Los Angeles Business Journal

Friday, September 28

L.A. City Council Approves Farmers Field Project Agreements

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved a series of agreements with Anschutz Entertainment Group to build a football stadium downtown and replace the West Hall of the Convention Center.

Broadway Financial Moves to Profit

Shares of Broadway Financial Corp. soared 124 percent after the struggling Los Angeles thrift said it moved from a loss to a profit.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week as the broader markets reacted to signs of weakness in the economy.

Stocks Close Down

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 49 points to 13,437. The Nasdaq lost 20 points to 3,116. The S&P 500 fell 6.5 points to 1,440. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 138.

Apple CEO Apologizes for Maps App

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook offered customers a rare apology Friday for the quality of the company's new mapping application, acknowledging the fierce criticism the software has generated among users, Computer World and the Wall Street Journal report.

Architects Call for Redesign of L.A. Convention Center Hall

Citing serious concerns, a group of high-profile architects advising Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the downtown football stadium is recommending a redesign of the Convention Center hall that is part of the project, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Panic a No-Show for Carmageddon II

Forget about panic. This weekend's big closure along the 405 Freeway in western Los Angeles is prompting little more than a ho-hum and a few worries from area businesses and workers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Gundlach Says All Stolen Art Recovered, 2 Arrested

Star bond trader Jeffrey Gundlach, who offered a near-record $1.7-million bounty for the return of his cherished art collection, got word that police have recovered nearly $10 million worth of contemporary art stolen from his Santa Monica home this month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bank of America to Pay $2.43 Billion in Merrill Lynch Suit

Bank of America has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit filed in 2009 by investors following its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times report.

Consumer Spending Rises Along With Prices

U.S. consumer spending posted its biggest increase in six months in August, though the rise reflected higher prices more than a willingness to spend, BusinessWeek and MarketWatch report.

U.S. Consumers More Confident in September

Higher stock prices and rising home values boosted a measure of consumer confidence in September to its second-highest level in nearly five years, the Associated Press reports.

Major Rental Companies to Avoid Recalled Vehicles

The four largest U.S. rental car companies have agreed to park vehicles facing a recall until the defect has been repaired, and lent their support to legislation to make such a policy the law, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fewer Wealthy Americans Say They’re Conservative Investors

Fewer affluent Americans describe themselves as “conservative” investors, suggesting that their tolerance for risk may be rebounding after some tumultuous years, the New York Times reports.

Who's Watching? 3-D TV No Hit with Viewers

Fewer than 115,000 American homes are tuned into 3-D channels at any one time, according to researchers, with the Associated Press reporting that viewership is so tiny that Nielsen Co.'s methods are unable to capture any meaningful data about viewers' programming preferences.

Stocks Down This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 96 points to 13,390. The Nasdaq was down 22 points to 3,114. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 1,437. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 138.

Thursday, September 27

Plan to Privatize L.A. Zoo Stopped

The plan to privatize operations of the Los Angeles Zoo has collapsed, officials with the non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association announced Thursday.

Physicians Formula Accepts Higher Buyout Offer

Azusa cosmetics company Physicians Formula Holdings Inc. has turned down an earlier buyout offer from a San Francisco private equity firm in favor of a higher $74.9 million bid by another local cosmetics company.

Wilshire Grand Demolition to Start Soon

Demolition of the Wilshire Grand hotel in downtown is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Survey: L.A. Businesses Have ‘No Appetite’ for Tax Hike Measures

L.A. County businesses oppose the three major tax measures on the statewide November ballot, according to a survey released Thursday from the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed.

Ralphs Settles Pricing Suit

Ralphs Grocery Co. agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in a settlement with the City of Los Angeles Thursday for overcharging customers for food at deli counters and in other instances where the price of food is determined by its weight.

Stocks Close Up

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 73 points to 13,486. The Nasdaq rose 43 points to 3,137. The S&P 500 gained 14 points to 1,447. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 138.

GDP Revision a Grim Surprise

A series of economic figures out this morning cast fresh gloom on the health of the U.S. economy, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal report.

Initial Jobless Claims Fell Sharply

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell sharply last week and are approaching the level consistent with strong job growth, the Associated Press reports, with Bloomberg News taking a look at how the markets are reacting to the variety of economic reports this morning.

Corporate America Sweats as U.S. Nears Fiscal Cliff

Top U.S. executives have less confidence in the business outlook now than at any time in the past three years – and a key reason is fear of gridlock in Washington over the fiscal deficit and tax policy, Reuters reports.

Banks Fail to Repel Cyber Threat

A shadowy but well organized hacker group in the Middle East has disrupted the electronic banking operations of America's largest financial institutions in recent days, underscoring U.S. vulnerability to online terrorism, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jamie McCourt Sues former Dodgers Owner and Ex-Husband

Jamie McCourt, ex-wife of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, has filed a motion to set aside the couple's divorce settlement, claiming he committed fraud by vastly understating the team's value, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Firms Overhaul Health Coverage

Two big employers are planning a radical change in the way they provide health benefits to their workers, giving employees a fixed sum of money and allowing them to choose their medical coverage and insurer from an online marketplace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Beyond Wall St., Curbs on High-Speed Trades Proceed

After years of emulating the flashy U.S. stock markets, countries around the globe are now using America as a model for what they don’t want to look like, the New York Times reports.

Finding Fame, and Sometimes Fortune, in Social Media

Social media have made it easier than ever to catapult from obscurity to prominence. In recent years, the Web has blossomed into a more egalitarian version of “American Idol,” where nobodies compete for attention alongside somebodies, the New York Times reports.

Why Men Are Failing in This New Economy

In Hanna Rosin's provocative new book "The End of Men: And the Rise of Women" she argues that women have gained a competitive advantage over men in the workplace, Yahoo Finance's Daily Ticker reports.

Stocks Rebound Slightly

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 15 points to 13,428. The Nasdaq added 16 points to 3,109. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,438. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 138.

Wednesday, September 26

Xirrus Raises $23.5 Million in Financing

Xirrus, a maker of Wi-Fi network technology, has closed a $23.5 million financing round.

Kythera Expects Price Range for $60 Million IPO

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals has moved closer to launching an initial public offering of 4 million shares that it expects will price at $14 to $16 a share, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Stocks Close Down

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 44 points to 13,413. The Nasdaq dropped 24 points to 3,093. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 1,433. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 137.

U.S. Bancorp Prepares for Cyber Attack

In the wake of recent cyber attacks that have hit Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., U.S. Bancorp is the next major financial institution expected to be targeted by a hacking group today, the Los Angeles Times reports. Wells Fargo was hit on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

L.A. City Council OKs Hike in Power Rates

The Los Angeles City Council has tentatively approved an 11.1 percent electricity rate hike over the next two years, and the Department of Water and Power warned that more increases are coming, the Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times report. Businesses can expect to see their bills increase $15 a month from the current hike.

Home Price Index Hits 2-Year High

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index says home prices in the nation's biggest cities have risen to their highest level in nearly two years, which the Los Angeles Times reports is an indication that a strong summer selling season helped put real estate on its most stable ground since crashing five years ago. The Wall Street Journal looks at why the index has become the favored benchmark of many economists in recent years.

Study: U.S. CEO Confidence Tumbles to 3-Year Low

Reuters reports that U.S. chief executives' view of the economy deteriorated sharply in the third quarter and is now as bleak as it was in the immediate aftermath of the last recession, according to the Business Roundtable's CEO Economic Outlook Index.

Andy Williams, 'Moon River' Singer, Dies at 84

Andy Williams, the affable, boyishly handsome crooner who defined both easy listening and wholesome, easygoing charm for many American pop music fans in the 1960s, died on Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Mo., the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter report.

Drama Behind the Scenes of the Fox Deal

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. discussed a possible purchase of Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation before the two sides announced a distribution agreement, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Muslim Prophet as Film Subject

A prohibition on depicting the prophet Muhammad has long been sacrosanct, but then came “Innocence of the Muslims.” Now two ex-Muslim filmmakers are seeking to develop biopics, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why Some CEOs Fear Twitter

CEOs are under pressure to appear accessible and "authentic," but the Wall Street Journal reports that social media, with its demands for quick, unscripted updates that can quickly go viral, poses risks for executives.

