers Want Federal Intervention in Port Strike

The nation’s largest retail trade group on Thursday called on President Barack Obama to help end a strike that has shut down most cargo operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Farmer Bros. CFO Is Resigning

Farmer Bros. Co. said that its chief financial officer will leave the company in February.

Guess Shares Rise on Earnings

Shares of Guess Inc. rose slightly on Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter revenue and announced a special dividend. Profit was lower than expected.

Stocks Gain at Close

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 37 points to 13,021. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to 3,012. The S&P 500 added 6 points to 1,416. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 135.

Widening Union Walkout Cripples Both Ports

A small union of maritime clerks managed to shut down most of the nation's busiest seaport complex Wednesday, raising concerns about harm to the fragile economy, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Business Journal report.

Jeff Zucker Tapped to Lead CNN

Former NBCUniversal chief Jeff Zucker, who replaces longtime exec Jim Walton, will be charged with lifting the cable news channel out of the ratings basement, the Hollywood Reporter reports. The Wrap looks at what's right and wrong these days with the pioneering cable news network.

Fourth Wall Studios Lays Off Staff, Halts Production

Fourth Wall Studios, a Culver City firm backed by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong that produces interactive video series called "rides" for digital platforms, abruptly laid off the majority of its staff this week and stopped financing new content, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fed Stimulus Likely in 2013

Three months after launching an aggressive push to restart the lumbering U.S. economy, Federal Reserve officials are nearing a decision to continue those efforts into 2013 as the U.S. faces threats from the fiscal cliff at home and fragile economies elsewhere in the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As Downtown Grows Trendier, Spring Street Arcade Left Behind

The stores that were once crowded with immigrant shoppers now struggle to stay in business. The family that owns downtown L.A.'s 88-year-old Spring Street Arcade has plans to try to attract young, hip residents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Retailers’ Sales Miss Estimates After Sandy

U.S. retailers posted November same-store sales that trailed analysts’ estimates as superstorm Sandy depressed traffic early in the month, overwhelming gains from the start of holiday shopping, Bloomberg News reports.

For United, Big Problems at Biggest Airline

The world’s biggest airline, created after United merged with Continental Airlines in 2010, promised an unparalleled global network, with eight major hubs and 5,500 daily flights serving nearly 400 destinations. But two years on, United still grapples with myriad problems in integrating the two airlines, the New York Times reports.

Hostess Wants Bonuses for Execs, Cuts for Retirees

Hostess Brands Inc. plans to ask for a judge's approval Thursday to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million as part of its liquidation plans, the Associated Press reports. Bloomberg News says in its story that the defunct maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread also claims it need to cut $1.1 million a month in retiree benefits.

Stocks Up This Morning

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 41 points to 13,026. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to 3,010. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,416. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 135.

Wednesday, November 28

Clerk Strike Widens at Port of L.A.

Striking port clerks on Wednesday shut down most container terminals at the local ports. Three of six terminals at the Port of Long Beach remain open, while just one of seven terminals is open at the Port of Los Angeles.

Genealogy Site Acquired by Israeli Company

Geni.com, a Los Angeles genealogy and family networking website, is being acquired by MyHeritage, an Israeli firm that has been expanding into the United States.

Acquisition a Continued Drag on Motorcar Parts

Shares of Motorcar Parts of America Inc. rose slightly on Wednesday after the company reported a wider first-quarter loss, despite a 26 percent jump in revenue.

Stocks Up at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 106 points, or 1 percent, to 12,985. The Nasdaq rose 24 points, or 1 percent, to 2,992. The S&P 500 rose 11 points, or nearly 1 point, to 1,410. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 134.

Strike Idles Busiest Pier at Port of Los Angeles

Striking workers have shut down the busiest pier at the Port of Los Angeles in a contract dispute, the Associated Press, Daily Breeze and Los Angeles Business Journal report. About 70 clerical workers struck Tuesday against APM Terminals, which operates Pier 400. Other dockworkers are honoring the strike, and the pier remained shut down Wednesday morning.

Ikea to Build Its Biggest U.S. Store in Burbank

Already known for its massive stores, Ikea plans to supersize the local furniture-shopping experience even more by building a store twice the size of its current Burbank location, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

UCLA Medical Center Disputes Failing Grade

A national report card on patient safety gave a failing grade to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, one of the country's most prestigious hospitals and one of only 25 nationwide to receive such low marks. The Los Angeles Times reports that the surprisingly low score comes amid a proliferation of healthcare ratings by outside organizations trying to provide more information to consumers and employers.

California Finds Economic Gloom Starting to Lift

After nearly five years of brutal economic decline, California is showing the first signs of a rebound, the New York Times reports, citing evidence of job growth, economic stability, a resurgent housing market and rising spirits in a state that was among the worst hit by the recession.

Nokia Takes Legal Action Against RIM

Finnish handset maker Nokia Corp. is stepping up its fight against Research In Motion Ltd., taking legal action against the BlackBerry handset maker in a continuing dispute over their patent-licensing agreement, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Anthem Blue Cross Wants to Raise Individual Policy Rates

California's largest for-profit health insurer proposes an average rate hike of 18 percent, but some Anthem customers may see increases of as much as 25 percent in February, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney, Sears Used Factory in Bangladesh Fire

Garments and documents left behind in last week's deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions factory show it was used by a host of major American and European retailers, though at least one of them – Wal-Mart – had been aware of safety problems, the Associated Press reports.

Do Execs Have Good Luck in Trading Own Stock?

Corporate executives long have bought and sold shares of their own companies, and outside investors have long tracked such trades, in the belief that insiders have a particularly good feel for how companies are faring. The Wall Street Journal reports that regulatory efforts to prevent abuses are so flawed they have left a confusing landscape that raises suspicions about trades that are innocent, and provides cover for others that are less so.

Investors Demand CEO Face Time

Big mutual funds have long insisted on meeting a company's top boss before taking a stake in the firm, but the uncertain economy has led more investors to demand face time with CEOs – an obligation, bosses say, that is leaving them with less time to run their companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Mixed in Morning Trading

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 points to 12,894. The Nasdaq fell 2 points to 2,965. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,398. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 133.

Tuesday, November 27

Port Clerks Strike Could Spread

A strike Tuesday by port clerks has shut down the largest cargo terminal at the Port of Los Angeles and threatens to spread to all port terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach pending a ruling by a local labor arbitrator.

Disney Sells $3 Billion in Bonds

Walt Disney Co. has sold $3 billion in bonds, its largest bond sale this year.

Thomas Properties Joint Venture Sells Land in Texas

Thomas Properties Group Inc. has closed the sale of a 14-acre parcel adjacent to the CityWestPlace business park in Houston.

Preferred Bank to Open San Francisco Branch

Preferred Bank said that it has received regulatory approval to open a branch in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Stocks Close Down

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 89 points to 12,878. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to 2,968. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,399. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 133.

Musk Plans for Mars Colony

Elon Musk is laying out his plans for a colony on Mars, the Los Angeles Times reports. The SpaceX founder and billionaire told an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London that he's already mapped out an approximate number of people he imagines living in the Mars colony (80,000), as well as how much a ticket to Mars might cost -- $500,000.

Lehman Estate Sells Archstone for $6.5 Billion

Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc.'s estate is selling apartment-building owner Archstone Enterprise LP -- its single-largest asset -- to Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc. in a $6.5 billion cash and stock deal, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warner Bros. Extends Village Roadshow Deal Through 2017

Warner Bros. has extended its relationship with Village Roadshow Pictures Group through 2017 and has secured $1.1 billion in debt equity to fund multiple projects, the Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap report.

High Court Considers Who Qualifies as Workplace Supervisor

Supreme Court justices are struggling with the issue of who qualifies as a supervisor in the workplace, an important question when employees sue and claim that they were victims of harassment based on their race or sex, the New York Times reports.

Consumer Confidence Hits Four-Year High

Consumer confidence rose to a four-and-a-half-year high in November as consumers became more optimistic about the outlook for the economy, Reuters reports.

'Cliff' Wranglers Weigh Medicare Age

The fiscal cliff has revived an old idea that long seemed unfeasible: gradually raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65, the Wall Street Journal reports.

U.S. Patent Chief to Step Down

U.S. patent chief David Kappos, who will step down in January, is leaving his successor a couple of gifts: an overhauled patent code and a somewhat smaller application backlog, the Wall Street Journal reports.

WGA Tells Members to Stop Writing for Comedy Central

The Writers Guild of America West issued a stop-work order against the production unit of Comedy Central, telling members in a letter that the company repeatedly had misrepresented to writers that projects were guild-covered when they were not, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

L.A. Venture Capitalist Spared Jail Time

A New York State judge gave a light sentence to Elliott Broidy, a Los Angeles venture capitalist and philanthropist, for his participation in a corruption scandal involving former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mortgage Lender Uses Fear as a Sales Pitch

State and federal authorities may have cracked down on unscrupulous mortgage lenders, but there are still plenty of companies that are eager to dupe people into taking out bad loans, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Schullers Come Up Short in Legal Struggle

Robert H. Schuller — the founder of Crystal Cathedral and the face of the globally watched "Hour of Power" television program — and his family will be paid just a fraction of the millions they sought from the preacher's bankrupt ministry, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shopping's Great Age Divide

The 79 million people who make up the Millennial generation wield $200 billion in annual spending power. While only a sliver of the $3.4 trillion that baby boomers spend each year, retailers need to try to nab those younger shoppers now, because their spending is likely to rival the boomers' as early as 2020, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Open Mostly Down

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 39 points to 12,928. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 2,973. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,403. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 134.