Exclusive Media Acquires Stake in Millenium Entertainment

Exclusive Media has acquired a minority stake in Nu Image's Millenium Entertainment, The Wrap reports.

NBC Unpacks Trove of Data From Olympics

A study of more than 50,000 people who watched the London Olympics – conducted by Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit as part of its Billion Dollar Research Lab – depict vast shifts in how people watch television, especially with second devices like tablets or smartphones, New York Times reports.

The Guy Behind L.A.'s Asian Night Markets

Forget food trucks. Nighttime street markets are the latest culinary phenomenon, at least in Los Angeles, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. Fashioned after late-night street markets popular across Asia, 626 Night Market brings ethnic food and retail vendors to nostalgic immigrants and L.A. foodies.

Cellphones Are Eating the Family Budget

Heidi Steffen and her husband used to treat themselves most weeks to steak at Sodak Shores, a restaurant overlooking a lake near their hometown of Milbank, S.D. Then they each got an iPhone, and the rib-eyes started making fewer appearances, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Continue Slide

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 12 points to 13,445. The Nasdaq dropped 25 points to 3,092. The S&P 500 fell 5.5 points to 1,436. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 1 point to 137.

Tuesday, September 25

Boingo to Offer Wireless to Small Telecoms

Shares of Boingo Wireless Inc. rose nearly 5 percent on Tuesday after the Santa Monica company said it signed a deal to provide a group of mostly rural wireless telecommunications providers with additional Wi-Fi capacity.

Saban Brands Acquires Digimon Anime Brand

Saban Brands has acquired the popular Japanese anime franchise Digimon for an undisclosed amount.

Stocks Down at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 101 points, or 1 percent, to 13,458. The Nasdaq fell 43 points, or 1 percent, to 3,117. The S&P 500 dropped 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,441. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point, or 1 percent, to 138.

Bomb Scare Affects Radio Stations KNX, KFWB

The Miracle Mile studios of CBS news and talk radio stations KNX 1070-AM and KFWB 980-AM were evacuated Tuesday morning and the stations' broadcasts disrupted for roughly two hours after a report of a suspicious package at their Wilshire Boulevard office building.

Deadline Owner Penske Likely to Buy Variety

Hollywood's 107-year-old industry trade publication Variety and 6-year-old online competitor Deadline, headed by editor Nikki Finke, may soon be housed under the same corporate roof, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Staples to Close Stores, Focus on Online Sales

Staples Inc. plans to close more stores and is pursuing the sale of a European unit as it looks to shift its focus toward online and mobile capabilities, BusinessWeek reports. Cost reductions are expected to save the nation's largest office-supply chain about $250 million a year by the end of fiscal 2015.

AEG Sale Prompts Reassurances

Los Angeles officials promised Monday to take new steps to protect the city's interests in pending agreements for a new downtown NFL stadium now that the company looking to develop the project has been put up for sale, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News report.

Delays Irk American Airlines Passengers

American Airlines and its passengers are struggling with a rise in late and canceled flights spurred by pilot-initiated maintenance requests and a shortage of crew members amid a labor dispute, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tesla Cuts Revenue Outlook

Luxury electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. has cut its revenue target for 2012, warning that it has fallen behind on production goals for its Model S sedan, the Wall Street Journal reports.

California Increases Size of Muni Deal

Strong investor demand allowed California to increase the size of a bond offering by about 13 percent and complete the sale ahead of schedule, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Consumer Confidence Jumps to Seven-Month High

Reuters reports that U.S. consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in seven months in September as Americans were more optimistic about the job market and income prospects, Reuters reports.

Global Ambitions for Nazarian's Katsuya Restaurants

Los Angeles night-life impresario Sam Nazarian has signed a deal with behemoth retail franchise operator M.H. Alshaya to develop 17 Katsuya Japanese restaurants in the Middle East by 2017, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Executive Pay Gets New Spin

A growing number of companies are producing alternative measures of their top executives' pay, seeking to persuade investors that compensation isn't as high as the government's yardstick implies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Gundlach Offers Reward for Return of Stolen Art

Jeffrey Gundlach, one of the world's top bond gurus, has offered a $1.7-million reward for the safe return of art stolen from his Santa Monica home, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Thin Display Drives iPhone 5 Shortfall

Apple Inc.’s decision to create a smartphone that boasts a thinner, lighter touch screen contributed to the component shortfall that caused demand to outstrip supply of the iPhone 5 on its debut weekend, Bloomberg News reports.

Euro Zone Starts Talks Over Centralized Budget

Euro-zone governments have begun discussions about creating a central budget for the currency union aimed at smoothing over some of the region's economic divergences, after Germany indicated support for the idea, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Yahoo to Unveil New Email, Ad Strategy

Internet search provider Yahoo is about to embark on renewed efforts improve its search capabilities and advertising platforms, two areas of its business operation that have weighed on profitability and scared off investors, AllThingsD and CNBC report.

Stocks on the Rise This Morning

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 46 points to 13,604. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 3,174. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to 1,462. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 140.

Monday, September 24

Report: Soon-Shiong, Guggenheim Linked in AEG Bid

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong reportedly is assembling an investor group to make a bid for Anschutz Entertainment Group, with a news service saying that one of the Los Angeles billionaire’s partners is the Chicago private-equity firm that recently bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Clearlake Capital Acquires New Jersey Tech Firm

Clearlake Capital Group LP said that it has acquired most of the assets of Mformation Technologies Inc., a provider of mobile-device management software that recently had a favorable legal judgment overturned on appeal.

Ten PacWest Bank Branches Become Part of Opus

Ten Southern California branches of Pacific Western Bank have been rebranded as Opus Bank.

Stocks Open Down

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points to 13,558. The Nasdaq fell 19 points to 3,161. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,456. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

AEG Chief Says Firm Still Set on NFL Goal

Anschutz Entertainment Group Chief Executive Tim Leiweke has been on defense with business and political leaders who felt blindsided since the news broke that AEG had been put up for sale, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: L.A./Ontario Airport Negotiations Should Continue

A new report urges the city of Los Angeles to continue talks with government officials from the Inland Empire to determine if there is a way to transfer control of the struggling airport to them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Improved Sunset Boulevard Bridge Reopens

LA’s best-known boulevard now has a bigger, better span across the city's busiest freeway – the 405. The eight-lane Sunset Boulevard bridge reopened today, five days before "Carmageddon II," Southern California Public Radio reports.

'Free' Checking Costs More

So-called free checking accounts are more expensive than ever, as the lumbering economy and new regulations squeeze bank revenues, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple’s Feud With Google Now Felt on iPhone

Once the best of friends, Google and Apple are battling in courtrooms and in the consumer marketplace, with iPhone users in the cross-fire after Apple removed Google’s mapping app and YouTube, the New York Times reports.

SAT Reading, Writing Test Scores Drop to Lowest Levels

Average SAT scores for high school students declined by 1 point for reading and writing to their lowest levels while math matched last year’s result in the exam used for admission at most U.S. colleges, Bloomberg News reports.

Makeover of 777 Agitates Boeing

The Wall Street Journal reports that Boeing Co. is wrestling with one of the thorniest problems in business: How and when do you replace a successful product?

App Helps Drivers Find Private Parking Spots

Parking Panda is a parking reservation service that allows drivers to find and book parking spots directly through their smartphones. Reuters reports that it also lets those with empty driveways earn extra cash by renting theirs out.

Stocks Open Down

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 24 points to 13,555. The Nasdaq fell 19 points to 3,161. The S&P 500 fell 3.5 points to 1,456. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

News of the Week

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

Being True to the School

When banker Cecil Adams visited Westview School to arrange a loan, he never imagined it would become his favorite charity.

New Agency Will Work to Strike Up the Brand

LAUNCH: Quantasy aims to boost pop-culture profile of clients’ products.

Former executives from Disney, NBCUniversal and Yahoo have joined to launch digital marketing agency Quantasy.

Hard Lessons Pay Off for School Furniture Maker

MANUFACTURING: Harsh Virco cutbacks fuel surge in earnings, share value.

School furniture maker Virco’s stock is making the grade after a profitable quarter.

Heimlich Device Tough To Swallow?

Maker of anti-choking product hopes buyers go with their guts.

Company hopes customers get all choked up over its Heimlich Helper.

Wall Street Digs Pickups By Gas and Oil Company

ENERGY: BreitBurn taps acquisition strategy to offset price volatility.

BreitBurn’s oil and gas acquisitions have fueled a rise in the company’s share value.

Suitor Gives Medical Testing Company Shot in Arm

HEALTH CARE: Iris shares hit 52-week high in wake of bid from Danaher.

When a tech conglomerate looked at Chatsworth medical testing company Iris International Inc., it liked what it saw – enough to pay a 45 percent premium to buy it.

Done with Demand Letters

Charles Crumpley writes that business owners actually got something good from Sacramento last week.

Linking Up With Pen Pals

Website of commercial scripts now also lines up writers for clients.

Website of commercial scripts now links clients with stable of writers.

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3-D Image Firm Gets Flattened

BIOTECH: FDA snub pushes Imaging3 into bankruptcy.

Imaging3 files for bankruptcy as its 3-D imaging system has yet to take shape.

Roomba Maker Sweeps Into Cheaper Robotics

Manufacturing: IRobot hopes it will clean up with purchase of Pasadena firm.

Robotic rival hopes to clean up with purchase of Evolution Robotics and its mechanized sweepers.

Inside the Box

SHIPPING: Shipito.com is connecting with online shoppers looking to send packages overseas.

Shipito sees its overseas service as a package deal for online shoppers.

Taking Crack At Sidewalk Sponsors

Hollywood group turns to businesses to help shine up Walk of Fame.

Hollywood group wants companies to take a shine to sponsoring the star-studded Walk of Fame.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

L.A. Startup Gets Hollywood Stars Going Mobile

Video games: Moonshark spins Apple app with Spiderman creator Stan Lee.

With so many mobile games coming to market, it’s no small challenge to get droves of gamers to discover any one in particular.

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Card Punchers

SPECIAL REPORT: Banking & Finance Quarterly

The growing prepaid debit card market has drawn in a wide range of providers including celebrities and L.A. County’s transit agency.

Firm Sees Downtown L.A. Move as Good Sign

RELOCATION: CBRE’s name to crown company’s new Hope Street office.

Downtown L.A.’s skyline will soon have a new name up in lights.

Data bank

Calendar and Events

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Chicken?

Fake-meat maker hopes consumers brave product

Beyond Meat sees a real sales future for its fake plant-based “chicken” strips.

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Port Can’t Navigate Acquisition of Headquarters

REAL ESTATE: Purchase of Legacy Partners tower stalls amid infighting.

Nearly a year after Long Beach harbor commissioners deadlocked on a plan to move port headquarters into a downtown office building, the port isn’t any closer to finding a new home.

TV Channel Turns To French Accent To Woo Audience

Cinémoi hopes to channel frustration with the reality show glut into viewership for its arty and foreign fare.

Overseas Steaks Rise in Mideast

Dining: Innovative Dining adds Abu Dhabi to menu.

Innovative Dining Group looks to beef up operations by bringing its steakhouse brand to the Middle East.

Friday, September 21

County Jobless Rate Dips to 11 Percent

L.A. County continued its summer jobs stall in August as the county lost about 10,000 jobs due in large part to seasonal cuts in education, according to state figures released Friday.

KB Home Moves to a Profit

Shares of KB Home jumped more than 16 percent on Friday after the Los Angeles homebuilder said it swung to a profit in its fiscal third quarter after delivering more homes at higher prices.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week. The broader markets slipped slightly Friday after rallying most of the week following positive action by the Federal Reserve.

Stocks Close Mixed

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down less than 1 point to 13,579. The Nasdaq rose 4 points to 3,179. The S&P 500 fell less than 1 point to 1,460. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Apple Makes Wrong Turn on Mapping App

Apple Inc.'s move to replace Google Inc.'s mapping software on its mobile devices sparked a world-wide consumer backlash, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times report, marking a rare strategic blunder.

Fund Manager Jeffrey Gundlach's Home is Burglarized

Burglars stole millions of dollars' worth of artwork and other items from DoubleLine Capital founder Jeffrey Gundlach's Santa Monica home, the Los Angeles Times reports.

VICA Opposes Mandatory Condoms in Adult Films

The Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the San Fernando Valley's largest business advocacy group, is siding with the adult film industry in its opposition to Measure B, arguing that forcing adult film actors to wear condoms would result in thousands of lost jobs, the Contra Costa Times reports.

Campanile Closing to Make Way for New Bistro

Campanile, the seminal L.A. restaurant founded by Mark Peel and his then-wife Nancy Silverton, is closing, the Los Angeles Times reports. Prolific restaurateur Bill Chait and critically acclaimed chef Walter Manzke have sealed a deal to take over the space with plans to install a bistro and bakery called Republique.

Trade Growth to Plunge Below 20-Year Average

World trade will grow by a mere 2.5 percent this year, dragged down by Europe to less than half of the previous 20-year average, the World Trade Organization said on Friday, Reuters reports.

European Regulators Approve Universal’s Purchase of EMI

European regulators on Friday approved a reduced version of Universal Music’s $1.9 billion takeover of EMI Music, allowing Universal to expand its dominance as the world’s largest music company but significantly paring down its ambitions, the New York Times reports.

Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Doctors Cut from L.A. Health Plan

In a bold cost-cutting move, Anthem Blue Cross has eliminated doctors affiliated with Cedars-Sinai and UCLA hospitals from a health plan offered to about 60,000 employees and dependents at the cash-strapped city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SEC Said to Scrutinize Private Equity on Share of Payout

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to determine whether some private-equity firms are taking more profits from investments than they should under agreements with fund clients, sources tell Bloomberg News.

U.S. Seeks to Patch Laundering Net

U.S. regulators are proposing to enlist companies across the financial sector – and possibly beyond – as a front-line defense against money laundering, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What If Rich Countries Shut the Door on Immigration?

Amid a global recession, catastrophic rates of unemployment in developed countries and a rising tide of xenophobia, Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School warns that anti-immigrant policies under discussion would not only harm communities the world over but be counterproductive, Time reports.

Stocks Rise in Morning Trading

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 38 points to 13,634. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 3,190. The S&P 500 was up 4 points to 1,464. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 140.

Thursday, September 20

Hollywood Chamber Hires Law Firm

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said that it engaged the law firm of Sheppard Mullin to intervene in lawsuits challenging the Hollywood Community Plan update.

Reliance Steel to Make Alabama Acquisition

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said that a subsidiary is buying GH Metal Solutions Inc., a steel processor and fabricator in Alabama, for an undisclosed amount.

Image Entertainment Shareholders Approve Merger

Shareholders of Image Entertainment Inc. have approved a merger with RLJ Acquisition Inc., the company said.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 19 points to 13,596. The Nasdaq fell 7 points to 3,175. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,460. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 1 point to 139.

Sale of AEG Throws L.A. a Curve

As sports fans, real estate developers and politicians digested the big listing of the week – that billionaire Philip Anschutz is putting AEG up for sale -- they also wondered about the timing of the deal and what it would mean for L.A.’s quest to bring an NFL franchise back to the city, the Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times report.

Los Angeles Angels of Industry?

Angels executives have had preliminary talks about moving the Major League Baseball franchise from Anaheim to the City of Industry, sources tell the Los Angeles Daily News. While executives at Majestic Realty Co. are still working hard to bring a National Football League team to Industry, they apparently are open to building a baseball stadium instead.

Low-Income SoCal Households Had Biggest Recession Losses

People of all income levels across Southern California suffered losses during and after the Great Recession, but the Los Angeles Times reports that the lowest fifth of households took the biggest hit, according to new census data.

Bank of America Ramps Up Job Cuts

Bank of America Corp. is accelerating a broad cost-cutting plan and has set a target of shedding 16,000 jobs by year's end — cuts that would see the company relinquish its title as the U.S. banking industry's largest employer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

U.S. Approves California Bullet Train Construction

The Obama administration on Wednesday gave the first formal regulatory approval to the California High-Speed Rail Authority's plan to construct a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco, clearing a major legal hurdle to starting the project in the Central Valley, Reuters and the Huffington Post report.