Monday, November 26

Riordan Drops Pension Reform Initiative

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan on Monday abandoned his controversial planned initiative to overhaul the city’s pension system, saying the campaign couldn’t gather the required signatures by next month’s deadline.

Greycroft Raises $175 Million

Greycroft Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage Internet and media companies, has closed its third fund, raising $175 million.

Ceres Signs Brazilian Crop Development Deal

Shares of Ceres Inc. jumped nearly 16 percent on Monday after the energy-crop seeds developer signed an agreement with a Swiss agriculture company to jointly develop sweet sorghum projects in Brazil.

Gores Group Acquires U.K. Wireless Services Firm

The Gores Group said that its new Small Capitalization Partners fund has completed the acquisition of DMN Ltd. in the United Kingdom.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 42 points to 12,967. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 2,977. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,406. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly a point to 134.

Report: Fox Closing Deal for Dodgers’ TV Rights

Sources tell Deadline.com that Fox Sports is close to clinching the exclusive TV rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers by paying between $6 billion and $7 billion over 25 years to put the team on its regional sports network in Southern California and its national Fox Broadcasting Company. That would be three times what the new owners paid for the team earlier this year.

SEC Chairman to Step Down

The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Schapiro, announced Monday she will step down from the agency on December 14, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters report. A career regulator, she is credited with steadying the agency after its failure to spot the Bernard Madoff fraud.

Cyber Monday Likely to Be Busiest Online Sales Day

Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it's Cyber Monday's turn. The Associated Press reports that it's estimated that this year's Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row.

Firms Lose Millions to Plastics Theft

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department has formed a five-person task force to track tens of thousands of pallets and crates that are stolen from businesses, shredded, recycled and resold to the firms from which they were taken, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Amphibian a Factor in Business Park Project

Construction of Sterling Gateway, a business park in the Santa Clarita Valley, won't be able to begin until developers fulfill at least one environmental requirement: Dedicate land where Western spadefoot toads can breed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Weak 'Guardians' Opening Hurts DreamWorks Shares

The stock of DreamWorks Animation was down as much as 5 percent in early Monday trading after the disappointing opening weekend for its latest release, Rise of the Guardians, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Deadline Looms for Long-Term Unemployed

More than 40 percent of the nearly five million Americans who receive unemployment insurance are set to lose those benefits if federal programs expire as scheduled at year-end, the Wall Street Journal reports.

'Cliff' Threatens to Slow Growth, White House Says

The White House warned in a new report that going off the so-called fiscal cliff could slow the growth of real gross domestic product and limit consumer spending during the holiday season, the Associated Press reports.

Chamber Sidestepped in Talks on Avoiding Fiscal Cliff

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent at least $50 million on political advertising backing Republican candidates who opposed Obama, is a bystander in the debate over Washington’s most critical post-election issue, Bloomberg News reports.

Oprah at a Crossroads

It’s not easy to find a fresh way to photograph Oprah Winfrey. The New York Times reports that the 58-year-old media mogul's franchise is showing some signs of strain.

Is It Art? On Venice Beach, Police Can Make the Call

The L.A. City Council last December passed an ordinance that effectively banned anyone but local artists from engaging in commercial activity on the boardwalk's beach-facing side. The Wall Street Journal reports that L.A. cops are now called on to routinely weigh in on a debate more suited to the Museum of Modern Art: What constitutes art?

Stocks Mostly Down This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 96 points to 2,913. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to 2,956. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,400. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly a point to 134.

High Time To Acquire

REAL ESTATE: $35 million for Clock Tower in Santa Monica city’s richest sale in three years.

Buyer of historical buildings decides it’s right time to acquire Santa Monica’s Clock Tower.

Channel Change

Content creators fret their fare won’t rate more YouTube money

YouTube-funded channels’ continued support hinges on a major TV-like factor: audience size.

Tease photo

New California Levies Nail Lumberyard

TAXES: Anawalt scrambling to cover state fees and regulations.

Lumberyard owner gets run through the mill trying to keep up with new taxes and fees.

Skilled Labor Could Be Heading South

Latin America’s need for skilled labor could broaden the job market for Americans, writes Damián Di Pace.

State of Depletion

Sacramento and local lawmakers stay focused on tax-hike mentality that has business fleeing California.

As state and local governments hike levies easily, they’ll make it hard on businesses to stay in California, cautions Adam B. Summers.

Business Not as Usual

Charles Crumpley checks out the new way of doing business in Silicon Beach, and he finds it bracing but a little scary.

Underperforming Property Works for Billionaire

ACQUISITION: Office complex draws $34 million from Neil Kadisha.

Billionaire Neil Kadisha’s investment vehicle is picking up yet another underperforming office complex: a Torrance building for $34 million.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Digital Projection Firm Anxiously Awaits Releases

FILM: Cinedigm quarterly loss widens as studios push back movie debuts.

Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., which helps theaters finance the costly conversion to digital projection, earns its money when studios release their movies.

Will Medbox Reap Windfall of Legal Marijuana?

DRUGS: West Hollywood company’s shares spike after votes to legalize pot.

It’s not often a chief executive tells investors their company’s stock is vastly overvalued.

‘Black Ops 2’ Bright Spot In Slow Video Game Year

ENTERTAINMENT: New ‘Call of Duty’ rings up $500 million for Activision.

Activision remains a video game industry hotshot as it scores again with this year’s “Call of Duty” release.

Chip-Testing Company Powers Down Energy Unit

TECHNOLOGY: Trio-Tech seeks new venture to replace oil, gas equipment business.

Chip-testing company Trio-Tech pulls plug on energy equipment business.

Chinese Food Chain Whips Up Pair of Prototypes

DINING: Panda hopes new store concepts can serve as models for modernizing.

Panda Restaurant Group cooks up two prototype store models as it looks to maintain its growth pace.

L.A. Company Hopes It Has Licenses to Grow

APPAREL: Sequential hires chief executive to guide expansion beyond jeans.

Sequential brings in new chief executive to refashion apparel maker as licensing company.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Looking for Disney Clues

They might not hand out Mickey Mouse ears at the front door, but there’s a touch of the Magic Kingdom in the Bel Air Bar & Grill.

Burning Fat And Feeding The Hungry

Cycle House converts pedal power into meals for nation’s homeless.

Fitness studio Cycle House gears up for charity with calorie-burning program that feeds homeless.

Beasts Mark Territory in Century City

Chamber sponsors sculpture garden on Avenue of the Stars.

Century City chamber helps civic pride take shape with street display of animal statues.

Skechers Regains Footing After Trip Over Fitness Line

Skechers steps up its comeback as fallout ebbs from its controversial toning shoes.

Plan for New Oil Terminal Sinks at Port of L.A.

ENERGY: Bountiful production outlook capsizes giant project.

Domestic oil prospects help scuttle plan for import terminal at Port of Los Angeles.

Wednesday, November 21

THQ in Discussions with Potential Financing Partner

Shares of THQ Inc. fell 12 percent on Tuesday after the struggling video game developer announced that has entered into exclusive negotiations with a financial sponsor that could result in significant dilution for existing shareholders.

Farmers Classic Tennis Tournament to End

Southern California Tennis Association announced that the Farmers Classic men's tennis tournament at UCLA will be discontinued after efforts to find new sponsors for the financially struggling event were unsuccessful.

CBRE Makes United Kingdom Acquisition

CBRE Group Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire EA Shaw, a commercial and residential property partnership that targets the central London market.

Viral Genetics to Change Name, Reduce Shares

Viral Genetics Inc. announced that it will change its name and implement a 1-for-600 reverse split of its common stock as part of a wider corporate restructuring.

LAX Labor March Could Affect Holiday Travel

Thanksgiving travelers are being warned to get to LAX even earlier than usual this year because hundreds of airport workers were expected to march at the airport today over a health benefits dispute, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News report.

Yankees TV Deal Bodes Well for Dodgers

In another sign that TV sports rights are the hottest game around, News Corp. plans to pay an estimated $1.47 billion for a 49 percent stake in the regional network that provides local broadcasts of New York Yankees games. The Los Angeles Times reports that such deals are a big reason why the L.A. Dodgers' new owners paid $2.1 billion to buy the franchise earlier this year.

Entertainment Industry Pours $47 Billion Into L.A.

Despite concerns about runaway production, L.A. County's entertainment industry remains a focal point for the industry around the world, and is also a significant contributor to the local economy, Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., told the Los Angeles Times in an interview.

Hostess Mediation Fails

Hostess Brands Inc. will continue down the path to a full liquidation after a last-ditch mediation session with its striking bakers' union failed to save the Twinkie maker, the Wall Street Journal reports.

J.R.R. Tolkien Estate Sues Warner Bros.

The estate of "The Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien and publisher HarperCollins have filed an $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. studios over the licensing of characters and plots in online and gambling games derived from the films, Reuters reports.

Best Buy Workers Mobilize to Win Black Friday Battle

Beleaguered Best Buy needs Black Friday more than ever. The Los Angeles Times reports that managers and employees are preparing for the big day in hopes of generating strong holiday sales. The Wall Street Journal reports that retailers around the country are testing new strategies for Black Friday, from matching rivals' prices to avoiding deep discounts.

Holiday Shoppers More Optimistic But Still Cautious

More than half of Los Angeles area shoppers are bullish on the economy heading into next year but they plan to be more frugal in the 2012 gifting season, according to Deloitte's annual Holiday Mood Survey, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Jobless Claims Stay Elevated Due to Sandy

The number of new unemployment claims remained elevated last week as the lingering effects of superstorm Sandy continued to cause workers in the Northeast to seek jobless benefits, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Factories Post Rebound, Consumer Sentiment Shaky

Reuters reports that U.S. manufacturing grew in November at its quickest pace in five months, with a rise in domestic demand suggesting that factories could provide a boost to economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Analyst: Home Prices Nowhere Near Bottom

Keith Jurow, who writes about the housing market for the finance site Minyanville, tells the Daily Ticker at Yahoo Finance that the current rebound in home prices is yet another head fake.

HP’s Accounting Claims Seen as Cover for Bad Deals

Hewlett-Packard Co.’s claims of financial improprieties at Autonomy Corp. have accounting experts questioning whether the allegations are an attempt to divert attention from yet another bad acquisition, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Rise Before Holiday

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 28 points to 2,817. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 2,918. The S&P 500 was up less than 1 point to 1,388. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 133.

Tuesday, November 20

L.A. Puts Sales Tax Increase on March Ballot

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted to place a half-cent sales tax on the March ballot to close a persistent $200 million budget gap.

CEO Leaves Sequential Brands

Shares of Sequential Brands Group Inc., the successor to People’s Liberation Inc., plunged 26 percent on Tuesday after the licensing company said that its chief executive had resigned.

Disney to Close Web Movie Service

Walt Disney Co. quietly announced that it would close a little-used Internet movie service by the end of the year to make room for a new service.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down nearly 8 points to 12,789. The Nasdaq rose nearly 1 point to 2,917. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,388. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 133.

Pasadena Passes NFL Ordinance

Pasadena officials early today cleared the way to begin negotiations with the NFL that could bring professional football to the Rose Bowl for as long as five years while a new stadium is being built in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and San Gabriel Valley Tribune report.

Report: Lions Gate Wants to Sell TVGuide.com

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is in serious talks to unload its TVGuide.com online TV navigation site for about $20 million, Deadline.com reports. Sources tell All Things D that Yahoo is among the companies considering a bid.

Hostess, Bakers Union Agree to Mediation

Seeking to save more than 18,000 jobs, a bankruptcy judge surprised Hostess Brands Inc. and its warring union Monday by asking them to join him today for a mediation session where he will try to broker a new contract, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Unemployment Falls in 75% of States

An increase in hiring helped lower unemployment rates in 37 states last month, the latest indication that the job market is slowly healing, the Associated Press reports.

H-P Claims Fraud at Autonomy

Palo Alto technology giant Hewlett-Packard Co. today reported a nearly $7 billion loss, writing down a software unit named Autonomy that it acquired just over a year ago, citing accounting irregularities among other reasons, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters report.

New Home Starts at Fastest Pace in 4 Years

U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum, the Associated Press reports.

State's First Carbon-Credit Auction Raises $290 Million

In California's first auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits, companies paid just a few cents more than the minimum price per ton of carbon, generating almost $290 million last week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: Judge’s Rulings Affected by His Stock Ownership

A Los Angeles federal judge has issued three key rulings over a four-year period that favored companies in which he owned stock, according to an investigation by California Watch.

Ex-News Corp. Execs to be Charged in Bribery Probe

British prosecutors said they will charge two former top executives of News Corp.'s United Kingdom newspaper unit and others with crimes as part of a bribery probe, the Wall Street Journal reports.

California Spurs Electric Cars

California's ever-stricter emissions regulations are prompting major auto makers including Chrysler to sell electric cars that are unprofitable and likely to attract few buyers on their own, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Malone Says Sports Costs Out of Control

Add cable industry pioneer and Liberty Media Chairman John Malone to the growing list of people who think sports programming costs are out of control, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Twinkie History Spiced With Murder Hints Icon to Survive

After last week’s decision by Hostess Brands Inc. to liquidate sent consumers rushing to buy Twinkies before they disappeared, the family that started the company more than a century ago was also stocking up, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Mixed in Morning Trading

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 6 points 12,790. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 2,915. The S&P 500 was up 1 point to 1,388. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 132.

Monday, November 19

EVOQ Sells More Properties

EVOQ Properties Inc. has sold two industrial buildings in Los Angeles as the downtown L.A. company continues to shed non-core properties in Southern California.

Kennedy-Wilson Makes North Hollywood Buy

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. has acquired Academy Tower in North Hollywood for $48 million.

Stocks Up at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 208 points, or more than 1.5 percent, to 12,796. The Nasdaq gained 63 points, or more than 2 percent, to 2,916. The S&P 500 rose 37 points, or 2 percent, to 1,387. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or more than 1 percent, to 132.

Potential Twinkie Suitor Boosts Credit Line

Flowers Foods Inc. said Monday that it has amended and extended its $500 million loan facility, giving it greater financial flexibility just as its bankrupt rival Hostess Brands Inc. entertains bidders, Reuters reports. A Wall Street Journal piece notes that the union that brought the 85-year-old baker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread to its knees is holding out hope that a buyer will send its members back to work.

L.A. Pension-Reform Proposal Questioned

Former Mayor Richard Riordan's plan to dramatically revise the city's three pension systems was developed without an actuarial study that would determine the costs of any new system, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Big Banks Give $22 Billion in Mortgage Relief

Five U.S. banks have provided about $22 billion in mortgage relief to customers under a deal to settle borrowers' accusations over foreclosures, Reuters reports.

Homebuilder Confidence at 6-Year High

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six and a half years, driven by strong demand and growing optimism that the housing recovery will strengthen next year, the Associated Press reports, which also notes that sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly in October.

Wal-Mart Moves Up Dividend to Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. moved its planned dividend into late December from early January as it tries to help its investors avoid a looming jump in the tax rate on shareholder payouts that is part of the so-called fiscal cliff, Reuters reports.

Investment Falls Off a Cliff

U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Investors Rush to Beat Threat of Higher Taxes

Business owners and investors are quickly maneuvering to shield themselves from the prospect of higher taxes next year, a strategy that the New York Times reports is sending ripples across Wall Street and broad areas of the economy.

Average Household Credit Card Debt Rises

Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, racking up more debt than a year ago, while also being less diligent about making payments on time, the Associated Press reports.

State in Rush to Explain Health Law

With the presidential election over and the nation's healthcare overhaul moving forward, California officials have less than a year to clear up widespread uncertainty about future medical coverage options, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Death of the McMansion Greatly Exaggerated

Who says Americans have fallen out of love with McMansions? Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that new single-family homes built last year were still 49 percent bigger than those built in 1973.

Regulators Take Look at Patent 'Trolls'

U.S. antitrust authorities are examining whether specialized patent-holding firms — or "trolls" to their detractors — are disrupting competition in high-tech markets, opening a new front in a long-standing Silicon Valley battle, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Shadow Banking Grows

The shadow banking industry has grown to about $67 trillion, $6 trillion bigger than previously thought, leading global regulators to seek more oversight of financial transactions that fall outside traditional oversight, Bloomberg News reports.

Who’s Hiring? $100K Jobs That Nobody Wants

While many companies are still reluctant to hire, plenty of others are not and in fact are actively looking to add employees, the Breakout blog on Yahoo Finance reports. Unbeknownst to many, the number of available jobs has been steadily rising, and now sits at a four-year high of nearly 3.2 million vacant positions.

Stocks Gain This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 153 points, or more than 1 percent, to 12,741. The Nasdaq rose 45 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,898. The S&P 500 added 20 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,380. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 2 points, or more than 1 percent, to 133.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Usamp

We founded uSamp during one of the worst economical downturns this country has ever faced, we managed to buck the recession by taking a big risk.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Prodege/ Swagbucks.com

We focused from the start on building a model that was sustainable and building out a team that was as passionate about the product as they were talented.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: True Car Inc.

We collect and analyze a wide range of data and provide it to more than 5,000 TrueCar dealers to assist them in competitively pricing their products.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Equis Staffing

We recognized early on that technology was a hot, booming sector. We expanded Equis’ services from only financing and accounting to include IT services as well.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Zambezi

When we started out, our strategy involved pitching and actively hunting new business in the sports/entertainment and active lifestyle realm.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Arvixe

Our goal has been to provide the highest value product with the lowest price tag.

Special Report: Fastest Growing Private Companies

It’s always impressive to read about a company that started on a poker table six years ago and grew to report $13 million in revenue last year.

Amped Up

USC President C.L. Max Nikias admits he’s a little shocked how his electrical engineering education led to a college administration career.

C.L. Max Nikias grew up in Cyprus, but now fights for the Trojans as president of USC.

Microsoft Gets With the Silicon Beach Program

LEASE: PC giant to move into Venice with plan for product showcase center.

Add one more marquee name to the Silicon Beach roster.

Two More Firms Court Clients in South Korea

EXPANSION: O’Melveny and Paul Hastings latest to open outposts in Seoul.

Two more major L.A. firms launched offices this month in South Korea, which has opened its borders to U.S. firms after the recent passage of a free-trade agreement.

Private-Equity Firm Moves on Logistics Pickup

ACQUISITION: Riverside buys MNX with eye on shipping special cargo.

Global private-equity group Riverside Co. sees money to be made in shipping sensitive cargo such as organs, blood samples and critical airline parts, a specialty of Inglewood logistics company MNX.

Community Newspapers Fold Up Some Operations

MEDIA: L.A. Times scales back local editions to put focus on online product.

More bad news as Los Angeles Times cuts back on its community papers’ offices and production.

Developer Taps Non-Profit to Fill Tall Loan Order

REAL ESTATE: CIM goes beyond banks to pay for skyscraping tower project.

Developer CIM banks on non-profit’s loan to pay for skyscraping condo tower in New York.

Stock Tougher to Defend After Iraq Troop Pullout

Investors refuse to enlist in Aecom shares after Iraq troop pullout lowers company revenue.

Growing Buzz

RETAIL: Growlife, maker of hydroponic greenhouses for pot, sets up shop in its first brick-and-mortar store.