BlackBerry Maker Faces More Pressure

Just days after Apple Inc.’s big iPhone 5 launch last week, the pressure has now intensified for Blackberry maker, Research In Motion Ltd., which next week will host a developer conference in Silicon Valley and report its fiscal second quarter, MarketWatch reports.

Report: California Is Benefiting from a Tech Boom

The quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast released Thursday says California's tech boom is bolstering the economy and new jobs are being created every month. But the state's employment gains in the last year could be offset by losses should conditions in China and Europe worsen substantially, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chick-fil-A Vows To Stop Donating to Anti-Gay Groups

Chick-fil-A will no longer donate money to anti-gay groups or discuss hot-button political issues after an executive's controversial comments this summer landed the fast-food chain in the middle of the gay marriage debate, the New York Times and Chicago Tribune report.

Meet the New Boss: Big Data

At an increasing number of companies, the hiring boss for rank and file jobs is now an algorithm – and the computers are considering factors that are very different than what applicants have come to expect, the Wall Street Journal reports.

DWP Warns Customers of Over-The-Phone Scam

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has warned the public about a scam where customers are told they must pay their bill with a pre-paid cash card, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Vegas Bet on Chinese VIPs Raises Red Flags With Feds

For Las Vegas casinos, Chinese high rollers have become a godsend. But the gamblers have attracted the "junket" business, which law enforcement officials have long suspected of money laundering and organized crime, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Fall in Morning Trading

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points to 13,553. The Nasdaq was down 12 point to 3,170. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,456. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 1 point to 139.

Wednesday, September 19

Thomas Properties, Calstrs Buys Austin Office Portfolio

Thomas Properties Group and the California State Teachers' Retirement System announced that their new joint venture has bought out partners in eight office buildings in Austin, Texas to gain full ownership of the properties.

RGM Group Gets Capital Infusion

RGM Group said that it raised $21 million in a funding round and has brought on a new chief executive.

Saban Brands Acquires Kid-Safe Online Content Provider

Saban Brands has acquired Zui, a child-friendly Internet portal based in San Diego, for an undisclosed amount.

Stocks Close Up

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 13 points to 13,578. The Nasdaq rose 5 point to 3,183. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,461. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 140.

Anschutz Puts AEG on the Block

L.A. sports and entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group – whose holdings include L.A. Live and Staples Center – is being shopped for sale by parent Anschutz Co., the Business Journal and Los Angeles Times report. L.A. billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong may be a possible bidder.

Brown Signs Workers' Comp Bill

A major overhaul of California's $17-billion workers' compensation insurance program has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee report. The package would boost payments to permanently disabled victims of on-the-job accidents by about $740 million a year and hand employers a major break on workers' compensation insurance premiums.

Gates, Buffett Again Top Forbes' Billionaires List

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remains the nation's richest man by far, as the tech and philanthropy giant took the top spot on the Forbes 400 list for the 19th year running with a net worth of $66 billion. The Huffington Post says that despite the increasing debate over the widening gap between rich and poor, a deeper analysis of the list instills confidence that the American dream is still very much alive.

Runaway Production Costs State $3 Billion in Film Crew Wages

Burbank's Entertainment Partners, the film industry’s largest payroll service company, says California lost 90,000 jobs and $3 billion in wages from 2004 to 2011 as film and TV production shifted to other states and countries, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A.'s Business Tax Holiday Extended

The Los Angeles City Council in a preliminary vote extended its policy of exempting new businesses from paying a gross receipts tax for their first three years of operation, the Los Angeles Daily News and Southern California Public Radio report.

Existing Home Sales Jump to 2-Year High in U.S.

The National Association of Realtors says that the pace of U.S. home resales rose in August to its fastest in more than two years and groundbreaking on homes also climbed, which CNBC reports are signs that a budding housing market recovery is gaining traction.

Buying Cheaper Than Renting in 100 U.S. Cities

Online property tracker Trulia says buying a home now is more affordable than renting in all 100 U.S. largest metro areas it tracks, the Orange County Register reports.

CBS' Nancy Tellem Hired to Form New Xbox Studio

In a significant bet that a technology company can compete with Hollywood to produce original video content, the Los Angeles Times reports that Microsoft Corp. has hired Nancy Tellem, the longtime entertainment president of the CBS network, to run a new production studio in Los Angeles.

Media Veterans in eBook Publishing Venture

Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, and theater and film producer Scott Rudin and publishing veteran Frances Coady have teamed up to create a new publishing venture, The Wrap and Publishers Weekly report.

Samsung Denies Galaxy S4 Report

A day after reports that Samsung plans to announce a follow up to its popular iPhone rival, the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Korean company has taken to Twitter to deny them, CNN reports.

Apple, Publishers to Settle EU Antitrust Probe

The European Commission says Apple and four major publishers have offered to let retailers such as Amazon sell e-books at a discount for two years to end a European Union antitrust investigation, CNBC reports.

Stocks Up in Early Trading

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points to 13,604. The Nasdaq rose 4 point to 3,182. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,462. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 140.

Tuesday, September 18

Anschutz Says AEG Is for Sale

L.A. sports and entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group is being shopped for sale by parent Anschutz Co., the company confirmed late Tuesday.

Disney to Refinance Joint-Venture Theme Park in Paris

Walt Disney Co. said that it will provide the equivalent of $1.73 billion to restructure debt at the Disneyland Paris resort, but quashed rumors that it plans to buy out the other shareholders in the European joint venture.

Burbank Imaging Firm Files for Chapter 11

Burbank medical device company Imaging3 Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced.

Report: DirecTV Interested in Vivendi’s Brazilian Business

DirecTV reportedly is among several companies interested in acquiring Brazilian phone and Internet service operator GVT, according to a news report.

RadNet to Refinance Debt

RadNet Inc., which operates a network of diagnostic-imaging outpatient centers, said that it wants to borrow as much as $455 million to refinance its debt.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 12 points to 13,564. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 3,177. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,459. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 140.

Northrop to Shed Nearly 600 SoCal Jobs

Responding to proposed Pentagon budget cuts, Northrop Grumman Corp. has accepted buyouts from about 590 workers in its aerospace unit, most of whom are in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bid to Overturn Pot Shop Ban Qualifies for L.A. Ballot

Activists seeking to strike down a ban on medical marijuana outlets in Los Angeles saw their challenge qualify for the ballot on Monday, which the Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times report deals a setback to the city's crackdown.

Dole Sells Two Businesses for $1.7 Billion

Japanese trading company Itochu Corp. on Tuesday confirmed that it has agreed to buy Dole Food Co.'s worldwide packaged foods and Asian fresh produce businesses for $1.7 billion, Reuters reports.

Business Group's Stand on Tax Measures Sparks Protest

The Ventura County Economic Development Association is facing a revolt by some of its members and allies for opposing Propositions 30 and 38, which are intended to benefit public schools, the Ventura County Star reports.

FedEx Says Economy Is Stalling, Cuts Outlook

FedEx Corp. cut its fiscal year forecast, citing slow trade and high fuel prices that are hurting the economy, Bloomberg News reports.

Warner Bros. Targets Counterfeit Products on Amazon

Following a round of lawsuits in July, Warner Bros.’ home entertainment division filed another 21 lawsuits last week, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The studio is going after those who sell discounted DVDs at the reseller venue Amazon Marketplace.

More Billionaires Sign On to Giving Money Away

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have persuaded 11 more of their billionaire peers to promise to give away half of their wealth, the Wall Street Journal reports, including tech luminaries Gordon Moore and Reed Hastings.

Success of Crowdfunding Puts Pressure on Entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo are letting designers and other creative people connect with audiences who want to finance their dreams, and they are becoming increasingly popular. But the New York Times reports that for the creators of these projects, getting the money is sometimes the easy part.

Hispanic Business Leaders Meet in L.A.

Southern California Public Radio reports that Hispanic business leaders, meeting at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention this week in downtown Los Angeles, complain that small firms have been unable to quickly hire new employees because it’s too hard to get bank loans.

Child's Play: Food Makers Hook Kids on Mobile Games

U.S. food companies are reaching children by embedding their products in simple and enticing games for touch-screen phones and tablets. The Wall Street Journal reports that the new medium is far cheaper than Saturday morning TV commercials and could prove as effective.

Weight-Loss Surgery’s Health Benefits Found to Have Costs

Obese people who have weight-loss surgery gain at least six years of health benefits that include fewer diabetes cases and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Even so, their medical costs didn’t drop, Bloomberg News reports.

Morning Stocks Mixed

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 2 points to 13,556. The Nasdaq was down 1 point to 3,177. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,459. The LABJ Stock Index was down 1 point to 140.

Monday, September 17

IRobot to Acquire Pasadena’s Evolution Robotics

IRobot Corp., maker of the Roomba floor cleaner and other robotic devices, said that it plans to acquire privately held Evolution Robotics Inc., developer of a competing line of floor-cleaning robots.

Gores Group to Acquire Texas Cloud Services Firm

Gores Group said that through an affiliate it has acquired Astadia Inc., a cloud computing consulting and systems integrator.

Stocks Down at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 40 points to 13,553. The Nasdaq was down 9 points to 3,178. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,461. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 141.

Danaher to Buy Iris International

Danaher Corp. has agreed to buy Chatsworth medical test maker Iris International Inc. in a deal worth about $341 million, the Associated Press and Reuters report, as the Washington, D.C. conglomerate looks to expand in the medical diagnostics business.

Westfield Picks Century Plaza Towers for U.S. Headquarters

Australian shopping center giant Westfield, which owns some of the largest shopping centers in Southern California, will move its U.S. headquarters to Century Plaza Towers, twin 44-story skyscrapers in the heart of Century City, the Los Angeles Times reports. Also, read the Business Journal’s earlier story on the move.

L.A. To Get Boost from Game Developers' Gatherings

Downtown Los Angeles will play host to thousands of game geeks next year as part of a three-year contract for the Game Developers Conference Next, pumping an estimated $18.8 million into the local economy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Balks at GM Plan to Sell Shares

The Treasury Department is resisting a push by General Motors Co. to sell the government's entire stake in the auto maker. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is the latest source of tension between two unlikely partners.

Apple Says Latest iPhone Set New Sales Record

Apple Inc. said customers placed more than 2 million preorders for the iPhone 5 on the first day it was available, doubling previous results and exceeding initial supply of the smartphone, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal report.

Report: Financial Crisis Cost Americans $12.8 Trillion

Better Markets, a pro-financial reform Wall Street watchdog, has released what it is calling the "first-ever" report totaling the loss of American wealth since Lehman filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. Its tally: $12.8 trillion, Yahoo Finance reports.

As Drought Hits Corn, Biotechs See Opportunity

The worst U.S. drought in half a century is withering the nation's corn crop, but it's a fertile opportunity for makers of genetically modified crops, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SEC Keeps Wary Eye on Exchanges

Exchanges are bracing for greater scrutiny from the top U.S. securities regulator as it clamps down on their efforts to bolster profits by pumping out products that increasingly have catered to high-speed traders, the Wall Street Journal reports.

U.S. To File WTO Charges on China

The Obama administration has announced that it will file new World Trade Organization complaints against China, charging Beijing with violations on automobiles and automobile parts, Bloomberg News and the New York Times report.

The Return of Facebook's Winklevoss Twins

The Winklevoss twins lost the biggest social-network showdown ever when their rival, Mark Zuckerberg, walked away with Facebook. The Wall Street Journal reports that the two are trying again with a social network for professional investors.

Shine Comes Off Euro Membership

With Europe still in the grips of a financial crisis, the EU countries yet to join the single currency are making increasingly negative noises about entry, CNBC reports.

Stocks Down This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 24 points to 13,569. The Nasdaq was down 13 points to 3,173. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,462. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 141.

Market Chain Looks to Shelve Its European Chic

GROCERY: Fresh & Easy hopes

Struggling Fresh & Easy chain says it has more in store for shoppers after revamping interiors and product mix.

Tease photo

Berth Pains

Long Beach port expansion could sink businesses

Cargo expansion plans could torpedo a longtime eatery and other businesses at Long Beach port.

data bank

Calendar and Events

Sound Approach for Headphones?

LSTN donates money

Headphones company hopes to make noise with donations to hearing-aid charity.

Some Firms Look to Reverse Their Share Fortunes

INVESTMENT: Analyst cautions stock splits don’t often work long term.

Some local public companies have gone forward with reverse stock splits to shore up share value.

Tease photo

Three Shore Up Redondo Plans

DEVELOPMENT: Council narrows field for pier project.

Redondo Beach is getting closer to picking a plan that would redo its expansive shorefront.

Picture-Perfect Milestone

Jay Silverman shoots,

Jay Silverman says his 5,000 shoots in 40 years were over in a flash.

Bidding for Lots of Bucks

Los Angeles magazine has lots riding on its auction for advertising space.

Shoot First, Start Photo Business Later

By day, George T. Brandon is an executive with the downtown L.A. law firm Morris Polich & Purdy LLP. But at night, you might catch him among the throngs of photographers on the red carpet shooting Oprah Winfrey or Tom Cruise.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Cities Could Use Some Protection From Bankruptcy

Rod Wilson calls on public officials to deal openly and honestly with their financial shortfalls.

Best-Seller Hit, Miss for Maker

VIDEO GAMES: ‘Darksiders’ casts pall over THQ’s future.

Analysts are talking apocalypse after THQ’s Four Horsemen title fails to score.

Stomp Out the Toms Shoes Model

Charles Crumpley would like to stamp out the business model started by Toms Shoes.

Group Exercise

INTERNET: Invested.in’s ‘crowdfunding’ sites have clicked with celebs and startups.

Invested.in looks to jump-start a ‘crowdfunding’ alternative to Kickstarter.

Guitar Equipment Maker Plugs Into More Space

LEASE: Line 6 extends and expands with pair of deals valued at $9 million.

Guitar equipment manufacturer Line 6 Inc. has renewed and expanded its headquarters lease in Calabasas.

Dogs Have Their Day

Business owners have few options in putting leash on owners’ penchant for bringing Fido everywhere.

Pet-peeved business owners have few options to keep out customers’ dogs, according to Jeff Briggs.

Investors Rushing to Get Piece of Restaurant’s Pie

DINING: Dividend and share repurchase program lift Cheesecake Factory.

Hungry investors push stock of Cheesecake Factory to 52-week high.

Employers Hope Workers’ Comp Costs Slip, Fall

INSURANCE: Fraudulent claims among problems targeted by reform package.

Business owners are placing a premium on workers’ comp reform that aims to rein in costs.

Barbie Boards Cruise Line For Marketing Adventure

Hospitality: Royal Caribbean offering Mattel doll package at premium.

Mattel’s Barbie is hitting the high seas on board a themed cruise from Royal Caribbean.

‘We’ll All Be Using Our Phone to Pay, Not Plastic’

Mobile wallets could pocket customers currently using debit cards

University, Industry Group Help Forge Internet Links

ADVERTISING: MSchool program trains employees for digital campaigns.

Industry group links with Loyola Marymount to educate workers for digital campaigns.

News of the Week

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

Underwater World Looks to Make Digital Splash

GAMES: Wemo might follow up theBlu with alien or studio-linked project.

Wemo Media’s Venice offices aren’t too far from the beach, and that makes sense given its first product: a computer-animated underwater world called theBlu.

Long Beach Supermarkets Check Out, Check In

GROCERY: Food 4 Less and Gelson’s to replace Ralphs and Albertsons.

Long Beach will lose two major grocery stores within one mile of each other before the year is out, but will get in their place one upscale store and one downscale store.

Attorney Hopes to Make Case as Content Producer

ENTERTAINMENT: Jordan Yospe to split time between law firm and new gig.

Jordan Yospe has long been known for having one of the more unusual practices in entertainment law.

Friday, September 14

Turnaround Efforts Boost Virco’s Profit

Shares of Virco Mfg Corp. soared 78 percent on Friday after the maker of institutional furniture reported 163 percent higher second-quarter net income on improved gross margins.