Growlife sees a budding opportunity in opening brick-and-mortar shops for its hydroponic pot products.

Raising Curtain on Rentals

Drapery maker gives cash-conscious clients nonpurchase option.

Draper brings rental business into the fold to serve stage productions.

Having Kids Gives Birth To Business

Hunt for baby products spurs mom to launch Plush trade show.

Jina Park’s baby products trade show was born from her desire to find the best items for her kids.

Sports Chains Run Up Score

retail: Sport Chalet, Big 5 improve inventory and sales.

Ball bounces sporting goods chains’ way as stores improve sales and inventory management.

In-Flight Wi-Fi Buy Too High?

AVIATION: $250 million deal for Row 44 questioned.

Small airline Wi-Fi company Row 44 fetched an eye-popping price when it was bought earlier this month. Was it worth it?

Retailers Hope Men Buy Into Shopping

INTERNET: Vendors look to ape success of women’s websites.

A trio of online retailers hopes to man up and ring up more sales from male customers.

Ready Set, Go

Prop shops open outposts to work films in other states

Hollywood prop houses open satellite offices to score roles in out-of-state productions.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Gravitas Ventures

The company has remained hyperfocused on video on demand, and its transactional, subscription and ad-sponsored business models

Fastest Growing Private Companies: I.T. Source Corp.

We attribute growth to our vision and perseverance. Our team went full throttle and exceeded expectations. I could not be happier with the staff we currently have.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Shipito

When Czech immigrant John Vanhara founded Shipito four years ago, he was just hoping to make enough money to pay the rent on his warehouse after another business went bust.

Getting Beyond Nowhere

Charles Crumpley revives a call for a citywide coalition to help L.A. reach its goals.

Public-Private Partnerships Could Energize L.A.

Thierry Godart sees public-private partnerships as a way to power up the economy.

Diving Into Fear

Years ago, accountant Barbara Rosenbaum came up with a quote that she has lived by: “Facing fear leads to courage, strength and powerful choices.”

Investors Don’t Like Sound of Audio Firm’s Loss

ELECTRONICS: Shares of DTS fall while company pursues growth strategy.

Stock value falls as audio technology company DTS sounds out expansion strategy.

Rooms to Improve

Jan Perry says two hotel deals might help business people lose their reservations about the city of L.A.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

Still Growing After All These Years

Growing a company quickly one year or two is impressive. But major growth, year after year after year, is a much more notable achievement.

Making it Big, Then Making It Bigger

It’s not uncommon to find startups that double or triple revenue in their early years.

Fastest Growing Private Companies: Network Solutions Provider

Two acquisitions; but the biggest part of our growth has come from expansion of our sales team and sales automation program, and creating customercentric solutions.

Friday, November 16

OSI Denies Faking Body Scan Tests

OSI Systems Inc. has denied allegations that it faked test results for the company’s airport body scanners.

L.A. County Adds Jobs

Los Angeles County’s jobs recovery continued to pick up steam as the unemployment rate dipped to 10.5 percent in October and employers added 41,000 jobs to their payrolls, according to state figures released Friday.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest public companies closed down for the week amid broader market fears about potential tax increases and budget cuts that would send the country over the “fiscal cliff.”

Stocks Close Up

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46 points to 12,588. The Nasdaq gained 16 points to 2,853. The S&P 500 added 7 points to 1,360. The LABJ Stock Index gained less than 1 point to remain at 130.

Traffic Up at Port of Long Beach

Traffic was up at the Port of Long Beach last month, with nearly 9 percent more cargo moving through the port than during the same month last year, according to figures released Thursday.

DirecTV Reaches Deal with Time Warner Cable for Lakers Channel

The Lakers may not have Phil Jackson but at least they have DirecTV. Ending a long standoff, satellite broadcaster DirecTV has reached an agreement to carry Time Warner Cable's SportsNet, the new television home for the Lakers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Business Group Comes out Against Proposed Sales Tax Hike

A group that represents San Fernando Valley businesses have come out against a half-cent sales tax hike backed by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, saying city leaders should find other ways to address their budget crisis, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Twinkie Maker Hostess to Shut Down After Strike

Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said it will fire more than 18,000 workers and liquidate after a strike crippled operations, Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal report.

Nike to Sell Cole Haan Brand

Nike is selling its Cole Haan brand to private equity firm Apax Partners for $570 million, the Associated Press reports.

Apple Stock Plunges

Apple stock fell to its lowest level since February as investors continued dumping shares of the company, no longer perceived as being infallible or worthy of being priced for perfection, USA Today reports.

Bernanke: Housing Not Yet Out of the Woods

The improving housing market is "far from being out of the woods," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, arguing that overly tight lending standards are part of the problem, Reuters reports.

Another Reason to Hate Global Warming: Lousy Coffee

Is the world’s coffee supply threatened by global warming? A recently published study from scientists at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens concludes that nearly 100 percent of a popular bean may fall victim to rising temperatures by 2080, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

France and the Euro: The Time Bomb at the Heart of Europe

The Economist reports that the threat of the euro’s collapse has abated for the moment, but putting the single currency right will involve years of pain. The pressure for reform and budget cuts is fiercest in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, which all saw mass strikes and clashes with police this week. But ahead looms a bigger problem that could dwarf any of these: France.

Stocks Open Down

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 27 points to 12,515. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 2,824. The S&P 500 dropped 5 points to 1,348. The LABJ Stock Index lost less than 1 point to remain at 130.

Thursday, November 15

City National Announces Special Cash Dividend

City National Corp. announced Thursday that its directors have declared a special common stock cash dividend for the fourth quarter.

Hot Topic Shares Rise

Shares of teen retailer Hot Topic Inc. rose nearly 6 percent Thursday after the company reported a spike in net income for the third quarter.

Stocks Close Down

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 29 points to 12,542. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 2,837. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,353. The LABJ Stock Index remained unchanged at 130.

Survey: Small Business Owners Somewhat Optimistic

Despite concerns about the overall health of the economy, small business owners are optimistic about the growth of their companies, according to a report released Thursday from Bank of America.

L.A. Mayoral Candidates Unite Against Proposed Sales Tax Hike

One day after the City Council tentatively agreed to place a half-cent sales tax hike on the spring ballot, the four leading mayoral candidates criticized the plan at a forum in Koreatown, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Analyst Sees Potential for Budget Surpluses in California's Future

The state's fiscal analyst said that California's long-tattered budget is on the verge of producing surpluses, but he cautioned that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers must first avoid a spending spree, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Poll: California Backs a 'Fiscal Cliff' Compromise – Sort Of

A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that 3 in 5 Californians want their elected officials to "compromise with the opposite party, even if that means giving up some long-held positions," the Los Angeles Times reports.

BP Reported Close to Settlement with U.S. Over Gulf Spill

The New York Times reports that BP, the British oil company, is expected to agree to criminal liability in the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago and agree to a large fine, according to people close to the situation.

Denny's to Add 'Obamacare Surcharge' and Cut Employee Hours

President Obama's election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain – and that has left some business owners taking action to offset the extra cost Obamacare will bring, the Daily Mail reports.

China Names Conservative, Older Leadership

China's ruling Communist Party unveiled an older, conservative leadership line-up that appears unlikely to take the drastic action needed to tackle pressing issues like social unrest, environmental degradation and corruption, Reuters reports.

Euro Zone Falls into Second Recession Since 2009

The euro zone debt crisis dragged the bloc into its second recession since 2009 in the third quarter despite modest growth in Germany and France, Reuters reports.

Wal-Mart Expands Foreign Bribery Investigation

Wal-Mart disclosed during its third-quarter earnings announcement that it has expanded an internal investigation into bribery accusations in Mexico, Brazil, China and India, the New York Times reports.

Starbucks to Buy Tea Chain in $620 Million Deal

Starbucks’ acquisition tear continues with the cash-rich company announcing plans to buy Teavana Holdings, a chain of 300 mall-based tea stores, the Seattle Times reports.

Bartiromo: 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal? Don't Count on It

The ongoing fight over the "fiscal cliff" may overshadow everything else as we get closer to the new year. Sadly, compromise seems hard to come by, even though the consequences of going over the cliff were specifically designed to force compromise, Maria Bartiromo for CNBC writes.

Stocks Fall in Morning Trading

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 27 points to 12,544. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 2,837. The S&P 500 lost 3 points to 1,353. The LABJ Stock Index remained relatively unchanged at 130.

Wednesday, November 14

L.A. Council Votes to Consider Waste Franchise System

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted to move ahead with an exclusive franchise waste hauling system for most commercial and multifamily properties in the city.

Cedars-Sinai Receives $20 Million Donation

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced Wednesday it will name part of its new Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion after Orange County philanthropists Bill and Sue Gross.

Port Traffic Up in Los Angeles

Cargo traffic at the Port of Los Angeles was up slightly last month, though the boost came entirely from an increase in the number of empty cargo containers leaving the port, according to figures released Wednesday.

Panavision Names Chief Executive

Woodland Hills camera maker Panavision Inc. announced Wednesday that it has named Kimberly Snyder as chief executive.

Low Sales, Big Loss for Cereplast

Bioplastics maker Cereplast Inc. on Wednesday reported a third quarter net loss of nearly $10 million compared with a loss of $3.6 million in the same period a year earlier.

Griffin Swings to a Profit

El Segundo real estate investment trust Griffin Capital Net Lease REIT Inc. swung to a profit last quarter after adding four income-generating buildings to its portfolio this year.

NetSol Reports Profit

NetSol Technologies Inc. on Wednesday reported that it swung to profit and increased revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Stocks Close Down

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 185 points to 12,571. The Nasdaq fell 37 points to 2,847. The S&P 500 lost 19 points to 1,355. The LABJ Stock Index dropped 2 points to 130.

California Kicks off Cap and Trade for Carbon Emissions

A major piece of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions kicks into gear as regulated businesses throughout the state are required to cut their pollution, or pay the price, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Porn Producers Look Beyond L.A. Following Condom Law

Los Angeles has been a fighting a tide of runaway production of big-budget movies and television dramas. Now it may face an emigration of another homegrown industry – adult entertainment. That's the specter raised by some of the hundreds of porn producers in Los Angeles after voters approved Measure B, which requires performers to wear condoms and establishes a new permitting system for adult entertainment shoots, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Southern California Retailers Expect Increased Holiday Shopping Sales

A report from the Kyser Center for Economic Research in Los Angeles said Southern California retailers should have a green Christmas this year, with holiday sales expected to increase 3.4 percent from 2011, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

On the Other Hand: U.S. Retail Sales Drop in October

Americans cut back on spending at retail businesses in October, an indication that some remain cautious about the economic outlook. Superstorm Sandy also depressed car sales and slowed business in the Northeast at the end of the month, the Associated Press reports.

Facebook Jumps as Lockup Expires on Big Block of Shares

Shares of Facebook Inc. jumped as much as 11.2 percent in morning trading, even as the biggest block of shares held by insiders became eligible for sale for the first time since the social media company's disappointing debut in May, Reuters reports.

Belize Police: McAfee Not a Suspect in Murder Care

John McAfee, the founder of the software company McAfee, is not a "suspect," but a "person of interest" in the Belizean murder case of McAfee's neighbor, Belizean police told CNBC.

Anti-Austerity Protests Sweep Europe

Workers across Europe downed tools in moderate numbers and staged largely peaceful protests in one of the most widespread shows of opposition to austerity policies that trade unions blame for falling living standards across the continent, the Financial Times reports.

Energy Independence in the United States? Don't Pop the Cork Yet

The International Energy Agency reported this week that the United States was poised to become the world’s biggest oil producer thanks to new drilling technologies in shale fields across the country. At first look, the changing energy panorama seems implausibly fortuitous, and it is no doubt a strategic game-changer. But the report also warns that the global energy future is still full of challenges, and many energy experts say any celebrations should remain muted, the New York Times reports.

Petitions to Secede are Filed for 23 States Since Election

In the wake of the Nov. 6 election, petitions seeking to secede from the union have been filed on behalf of 23 states on the White House website. Most of the petitions contain the same wording and ask to withdraw “peacefully” from the United States in order to form independent governments, the Washington Times reports.

Businesses Getting In on Movember Action

Mustachioed men made Movember a major fundraising event. Now businesses are capitalizing on the monthlong worldwide cause, which promotes awareness of prostate cancer as it collects money to fight the disease, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Open Down

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average traded down 75 points to 12,681. The Nasdaq fell 8 points to 2,876. The S&P 500 lost 7 points to 1,368. The LABJ Stock Index dropped less than 1 point to 131.

Tuesday, November 13

L.A. Council Moves to Put Sales Tax Hike on Ballot

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to place a half-cent sales tax increase on the March ballot.

Aecom Shares Drop After Earnings Report

Shares of Aecom Technology Corp. sank during midday trading on Tuesday after the company reported earnings for the fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Stocks Close Down

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 59 points to 12,756. The Nasdaq fell 20 points to 2,884. The S&P 500 lost 6 points to 1,375. The LABJ Stock Index was down less than 1 point to 132.

Despite Opposition, State’s Cap-And-Trade Auction to Start

Despite fierce opposition from much of the business community, California's grand experiment in taming global warming begins in earnest, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Applebee's Franchisee Says Obamacare Could Lead to Hiring Freeze

Applebee's is making clear that it is not on a firing rampage because of the Affordable Care Act after one New York franchise owner was quoted saying that Obamacare is leading to a hiring and building freeze, ABC News reports.

Bullet-Train Planners Face Huge Challenge

The sheer scale and scope of the bullet train's push into Southern California, including traversing complex seismic hazards, would rival construction of the state's massive freeway system, water transport networks and its port complexes. It is likely to be viewed in future decades as an engineering marvel — or a costly folly, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Microsoft's Windows Chief Exits

The executive most widely tipped to be the next chief executive of Microsoft Corp. has left the world's largest software maker barely two weeks after launching the flagship Windows 8, as CEO Steve Ballmer moved to tighten his grip on the company, Reuters reports.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Already Affecting U.S. Economy

Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said fiscal brinkmanship in Washington is already affecting the U.S. economy as worried businesses invest less in equipment, Reuters reports.

Home Depot Third Quarter Results Edge up

Home Depot Inc.'s net income rose slightly in the third-quarter, as glimmers of a housing market recovery and storm-preparation added to sales and offset costs related to closing stores in China, the Associated Press reports.

Cost of Thanksgiving the Same but Turkey Prices Up

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost of cooking a Thanksgiving meal is about the same as last year even though turkey prices have risen, reports Southern California Public Radio.

France's Champagne Harvest Shrinks Drastically

With its economy sliding into recession, France could use a bit of cheering up as the holiday season approaches. Instead, the Agriculture Ministry says the champagne harvest is down 40 percent this year, as vineyards were ravaged by hailstorms, wet weather and fungus, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Sex-Scandal CEOs Spark Notoriety in the C-Suite

Chief executives may be no more prone to extramarital affairs than in the past, yet the notoriety for getting caught has exploded. Company directors are increasing vigilance of executives’ behavior because they are being held accountable for governance, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Rise in Morning Trading

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 59 points to 12,874. The Nasdaq gained nearly 3 points to 2,907. The S&P 500 rose almost 7 points to 1,387. The LABJ Stock Index was up less than 1 point to 132.

Monday, November 12

Cornerstone OnDemand Reports Revenue Growth

Shares of software company Cornerstone OnDemand Inc. climbed almost 10 percent in after hours trading on Monday after the company reported increased revenue.

J2 Global Makes Digital Media Acquisition

Business communication company j2 Global Inc. announced Monday that it has acquired digital media company Ziff Davis Inc.

Stocks Close Flat

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed nearly unchanged at 12,815. The Nasdaq fell less than 1 point to 2,904. The S&P 500 gained less than 1 point to 1,380. The LABJ Stock Index remained unchanged at 132.

Ticketmaster's Triple Threat: AEG, eBay, StubHub Partner-Up

For decades, Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster has dominated the ticket sales industry in sports, concerts and other live events, but beginning in the first quarter of 2013, eBay-owned StubHub will become the exclusive secondary ticketing solution for AEG venues and AXS Ticketing, CNBC reports.

Duarte and Whittier Named Most Business Friendly

Duarte and Whittier have been named as L.A. County’s most business-friendly cities, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Demand Media Breaks Away From Lance Armstrong

In the midst of last week’s earnings call, after the company had released strong results, Demand Media CEO and co-founder Richard Rosenblatt said its affiliation is with Livestrong Foundation, not Lance Armstrong, All Things Digital reports.

Japanese Economy Shrinks in Third Quarter, Faces Recession

Japan's economy shrank in the third quarter, raising the specter of a recession in the world’s third-largest economy and tempering hopes of a global recovery, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Oil Output to Overtake Saudi Arabia’s by 2020

The International Energy Agency said U.S. oil output is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia’s in the next decade, making the world’s biggest fuel consumer almost self-reliant and putting it on track to become a net exporter, Bloomberg News reports.

Child’s Education, but Parents’ Crushing Loans

There are record numbers of student borrowers in financial distress, according to federal data. But millions of parents who have taken out loans to pay for their children’s college education make up a less visible generation in debt, the New York Times reports.

London to Lose Title of World's Finance Capital, Study Warns

According to a study from the Center for Economics and Business Research, London can expect to lose its crown as the leading global center for high finance this year amid a barrage of city job cuts, falling bonuses and competition from rival hubs led by New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, the Guardian reports.

Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots

U.S. airlines are facing what threatens to be their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with higher experience requirements for new hires about to take hold just as the industry braces for a wave of retirements, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Starbucks, Amazon and Google Face U.K. Lawmakers Over Tax

U.K. lawmakers will quiz executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon about how they have managed to pay only small amounts of tax in Britain while racking up billions of dollars worth of sales, Reuters reports.

Stocks Fall in Morning Trading

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 30 points, or less than 1 percent, to 12,785. The Nasdaq fell 8 points, or less than 1 percent, to 2,897. The S&P 500 lost 2 points, or less than 1 percent, to 1,378. The LABJ Stock Index remained unchanged at 132.

Video Game Maker’s Stock Fails to Score Points

ENTERTAINMENT: THQ’s review of options may lead to bankruptcy or sale.

Bankruptcy or a sale could be in video game maker THQ’s future if the company can’t score more money.

Data Bank

Calendars and Events

Cap-and-Trade Auction Just Another Small-Business Tax

Andrew Barrera writes that the cap-and-trade auction could cost thousands of jobs.

Shock to the System

State’s drive toward electric motors will likely run up costs while only running off businesses.

T.L. Garrett warns it will take more than participation by the goods movement industry to meet California’s energy goals.

L.A.’s Got You Covered

Charles Crumpley isn’t too upset that the porn industry may be regulated out of town.

Building Buyer Scales Heights With Fairfax Deal

ACQUISITION: New owner pays $14.4 million for one of area’s tallest properties.

A Westside investor group bought one of the tallest buildings in the low-rise Fairfax district this month.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Bank Makes Out Like Bandit After Sale Holdup

ACQUISITION: Delay pays off for First California as PacWest boosts bid.