Port Traffic Dips in L.A. But Increases in Long Beach

After solid growth for most of the year, cargo traffic at the Port of Los Angeles dipped slightly in August, according to figures released Friday. Traffic was up at the neighboring Port of Long Beach, which has seen its cargo numbers decline in most months this year.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies gained for the week as the broader markets reacted to the Federal Reserve’s stimulus package.

Stocks Rally Moderates

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 54 points to 13,593. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to 3,183. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,465. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 141.

Apple Stops Taking iPhone 5 Orders

Apple stopped taking iPhone 5 pre-orders after less than 8 hours on Friday, suggesting a feverish demand, the Associated Press and ComputerWorld report.

Tax on Amazon Purchases Begins Saturday

Online retailer Amazon.com has tried to become all things to all consumers, but the Associated Press reports that in California it is about to take on a role it has fought against for years: tax collector.

Disney Takes $50 Million Write-Down on Canceled Project

Walt Disney Co. will take a $50 million write-down in the current fiscal quarter for a stop-motion animation project it canceled in August, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fed Surprises Markets

The Federal Reserve has managed to surprise a well-primed Wall Street with aggressive commitments to ease until the economy shows signs of healing, but CNBC and Reuters speculate on how long the stock rally might last.

Retail Sales, Consumer Prices Rise

U.S. retail sales continued to rebound in August, buoyed by increased spending at auto dealerships and on gasoline, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NYSE to Pay $5 Million Penalty to SEC

NYSE Euronext agreed to pay a $5 million penalty to settle allegations that it gave some New York Stock Exchange customers an "improper head start" on trading information – the first time the SEC has ever brought a case that resulted in a penalty against an exchange, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NYC Bans Big Sugary Drinks at Restaurants

Over a decade, New York City has outlawed smoking in bars and offices, banned trans fats, and forced fast-food restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus. The Associated Press reports that the Big Apple has set its sights on sugary beverages with a first-in-the-nation rule.

Buyout Boom an Inside Job

Private-equity firms are buying and selling companies more this year than in any of the last five thanks largely to one industry: their own. The Wall Street Journal reports that some $28 billion in U.S. deals between private-equity shops have been announced this year, more than double the amount for all of last year.

Whole Foods CEO: Why We Pay Employees More Than We Have To

One of the United States' biggest economic problems right now is the growing disparity between rich and poor. Yahoo Finance reports that one factor exacerbating that problem is the loss of good-paying middle-class jobs -- replaced by low-paying retail and service jobs -- with one exception the growing specialty grocery chain Whole Foods.

Stocks Continue Rally

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 62 points to 13,601. The Nasdaq rose 33 points to 3,188. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,469. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 142.

Thursday, September 13

Response Genetics’ Stock Zooms After GlaxoSmithKline Invests

Shares of Response Genetics Inc. jumped nearly 40 percent on Thursday after the Los Angeles diagnostic test developer said it raised $8.8 million in a private placement of its stock, mostly acquired by British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Wells Fargo Bank Renews Lease at Namesake Tower

Wells Fargo Bank has signed a 10-year lease renewal at Wells Fargo Tower in downtown Los Angeles, said the building’s owner, MPG Office Trust Inc.

Stocks Close Up

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 207 points, or 1.5 percent, to 13,539. The Nasdaq rose 42 points, or more than 1 percent, to 3,155. The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or nearly 2 percent to 1,460. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or more than 1 percent, to 141.

Markets: Fed Will Deliver, Question Is How Much

The Federal Reserve appears set to launch a third round of unconventional monetary stimulus today while signaling that a weak U.S. economy may warrant ultra-low interest rates for at least another three years, Reuters reports.

Investors Wary Over Giant Aerospace Deal

Two European defense giants – Airbus parent company European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. and BAE Systems – said they were in merger talks to create the world's largest aerospace company, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times report, causing a drop in stocks of both companies today.

The California Man Behind the Anti-Islam Film

The search for those behind the provocative, anti-Muslim film implicated in violent protests in Egypt and Libya led to a California Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes who acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production, the Associated Press reports.

Facebook Outperforming Google in Browsing Ad Revenue

Facebook Inc. is doing a better job than Google Inc. in getting Web surfers to click on advertising, according to partners using the social network’s ad service that debuted in June, Bloomberg News reports.

Should You Buy the iPhone 5? It Depends

The iPhone 5 is a vast improvement over the iPhone 4S and it’s sure to be another great and reliable Apple product, but the Los Angeles Times and New York Times report that it is no longer the most technologically advanced phone.

Income Gap Between Rich, Poor Hits New High

The U.S. poverty rate leveled off in 2011, but in California it hit a 16-year high, census data show. Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times report that middle- and lower-income groups in particular took financial hits.

Social Networks Can Affect Voter Turnout, Study Says

A study of millions of Facebook users on Election Day 2010 has found that online social networks can have a measurable if limited effect on voter turnout, the New York Times reports.

Ratepayer Advocate Wants More Time to Examine DWP Proposal

As the L.A. Department of Water and Power prepares its case to raise rates for the first time in years, Southern California Public Radio reports that there’s a new sheriff in town: Dr. Fred Pickel, the ratepayer advocate who’s been on the job for just over half a year.

Stocks Up in Early Trading

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points to 13,364. The Nasdaq gained 6 points to 3,120. The S&P 500 added 2 points to 1,439. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 140.

Wednesday, September 12

Stocks Higher at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 10 points to 13,333. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 3,114. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,437. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Dole in Talks to Sell Units to Japanese Company

Dole Food Co. confirmed that it is in “advanced talks” to sell its packaged foods and Asia fresh food units to Itochu Corp., a large Tokyo trading company.

SpaceX Gets Contract for European Satellite Launches

Space Exploration Technologies and European communications satellite operator SES announced an agreement to launch three additional satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets.

Update: UC Regents Approve Hotel on UCLA Campus

UCLA’s controversial plan to build a 250-room hotel and conference center on campus was approved Thursday afternoon by the University of California Board of Regents, following an endorsement earlier this week by a key committee.

Killings of U.S. Diplomat, Staff in Libya Provoke Outrage

President Obama on Wednesday condemned attacks on a U.S. consulate in eastern Libya that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff, the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press report. Stevens was from northern California, Southern California Public Radio reports. The violence reported was sparked by a film produced by a California real estate developer.

Sugary Drink Tax Question in El Monte to be Watered Down

In something of a victory for restaurateurs, a judge has struck down the city of El Monte’s proposed title and summary of a sugary drinks tax measure on the November ballot as too partisan and ordered the city to change the wording, the Business Journal reports.

High Expectations for Today's iPhone 5 Event

The new iPhone 5 has to be more than just another smartphone as it carries the weight of Apple Inc.'s future on its slim frame, the Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal report.

TheStreet Buys The Deal

The Wall Street Journal reports that TheStreet Inc. has paid $5.8 million for mergers-and-acquisition publication The Deal, and plans to close the magazine and lay off its staff.

Jennifer Lopez Gets Stake in NuvoTV

For eight years, NuvoTV has struggled for attention from audiences and advertisers. The Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News report that the Glendale independent television channel -- which targets English-speaking Latinos – can boast a new owner certain to draw a crowd: Jennifer Lopez.

M-Go to Announce Studio Deals

M-Go, a Burbank online entertainment service founded by DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor, is expected to announce today that it has signed licensing deals with five of the six major Hollywood studios, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jury: Francis Now Owes Wynn $40 Million

A Los Angeles jury, which earlier this week awarded $20 million in damages to casino mogul Steve Wynn in his slander suit against "Girls Gone Wild" producer Joe Francis, has added another $20 million in punitive damages, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Beverly Hills Hotel to be Designated Landmark

Beverly Hills officials, along with Dionne Warwick, today will commemorate the 100th birthday of Sunset Boulevard's Beverly Hills Hotel and honor it as the city's first historic landmark, Curbed LA reports.

Digital Media Trailblazer Bob Lambert Dies

Bob Lambert, a widely respected former Walt Disney Co. executive who played a pivotal role in the advent of computer animation, died of undisclosed causes Friday at his home in Glendale, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 55.

Musical Not-So-Funny to Mormons

The hit "Book of Mormon" features a sometimes racy story focusing on two young Mormon missionaries who travel to Africa. Southern California Public Radio reports that while Mormons are willing to poke fun about themselves and their faith, they prefer their jokes be Donny and Marie Osmond clean.