The board of First California Financial Group Inc. took heat from shareholders for rejecting an acquisition offer earlier this year.

Higher Wage At Hotels In Long Beach

Long Beach hoteliers and business leaders were dismayed last week after the overwhelming passage of a measure requiring operators of the city’s major hotels to pay their employees a “living wage.”

Builder Props Up Performance, Stock

Support builds for Tutor Perini stock after recent earnings beat analyst expectations.

Business Owners Boo Supermajorities

POLITICS: Some see only trouble in Democrats’ control of Statehouse.

Some business owners fear the Democrats’ supermajorities in Sacramento mean more taxes, regulations and lawsuits.

Firm’s Filter Might Bring Good News to Facebook

INTERNET: EverySignal’s app lets users cut through clutter of postings.

EverySignal’s service helps Facebook users comb through their feeds and brush off unimportant news.

Catching The Wave

REAL ESTATE: Service providers flock to Westside to shore up Silicon Beach clients.

Silicon Beach draws in a wave of service providers seeking the tech firms’ business.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Networking by Numbers

An all-day forum this Friday in Santa Monica will bring together all kinds of business people – entrepreneurs, crowdfunding experts, investors – from 10 countries all over the world.

Looking For Boom In Busts

Law firm’s new website aims to help cities avoid bankruptcy.

Greenberg & Bass hopes to find money in helping cash-strapped cities avoid bankruptcy

Glasses Maker Has New Vision

Superfocus debuts second design for its adjustable lenses.

Adjustable lens maker Superfocus looks to company’s second line of frames to spur sales.

Internet Traffic Handler in Rush

online: Fast growth path leads EdgeCast overseas.

EdgeCast wants to get a handle on more Internet traffic by expanding its online content delivery network.

Former Heavyweight Lightens Portfolio

real estate: Evoq works to shed Meruelo Maddux legacy.

The former Meruelo Maddux continues to shed properties as it moves into a new era downtown as Evoq.

Keg Stand

Craft brewers tap downtown to crack local market

A bevy of brewers drafts plans to bottle up L.A.’s craft beer market.

New Boutique Hotel Has Designs on Downtown

Hospitality: Renovated Holiday Inn reborn as Luxe City Center.

Luxe City Center Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has completed a $10 million renovation that began more than two years ago.

Brownfield Site Put in the Clear

DEVELOPMENT: Plan for shopping center takes root.

Shopping center developer hopes to clean up with project for brownfield site in South L.A.

Friday, November 9

Duarte and Whittier Named Most Business Friendly

Duarte and Whittier have been named as L.A. County’s most business-friendly cities.

CytRx Corp. Reports Rise in Research Spending

Shares of CytRx Corp. fell nearly 6 percent Friday after the cancer drug developer released its quarterly report showing a steep rise in research and development spending.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week as the broader markets reacted to post-election fears that Congress won’t be able to reach a budget compromise to avoid spending cuts and tax increases early next year.

Stocks Close Mixed

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 4 points to 12,815. The Nasdaq rose 9 points to 2,905. The S&P 500 went up 2 points to 1,380. The LABJ Stock Index declined 4 points to 132.

Boeing Plans More Cuts in the Southland

As the federal government reduces military spending, aerospace giant Boeing Co. is continuing to shrink its footprint in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Row 44 Acquired in $430 Million Deal

Global Eagle Acquisition Corp. is purchasing Westlake Village in-flight Wi-Fi provider Row 44 Inc. in a $430 million deal that will pair it with a German company that provides entertainment content to air travelers, report the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and Hollywood Reporter.

J.C. Penney Turnaround in Doubt as Sales Plummet

J.C. Penney, which is in the early stages of a multiyear turnaround, reported a 26 percent decline in third-quarter sales at stores open at least a year, a steeper drop than the 17.9 percent that Wall Street analysts were expecting, CNBC reports.

Sony Downgraded by Moody’s on Falling Demand for TV, Cameras

Sony Corp., the Japanese electronics maker reeling from four straight annual losses, had its credit rating cut to the lowest investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service, citing falling demand for its televisions and cameras, Bloomberg News reports.

Superstorm Sandy Will Raise Used-Car Prices Nationwide

The estimated 250,000 cars flooded by Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast will drive up used-car prices, even as far away as California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Firms Reveal Sandy’s Effects

More than a week after it died out, Sandy's wind, rain and storm surge continue to ripple through the economy, hurting businesses as varied as Weight Watchers International Inc. and Mac-Gray Corp., which operates laundry facilities in apartment buildings, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Congress Sees Rising Urgency on Fiscal Deal

Senior lawmakers said that they were moving quickly to take advantage of the post-election political atmosphere to try to strike an agreement that would avert a fiscal crisis early next year when trillions of dollars in tax increases and automatic spending cuts begin to go into force, the New York Times reports.

Former Oil Executive Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

The bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, a former oil company executive, was named on Friday as the new archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual head of the world’s estimated 77 million Anglicans, the New York Times reports.

New Members of Congress Bring Diverse Experiences

Becoming a member of Congress is one of the hardest jobs to get. But there are a couple of well-worn pathways to election: Law degrees, political science expertise, and experience in local governing are de rigueur. Those credentials aren’t for everyone, however, and the newest crop of House lawmakers have some work experience that may surprise you, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Stocks Open Mixed

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32 points to 12,842. The Nasdaq rose 22 points to 2,917. The S&P 500 was up 8 points to 1,386. The LABJ Stock Index declined less than 1 point to 132.

Thursday, November 8

Disney Profit Rises

Walt Disney Co. reported higher fiscal fourth-quarter net income, helped by higher revenue collected by its ESPN sports network. Revenue came in slightly short of expectations, however.

Lions Gate Reports Profit

Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. rose 8 percent in late trading on Thursday after the film studio said it moved from a loss to a profit in its fiscal second quarter.

Stocks Close Down Again

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 121 points, or 1 percent, to 12,811. The Nasdaq fell 42 points, or more than 1 percent, to 2,896. The S&P 500 fell 17 points, or more than 1 percent, to 1,378. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point, or 1 percent, to 133.

Oxy Vying for Yates Petroleum

Occidental Petroleum Corp. is among those vying for Yates Petroleum Corp., one of the largest closely held oil companies in the U.S., in a deal that could fetch as much as $3 billion, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

San Fernando Valley Hit by Rocketdyne Cuts

About 100 employees at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, most of whom work in the San Fernando Valley, were laid off Wednesday in response to dwindling government spending on space exploration, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

'Innocence of Muslims' Filmmaker Sentenced

The man responsible for "Innocence of Muslims" – the anti-Muslim film that was at first blamed for a wave of violence across the Middle East earlier this year – was sentenced to a year in federal prison on Wednesday, after admitting to four of the eight allegations against him unrelated to the film, sources told The Wrap.

What Obama's Victory Means for Business

Corporate America never was among those chanting "four more years." But after President Barack Obama's victory, CEOs say they are looking for a softening of the standoff between Congress and the president that characterized much of his first term in office, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Health Law Clears Hurdle with Obama's Win

President Barack Obama's re-election erased the last major threat to his signature healthcare reform law, but left questions about implementation as the national focus shifts to tackling the mounting U.S. deficit, Reuters reports.

Bond Investors See Obama Win Fueling Refi Risk

President Barack Obama’s re-election is fueling investor concern that homeowner refinancing is set to increase after debt yields tumbled and amid speculation his administration will pursue more aggressive measures to boost the housing recovery, Bloomberg News reports.

McDonald's Sales Drop for First Time Since 2003

McDonald's Corp. is having trouble stomaching the competition, the Associated Press reports. The world's biggest hamburger chain said Thursday that same-store sales fell for the first time in nearly a decade in October, as it faced the double whammy of a challenging economy abroad and intensifying competition at home.

Fall in Jobless Claims Blamed on Sandy

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, a possible sign of a healing job market. But officials cautioned that the figures were distorted by Superstorm Sandy, the Associated Press reports.

J.P. Morgan to Settle SEC Case

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has an agreement in principle to settle an investigation into how its Bear Stearns unit handled mortgage securities it packaged and sold to investors, and plans to resume a $3 billion stock buyback in the first quarter of 2013, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Thanksgiving Flights Expected to Be Nearly Full

If you plan to fly for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can practically give up on the idea of having an empty seat next to you. The Los Angeles Times reports that on the busiest travel days before and after Thanksgiving Day, the average flight is expected to be 90 percent full.

Stocks Continue Decline

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 37 points to 12,895. The Nasdaq fell 11 points to 2,926. The S&P 500 was off 4 points to 1,390. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 134.

Wednesday, November 7

PacWest to Buy First California

Six months after PacWest Bancorp first offered to acquire First California Financial Group Inc., the bank holding companies have agreed to a deal. First California shares jumped more than 12 percent on Wednesday.

Shares Soar as Manhattan Bancorp Moves to Profit

Shares of Manhattan Bancorp soared 43 percent on Wednesday after the company reported that it had moved from a loss to a profit in the third quarter, boosted by a recent acquisition.

Stocks Close Down

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 313 points, or more than 2 percent, to 12,933. The Nasdaq dropped 75 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,937. The S&P 500 fell 34 points, or more than 2 percent, to 1,395. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 134.

Brown Declares Victory for Prop. 30

With a narrow lead late Tuesday night, Gov. Jerry Brown declared victory for his tax initiative, which would raise income taxes on wealthy earners and hike the statewide sales tax by a quarter-cent, raising about $6 billion a year for the state budget, the Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Daily News report.

Prop. 32 Opponents Declare Victory

Voters rejected a measure that would have prohibited labor unions from spending members' dues on campaigns, the SF Gate and Associated Press report.

Report: Munger’s Prop. 38 Fails

Voters have rejected Proposition 38, a tax hike to raise money for schools, the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press report.

Soda Taxes Rejected in Two Cities

Voters sharply rejected sugary-drinks tax measures in the Southland's El Monte and the Bay Area's Richmond, with both measures highly targeted by the beverage industry, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Obama Faces Pressure to Lead on Fiscal Cliff After Victory

President Barack Obama’s victory positions him to claim a mandate for pushing a proposal through Congress that would let tax cuts expire for top earners and avert $1.2 trillion in automatic spending reductions, Bloomberg News reports. And Pimco’s Bill Gross told CNBC that fixing the fiscal cliff will result in much higher taxes.

How Obama's Win Impacts Hollywood

President Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney has both exhilarated and empowered Democratic activists in Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter says the empowerment stems from the realization among key strategists that Hollywood support is now more important than ever to the party’s national electoral efforts.

With New Storm Looming, Airlines Canceling Flights

Major airlines are scrapping flights in and out of the New York area ahead of the second significant storm in little more than a week, the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal report.

U.S. Fuel Exports Grow to Historic Levels

If you're wondering what happened to cheap U.S. fuel, look to Mexico, Canada and even OPEC member Venezuela, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SEC to Extend Some Filing Deadlines Due to Hurricane

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission plans to give public companies impacted by Hurricane Sandy formal extensions on filing deadlines, just ahead of this Friday’s due date for most large companies to submit their quarterly reports, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Netflix Dominates Streaming Rivals

Netflix Inc., the world’s largest video-subscription service, increased its dominance of the online viewing market in a study, defying predictions that newer players would carve into the company’s market share, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Fall in Morning Trading

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 335 points, or 2.5 percent, to 12,911. The Nasdaq lost 77 points, or 2.6 percent, to 2,935. The S&P 500 fell 37 points, or 2.6 percent, to 1,392. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points, or 2 percent, to 134.

Tuesday, November 6

Mixed Quarter for DirecTV

DirecTV reported a 7.5 percent higher profit in the third quarter. The results fell below Wall Street forecasts, although revenue growth was slightly better than expected.

FTC Won’t Block Sale of Dole Operations

U.S. antitrust regulators have signaled that they will not block Dole Food Co. Inc.’s pending $1.7 billion sale of two fresh food businesses to Itochu Corp.

Stocks Up at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 133 points, or 1 percent, to 13,246. The Nasdaq gained 12 points to 3,011. The S&P 500 rose 11 points, or nearly 1 percent, to 1,429. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point, or nearly 1 percent, to 137.

Job Openings Fell in September

Job openings in the U.S. dropped to a five-month low in September, signaling uneven progress in the labor market, Bloomberg News reports.

The Election Won’t Solve All Puzzles

It may sound counterintuitive, but whatever the outcome of the election — whether President Obama or Mitt Romney wins — the economy and markets are likely to face more uncertainty, not less, over the coming year, the New York Times reports.

High Court Hears Cases Over Class Actions

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering appeals by Amgen Inc. and Comcast Corp. that could help determine what kind of evidence must be presented before companies may be the subject of class-action lawsuits, Reuters and the New York Times report.

D.C, Wall Street Misread Each Other as Cliff Nears

Exit presidential elections. Enter looming budget crisis. And once again, a disconnect between how Washington and Wall Street see the world could cause pain for investors if the two get their signals crossed, Reuters reports.

State's First Auction of Greenhouse Gas Credits Nears

After six years of preparation, California is poised to become the first state to combat global warming by capping greenhouse gas emissions and making major polluters pay to release more of these gases into the atmosphere, the Los Angeles Times reports.

MPG Office Trust Posts Profit

MPG Office Trust Inc., the largest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles, turned a profit in the third quarter as it continued to shrink its property portfolio, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trade Tech Foundation Director Quits

The executive director of Los Angeles Trade Technical College foundation, which is embroiled in a financial scandal, has resigned after 10 months on administrative leave, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cities' Disputes with CalPERS Have Ramifications

Credit rating firm Moody's says that San Bernardino's and Compton's disputes with CalPERS, the state's public employee pension fund, could have ramifications for other cities and their creditors, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Freddie Mac Swings to Third-Quarter Profit

Freddie Mac reported a $2.9 billion third-quarter profit on Tuesday, offering the latest evidence that the company has turned the corner after several years of large losses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

France to Give Businesses Large Tax Break

France's government has promised the equivalent of $25 billion in tax credits to businesses as part a "competitiveness pact" that it hopes will spark innovation and lower unemployment, the Associated Press reports.

When Zombies Invade, Whom Do You Want for President?

A zombie invasion, although a low-probability event (only for the technical reason that zombies don’t exist) represents, for the Tufts University author “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” a “perfect, protean 21st century threat." Zombies are a prism through which we can understand how governments react to supreme emergencies -- of obvious relevance in an era when disaster seems to be visiting us with great frequency, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Open Up

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 88 points to 13,200. The Nasdaq added 4 points to 3,004. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,423. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 136.

Monday, November 5

Concert Attendance Boosts Live Nation’s Quarter

Live Nation Entertainment Inc.'s third quarter profit rose 12 percent as concert attendance increased and the company made more profit from selling tickets to events.

THQ Suspends Guidance, Considers Strategic Options

THQ Inc. reported a 77 percent smaller fiscal second-quarter loss, withdrew its full-year guidance for the year and said it was evaluating strategic and financing alternatives.

Demand Media Moves To Quarterly Profit

Shares of Demand Media Inc. rose 4 percent in after-hours trading on Monday after the online content company moved from a profit to a loss in the third quarter on higher revenue and viewership.

Cox Cable Strikes Deal for Lakers Channel

Cox Cable has reached an agreement to carry Time Warner Cable's sports channel SportsNet, which is the new local television home for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Times and Southern California Public Radio report.

Dreamliner Makes First LAX Landing

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner filled with paying passengers arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday evening, ushering in a new era in jet travel, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Porn Actors Rally Against Measure B

They expose their flesh for the sake of sexual fantasy. But on Sunday, adult film industry actors reminded the general public that they also are taxpayers, parents and patrons of local businesses, who oppose L.A.'s Measure B because they believe it would have a ripple effect on the region's economy as well as on public health, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Services in U.S. Expanded at a Slower Pace

Service industries in the United States kept growing in October, according to an Institute for Supply Management index, helped by consumer spending gains that are helping bolster the expansion, Bloomberg News reports.

Economy Set for Better Times Regardless Who Wins

No matter who wins the election tomorrow, the economy is on course to enjoy faster growth in the next four years as the headwinds that have held it back turn into tailwinds, Bloomberg News reports.

Health-Care Law Spurs a Shift in Workers’ Hours

Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul's requirement that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Mobile Ads Are the Future – They're Also Lousy

Companies across the Internet continually proclaim mobile ads as the next great frontier. But most mobile advertising is done as an afterthought, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Use of Brand Hijacking Increases in Campaign 2012

President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, seeking to woo online voters, have adopted an advertising tactic referred to as brand hijacking that companies have used for years to market wares to Web users searching for information on competitors, Bloomberg News reports.

Russia Backs Resorts to Stem Terrorism

After years of trying to suppress religious and ethnic tensions in its southwestern mountains with guns and troops, Russia is offering new incentives to combat unrest and terrorism: ski slopes and sandy beaches, the Washington Post reports.

The Best and Worst Airports To Be Stranded In

Super storm Sandy put a freeze on the nation’s busiest airspace and stranded fliers across the country, especially in flood-stricken East Coast airports. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Times reports, many of those marooned travelers were stuck in airports that according to a new survey have lousy reputations for food, comfort and entertainment.

Use Gold as Collateral to Solve Europe's Problems?

Debt-crippled euro zone countries could see the yields on their sovereign bonds fall dramatically if they used their gold reserves as collateral for that debt issuance, argues a professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, CNBC reports.

Stocks Open Mixed

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 7 points to 13,086. The Nasdaq was up 9 points to 2,991. The S&P 500 fell less than 1 point to 1,414. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 135.

Downtown L.A. Makes Its Case With State Bar

ACQUISITION: $50 million deal for building one of area’s biggest this year.

In one of the largest downtown L.A. sales of the year, the State Bar of California has bought the building at 845 S. Figueroa St. for $50 million.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

Doctor Extracts Dose of Brutality From Liposuction

Surgeon weighs in with new devices to provide a gentler procedure.

Nurse Brings Her Artistic Touch to Reshaping Faces

Nurse looks to inject her filler approach into the conversation about facelifts.

‘Father of Fat Grafting’ Trying Out New Techniques

Plastic surgeon adds a new wrinkle to facelifts by tapping a customer’s fat cells.

Ultrasound Turns Up for Lipo

New non-invasive ultrasound treatment might thin the ranks of liposuction patients.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Dropping ‘Martha’ for Movies Works for Viewers

TV: Hallmark channels see ratings rise after parent axes ‘Stewart’ program.

After canceling daytime staple “The Martha Stewart Show” earlier this year, Crown Media Holdings Inc. of Studio City has gone back to its roots in made-for-TV movies.

Company Looks to Lock Up Internet Shoppers

SHIPPING: Scaled-down Elephantrunk offers secure drop-off for packages.

Vanessa Troyer and Chris Farentinos first created the Elephantrunk in 1999.

3Net Adding Depth to Content Supply for 3-D TV

ENTERTAINMENT: Culver City company launches in-house production studio.

3-D channel 3Net blurs the line between distribution and production with the launch of an in-house studio.