Stocks Open Up

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 37 points to 13,360. The Nasdaq was up 5 points to 3,110. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,437. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Tuesday, September 11

KB Home Makes Texas Land Investment

KB Home Inc. said that it intends to develop a master-planned community on a 330-acre former ranch it has acquired in an upscale section of suburban Austin, Texas.

Clearlake Capital Makes Tech Buy

Santa Monica investment firm Clearlake Capital Group L.P. has acquired NetMotion Wireless Inc., a Seattle provider of mobile network technology.

Canadian Firm Acquires ‘Beat The Traffic’ Website

A Canadian company has acquired Beat The Traffic, a Santa Clara company that provides traffic information for local TV stations and other media websites.

Local Exec Among State Business Appointees

Gov. Jerry Brown announced a series of appointments to his business and economic development team, including a former development aide with the Los Angeles mayor’s office.

For 11th Anniversary, a Simpler Ceremony

New York City and other parts of the United States today are marking the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with simpler ceremonies than in years past, marking a shift in the way the nation remembers the 2,977 people lost that day, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times report.

New Downtown Apartment Boom on Horizon

At least 10 buildings with nearly 2,400 units are either under construction or scheduled to break ground in downtown Los Angeles in the next 16 months, the Downtown News reports, noting that a tight market has led to this latest wave of activity.

One Little Phone Could Have a Big Impact

The new iPhone that Apple Inc. plans to unveil this week could do something that the White House, Congress and Federal Reserve have struggled to do: boost the U.S. economy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

GoDaddy Outage Takes Out Small-Business Sites

Thousands and possibly millions of websites hosted by GoDaddy.com went down for several hours on Monday, causing trouble for the mainly small businesses that rely on the service, the Associated Press and TechCrunch report.

Jury Awards Steve Wynn $20 Million in Slander Case

A Los Angeles jury has awarded casino mogul Steve Wynn $20 million in his slander suit against "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis, a sum which the Los Angeles Times reports is 10 times the gambling debt that sparked the dispute.

Survey: Local Employment Prospects Weakening

The Business Journal reports that the jobs picture for Los Angeles may be weakening, according to new Manpower Group study, which says 13 percent of companies surveyed intend to cut staff during the fourth quarter – up sharply from the previous quarter.

State's Consumers More Confident, Still Not Spending

A Chapman University survey says California consumers are feeling a lot better about the economy than they have since the recession began, but are still a little hesitant about opening up their pocketbooks for big ticket items, the Orange County Register reports.

Employer Health Premiums Rise 4 Percent

A national survey shows that health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored coverage rose a moderate 4 percent this year, but the Los Angeles Times reports that rates may climb higher next year.

UBS Whistle-Blower Secures $104 Million Award

Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS banker who told the Internal Revenue Service how the bank helped thousands of Americans evade taxes, secured an IRS award of $104 million, an amount that Bloomberg News reports may be the largest ever for a U.S. whistle-blower.

Digital Domain Files for Chapter 11

Digital Domain Media Group Inc., the digital production company founded by director James Cameron and best known for its work on “Titanic," has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Reuters and Hollywood Reporter report. The Florida company with operations in Los Angeles will sell its operating business to a private investment firm for $15 million.

Tribune Co. Creditor Loses Appeal to Halt Reorganization

An emergency appeal by Aurelius Capital Management to stay Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Co.'s exit from bankruptcy has been dismissed by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Los Angeles Times reports.

College Dream Dashed for Children of the Less-Schooled

A new study says that the odds that a young person in the United States will go to college if their parents haven’t has fallen to 29 percent, one of the lowest rates among developed countries, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Open Higher

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 83 points to 13,337. The Nasdaq was up 6 points to 3,110. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,435. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Monday, September 10

EPA Fines Three L.A. Metal Plating Firms

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced fines totaling nearly $200,000 against three local metal plating and finishing companies.

Cruise Line to Offer Barbie-Themed Trips

Iconic fashion doll Barbie will begin cruising the world with her young fans next year aboard the Royal Caribbean International cruise line, Mattel Inc. announced.

CBRE Makes U.K. Acquisition

CBRE Group Inc. has acquired London real estate investment firm Franc Warwick Chartered Surveyors, which expands the Los Angeles real estate service company’s presence in the United Kingdom.

UTi to Switch CFOs

UTi Worldwide Inc. said that Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Samuels will step down next month, and the company has named a replacement.

Sequential Brands Plans Reverse Stock Split

Sequential Brands Group Inc., the owner of People’s Liberation designer jeans, announced a 1-for-15 reverse split of its common stock. The apparel company said this was an effort to raise its price per share above $1, and facilitate the issuance of additional shares in the future.

Stock Close Down

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 52 points to 13,253. The Nasdaq fell 32 points to 3,104. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,429. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Sales Ritz-Carlton Condos Top Halfway Mark

Demand for units at Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live has increased as the region's condominium market rebounds, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Many Signs Point to a Bakersfield Boom

Unlike much of the state, Bakersfield is adding residents and jobs while attracting companies, though the Los Angeles Times reports that the city’s economy has not fully recovered, and the city is hindered by a variety of weaknesses.

Legislative Inaction Feeds State’s Ballot

Many of the measures that Californians see on their ballots are issues that the state's lawmakers could have tackled. The Sacramento Bee takes a deeper look at the issue.

GM's Volt: The Ugly Math of Low Sales, High Costs

Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Chevrolet Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.

Bill Protects Religious Garb in the Workplace

Under the just-signed AB 1964, California employers face new restrictions against shunting Sikh and Muslim workers out of public view for wearing turbans, beards and hijabs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

DreamWorks Animation Unveils 12-Picture Slate

Kicking off its new partnership, 20th Century Fox has scheduled a dozen movies through the middle of 2016, which the Hollywood Reporter says is the most ambitious slate for an animation house in Hollywood history.

U.S. Treasury to Sell More AIG Shares

American International Group's shares fell 2.1 percent on Monday, a day after the Treasury Department said it will sell $18 billion of the insurance company's shares, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stock Mixed in Morning Trading

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 6 points to 13,312. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 3,124. The S&P 500 was down less than 1 point to 1,437. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Regional Reports

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Brothers Launch Mug Shot Paper By Hook, Crook

Brothers hope sales break out big for their newspaper featuring criminal mug shots.

Story Changes For Publisher

Online publisher Demand Media rewrites its revenue story after improving website content.

Off-the-Wall Purchases At the Mall

Clothing store hopes customers get hang of virtual retail displays.

Clothing company looks to sell customers on its wall-mounted digital apparel displays at the mall.

Food Trucks Serve Up Fight

REGULATION: Industry group driving against city laws

Food truck group rolls into court to challenge city restrictions on service.

Parking Lots Seek Brake on Levies

TAXES: City of L.A. proposes up-front payments from owners.

Parking lot operators look to drive off a costly city of L.A. plan to ensure payment of levies.

Born And Bread For Buns

King’s Hawaiian finally sweet on hot dogs, hamburgers.

Bread maker King’s Hawaiian is on the rise with the launch of buns for hot dogs and hamburgers.

Liking Sound Of New Digs

Business speaker series picks Gensler’s designer space to host talks.

Business speaker series has designs on Gensler’s stylish new downtown L.A. office.

Real Estate Rock

Most people let loose on the weekends, but Peter Kay parties like a rock star.

In Plane Sight

AVIATION: Lancaster surveillance service looks to land contracts from other cities.

Civilian surveillance service pursues eye in the sky dreams in cities beyond Lancaster.

Cybersecurity Firm Locks Up New Headquarters

OFFICE: Guidance Software signs year’s largest Pasadena lease.

In Pasadena’s largest lease deal this year, digital forensics and cybersecurity firm Guidance Software Inc. is consolidating its operations into a larger headquarters space.

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Calendar and Events

Cosmetics Company Looks Good on Second Blush

BEAUTY: New bid to take Physicians Formula private drives up stock price.

Cosmetics company Physicians Formula looks good to investors after receiving a second bid to take it private.

Baiting the Hook

Burbank could bring added depth to the Valley by getting a line on fresh fish markets and restaurants.

Victoria Thomas hopes to reel in some fresh-fish dining options for Burbank.