Oil Company No Longer Digs Expansion Plan

ENERGY: Oxy looks to cut costs by scaling back operations in California.

Occidental’s cost-cutting moves could bury plans to expand drilling in California.

Latino TV Heating Up

Media: Glendale’s Azteca revamping image with marketing, reality shows.

Spanish-language network Azteca America focuses on new image and programs to stay in the picture with Hispanic viewers.

Pioneer Pushes Invite Envelope

INTERNET: Evite puts price on premium, ad-free service.

Evite hopes more customers will RSVP for its new premium, ad-free online invitations.

Stamps.com Shares Took Licking but Now Sticking

INTERNET: El Segundo company building up its business customer base.

Shares of Stamps.com rise after online postage service addresses concerns about landing new customers.

Comedy in the Delivery for App Maker

ENTERTAINMENT: Laffster’s Mock the Vote sifts through content.

Laffster hopes to let humor fans in on the jokes with its app that sorts comedy content.

Record Run of No New Banks

Finance: Regulations, recession hinder openings.

Numbers don’t add up for launching a new bank in Los Angeles County.

New Course

Developers vie to turn Ports O’Call into seaside star

Competing developers look to shore up Ports O’Call’s appeal by re-creating it as a seaside attraction.

Tease photo

It’s Good to Tweet When Disaster Hits

Company makes most of social networks for emergency response.

Everbridge looks to tap social media to bolster its disaster relief communication service.

Nailed by Roadblock

Retail: Hardware store owner Jeff Tilem fights looming rent hike by Beverly Hills.

Hardware store owner Jeff Tilem fears getting hammered when Beverly Hills raises his rent.

Bank Signs With Rockets For a Reason

East West to score with Chinese fans who follow Houston team.

East West hopes to get a bounce with Chinese customers from an endorsement deal with pro basketball’s Houston Rockets.

Weighty Contribution

Sonny Astani knew a run-down gym with little more than some rusted free weights was no place for National Football League hopefuls.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Investors Lose Reservations on Restaurant Operator

DINING: DineEquity stock jumps after it franchises almost all Applebee's.

Investors fill up on DineEquity stock after restaurant operator fulfills vow to franchise its Applebee’s chain.

Edison Wouldn’t Operate an Unsafe Plant at San Onofre

William Craycraft wants to clear the air on the environmental advantages of nuclear power.

Why Is L.A. Still Stuck in Traffic?

Slow construction prolongs congestion and postpones benefits of infrastructure improvements.

David C. Murphy wants Los Angeles to stop spinning its wheels on constructing infrastructure projects.

No-Bank Blues

The rapidly dwindling number of bank startups has Charles Crumpley feeling withdrawn.

Friday, November 2

First Republic to Acquire L.A.’s Luminous Capital

Luminous Capital Holdings LLC, an independent wealth adviser in Century City, announced that it was being acquired by San Francisco’s First Republic Bank.

Hanmi CFO to Resign

Hanmi Financial Corp. said late Friday that Chief Financial Officer Lonny Robinson will resign this month to pursue another opportunity.

L.A. Wants Hotel on City Land Near L.A. Live

Joining the rush to develop hotels around L.A. Live and the Convention Center, L.A. city officials on Friday announced a request for proposals for another hotel at the corner of Pico Boulevard and Figueroa Street.

Harbor Commission Considers Temporary Home

Long Beach port officials might soon get a change of scenery: jets and runways instead of ships and cargo cranes.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week as the broader markets reacted to mixed earnings and economic reports.

Stocks Close Down

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 139 points, or 1 percent, to 13,093. The Nasdaq fell 38 points, or 1 percent, to 2,982. The S&P 500 fell 13 points, or 1 percent, to 1,414. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point, or nearly 1 percent, to 135.

Hiring Increases, But Unemployment Up

The U.S. jobs report released Friday shows that hiring was surprisingly strong in October, the Associated Press reports, but the unemployment rate ticked higher. A CNN analysis notes that this final set of monthly jobs data before Tuesday's presidential election provided both campaigns fodder to drive home their closing arguments on jobs and the economy.

SoCal Gas Prices Drop Again

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County decreased for the 24th consecutive day, falling 3.3 cents to $4.092, one day after dropping 3.7 cents, reports City New Service, via the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

AEG Strikes Deal with Opponent Coalition

A coalition of anti-poverty groups has reached a settlement with Anschutz Entertainment Group, removing one of the biggest legal hurdles facing the developer’s proposed NFL football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Guess CFO, COO to Leave

Guess Inc. said two senior executives, including its chief financial officer, are leaving the company to pursue other interests, MarketWatch reports. Shares fell 5 percent on the Nasdaq this morning.

Firms Jump Through a Borrowing Window

Companies looking to borrow made up for lost time Thursday, selling nearly $12 billion worth of bonds following a three-day freeze in issuance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Storm a Fender-Bender for U.S. Auto Sales

This week's East Coast storm destroyed tens of thousands of vehicles — an unfortunate fate for car owners but one that may give automakers a sales boost in the coming months, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hyundai Retreats on Fuel-Economy Claims

Hyundai and Kia have been found by U. S. regulators to have overstated the fuel economy for many vehicles they sold in the U.S., an embarrassing blow for two auto makers who have been on the rise in the U.S. market, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Holiday 'Self-Gifting' a Huge Retail Trend

With the rise of “self-gifting,” many consumers are clearly big fans of the idea of “giving” — to themselves during the holidays, Time reports.

Wal-Mart, Target More in Common Than You Think

They battle for the heart and wallet of the American shopper along interstate highways and in suburban town centers. The Washington Post notes that your allegiance is as telling as your taste in cable news or the contents of your Netflix queue: Are you cloaked in Target’s bull’s-eye red or Wal-Mart’s royal blue?

Stocks Down This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 46 points to 13,187. The Nasdaq was down nearly 9 points to 3,011. The S&P 500 fell nearly 3 points to 1,425. The LABJ Stock Index were unchanged at 136.

Thursday, November 1

Costs Hurt Earnings at Edison International

Edison International reported a 55 percent drop in its third-quarter profit as the company struggled with low prices in its power generation business and higher costs at its Southern California Edison unit.

Madagascar Sequel Boosts DreamWorks’ Profit

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said that its third-quarter profit jumped 24 percent, driven by a strong overseas contribution from the film "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted."

Quarter Mixed at Tutor Perini

Tutor Perini Corp. reported a 25 percent increase in third-quarter profit. That beat the Wall Street consensus, although revenue was lower than expected.

L.A. Prepares Plans to Raise Taxes

The Los Angeles City Council has moved forward with four proposed tax increases, instructing city lawyers to draw up the language for ballot measures that would raise property, real estate, parking and sales taxes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Businesses See Pain, Opportunity from Storm

After canceling more than 19,500 flights because of Superstorm Sandy, the nation's airlines have turned their focus to rebooking passengers on new flights, even as key East Coast airports continued to clear floodwaters, the Los Angeles Times reports. Glimpses of the storm’s impact on business are emerging, as airlines and hotels reported lost revenue, while builders of infrastructure like power lines said repair work could boost their bottom lines, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Disney Deal to Spur Sibling Rivalries

Walt Disney Co.'s proposed $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. expands its portfolio to the "Star Wars" series but, in combination with earlier acquisitions of Pixar Animation Studios and Marvel Studios, risks diluting the 89-year-old entertainment empire's Disney-branded film franchise, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Breeders' Cup Arrivals Up in the Air

Post positions have been determined for the 15 Breeders' Cup World Championships races to be run Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita. What wasn't determined -- thanks to Hurricane Sandy -- was when all the horses will arrive, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, which also reports that racetrack officials are counting on a huge shoutout from celebrities who have an affinity for the ponies to boost excitement about the event.

Tease photo

Economic Data Round-Up

Manufacturing in the United States expanded in October at a faster pace than projected as orders and production picked up, showing the industry is stabilizing, Bloomberg News reports. The Associated Press reports that Americans' confidence in the economy surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years, as many were encouraged by an improving job market.

Looming Tax Hike Motivates Owners to Sell

A looming increase in the capital-gains tax rate next year is fueling sales of some privately-held businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Little Federal Help for the Long-Term Unemployed

Nearly five million Americans out of work for more than six months are left to wonder what kind of help might be coming, as the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund and a bipartisan swath of policy experts implore Washington to act — both to alleviate human misery and to ensure the strength of the economy, the New York Times reports.

Shiller: Housing Recovery Could Take 50 Years

From housing starts to home prices, renowned economist Robert Shiller acknowledged "there are a lot of positive signs" for the U.S. housing market right now. But he warned CNBC that it's still unclear if a recovery is actually in place.

Buffett Makes Huge Bet on U.S. Housing Market

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has been buying up real-estate brokerages around the country as he bets on a housing turnaround. Now, he is partnering with Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian real-estate investor, to more than double the size of his brokerage business, the Daily Ticker on Yahoo Finance reports.

After Sandy, New Yorkers Get Reconnected With Pay Phones

Not since the birth of the iPhone has the pay phone experienced such demand, thanks to Superstorm Sandy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Icahn: Why I'm Buying Netflix Shares

Shares of streaming film giant Netflix are up 14 percent after billionaire investor Carl Icahn disclosed a 10 percent stake in the Los Gatos company. Icahn tells CNBC the value he sees in the investment.

New Economic Data Boosts Wall Street

Stocks added to gains on Thursday, with major indexes up after bullish jobs and consumer confidence data lifted sentiment, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Open Up This Morning

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 148 points, or 1 percent, to 13,243. The Nasdaq rose 38 points, or 1 percent, to 3,015. The S&P 500 gained 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,425. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1.5 points, or 1 percent, to 136.