PR Joint Venture Sees Brands as News Worthy

marketing: Freshwire to use journalistic approach to tell clients’ stories online.

PR joint venture Freshwire rounds up former journalists to help companies tell their stories online.

Michigan University Outpost Keeps Jobs in U.S.

Will Akerlof shares lessons he learned from opening a satellite office near Michigan University.

High Time to Rethink Privatizing

Lancaster’s inexpensive aerial surveillance plan has Charles Crumpley thinking lofty thoughts about how other cities can save money.

By the Book

Lisa Bloom followed her famed mother, attorney Gloria Allred, into law, but now the author of a best seller has a new goal: writing one book a year.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, daughter of Gloria Allred, hopes to add to her case load by writing a book every year.

Office Products Deal May Still Look Good on Paper

MANUFACTURING: Avery Dennison and 3M aim to earn approval from Justice.

Avery Dennison and 3M would like to paper over office products deal to address Justice Department opposition.

Four Anti-Business Laws Await Brown’s Decision

Business groups fail to terminate four “job killer” bills before they reach the governor’s desk.

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Mixed Plate

Applebee’s, IHOP chains run hot, cold for parent

DineEquity has struggled to come up with a recipe that will keep its Applebee’s and IHOP chains growing at the same time.

News of the Week

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

Marketing Firm Moves to Improve Internet Links

ACQUISITION: Neighbor purchases Guru to expand into digital, social services.

In a marriage of dissimilar partners, traditional marketing agency Neighbor in Santa Monica has acquired digital agency Guru Media Solutions in Venice.

Well-Monitoring Tool Maker Goes Deep for Sales

For decades, oil and gas companies have used tools called geophones to get a glimpse of the inside of a well or a potential oil field, helping direct where to drill.

Numbers No Longer Add Up for Parent of Thrift

AUDIT: Broadway Financial to restate earnings for last year and first quarter.

In yet another setback for Broadway Financial Corp., the beleaguered thrift holding company said it will restate earnings for last year and the first quarter of this year.

Friday, September 7

Court Rejects Request to Stop Work at Chinatown Wal-Mart

Organized labor opponents of Wal-Mart Inc.’s planned grocery store in the Chinatown area failed on Friday to get a court order temporarily halting the project.

Food Truck Vendors Fight Back on Restrictions

Two years ago, food trucks famously clashed with restaurants and local politicians over where they could park on the Miracle Mile. Today, that seems like a grammar school food fight.

Colony Financial Sells 7 Million Shares in Secondary Offering

Colony Financial Inc. on Friday priced a public offering of 7 million common shares, which it expects will raise at least $131 million before fees.

Kennedy-Wilson Acquires Long Beach Apartment Complex

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. said that it and a partner have acquired a 160-unit apartment community in Long Beach for $33.5 million.

Hudson Pacific Buys Olympic-Bundy Media Campus

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. has completed an $89 million acquisition of the Olympic-Bundy Media Campus, for which it plans major improvements.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week as the broader markets reacted to positive developments in the European debt crisis.

Stock Close Up

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 15 points to 13,306. The Nasdaq rose nearly 1 point to 3,136. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,437. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Economy Struggles To Add Just 96,000 Jobs

U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that the Associated Press reports could slow the momentum that President Obama hoped to gain from last night’s speech to the Democratic National Convention.

Why a Drop in the Jobless Rate Is Tragic

Sure, the unemployment rate fell, so if you like your news positive and grossly oversimplified stop reading now because the details on the report are hideous, says the Breakout blog at Yahoo Finance.

Breaking Down Convention Winners and Losers

So with the balloons popped and confetti swept away from the Republican and Democratic conventions, The Wrap asks: Who put on the better show?

Perry Wants Stadium Approval Process Speeded Up

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry is seeking to speed the City Hall approval process for Anschutz Entertainment Group's proposed downtown football stadium, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

China to Spend $156 Billion on Infrastructure

China has approved an estimated $156 billion in subways, highways and other infrastructure projects in recent days, which the Wall Street Journal reports is giving markets a boost on Friday even as economists increasingly fret about the economy.

Homeless Vendors Dodge Police

Sidewalk salesmen often use skid row's clutter to hide their merchandise. The Los Angeles Times reports that while a recent court ruling bars police from seizing their belongings, LAPD officers are still trying to crack down on illegal beer selling, creating a cat-and-mouse game on skid row.

Study: How Many Pot Shops Are There Really in L.A.?

With the debate over medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles still in full fury, UCLA Newsroom reports that an associate professor of social welfare at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs finds that there are far fewer dispensaries open for business in the city than officials claim.

Banks Weigh Risks of California's CO2 Market

Major banks are weighing whether to wade into the California carbon market, which Reuters reports could grow into a $40 billion a year market by 2020. But it’s also a market loaded with risk and uncertainty.

Wall Street Dials Up Its Bond Investors

At Wall Street giants Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the quarterly earnings calls for stock analysts tend to get most of the attention. But another kind of call, this one for bondholders, is moving to the fore, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Toilets in Sweden Cleaned by Unemployed Greeks

Greece is in its fifth year of recession, with the economy expected to contract 6.9 percent this year. That has sent many professionals fleeing to wealthier countries for menial jobs to support their families, Bloomberg News reports.

Stock Mixed This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 7 points to 13,285. The Nasdaq was down 2 points to 3,134. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,436. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Thursday, September 6

Caruso Eyes Future Development in Carlsbad

Caruso Affiliated has signed an agreement to buy a 48-acre Carlsbad strawberry farm for a potential retail and entertainment center that would be its first project in San Diego County.

Cherokee Makes Apparel Brand Acquisitions

Cherokee Inc. has acquired the Liz Lange Maternity and Completely Me brands for $14 million.

Profits Decline at Logistics Specialist UTi

Weaker demand for freight services caused UTi Worldwide Inc.’s profit to fall a worse-than-expected 17 percent in its fiscal second quarter. But the company’s shares rose on Thursday on speculation that the report could have been worse.

NetSol Launches Cloud Business

NetSol Technologies Inc. announced a new division that will target the cloud computing market.

Stocks Close Strong

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 244 points, or 2 percent to 13.292. The Nasdaq was up 67 points, or 2 percent, to 3,135. The S&P 500 rose 28 points or 2 points to 1,432. The LABJ Stock Index gained 2 points, or 2 percent, to 139.

Physicians Formula Gets Rival Buyout Proposal

Azuza cosmetics company Physicians Formula Holdings Inc, which in August agreed to go private, said it received a rival buyout offer of about $67.2 million from an unnamed party, Reuters reports.

Do Hollywood Tax Credits Really Help?

As Gov. Jerry Brown mulls whether to sign into law another round of subsidies for Hollywood production companies, the question that confronts him is how much each job on a movie set is worth to taxpayers. The Los Angeles Times reports that some state number crunchers wonder if a proposed $200 million in subsidies could be used better elsewhere.

Water District Sued Over Cadiz EIR

The Santa Margarita Water District and San Bernardino County have been sued by environmental groups over Cadiz Inc.’s groundwater-pumping project in the Mojave Desert, the Orange County Business Journal reports.

Albertsons to Close 26 Stores

The parent company of the Albertsons supermarket chain is closing 26 stores nationwide, including 18 in Southern California, as it tries to overcome sharp operating losses and stiff price competition from big-box rivals, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SEC Accuses Radio Personality of Misleading Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking an order to stop San Diego radio personality Ray Lucia from making what it says are misleading claims to investors, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Plan to Change Anderson School Funding Stalls

UCLA’s controversial plan to end state funding for the main MBA program at its management school and instead support it with tuition and donations has hit a significant roadblock that will at least delay the proposal, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prepaid Plastic Creeping Into Big Debt

Prepaid cards are among the fastest-growing types of plastic credit, but the Wall Street Journal reports that as overdraft and other features have been added to these cards in recent years, some consumers are outspending their means and racking up big debts from the cards.

How to Profit on a European Bailout

Individual investors who want to take a gamble on Europe’s latest attempt to solve its debt crisis can choose from a handful of exchange-traded funds or notes that would give them exposure to Italian and Spanish bonds, MarketWatch reports.

EuroDebt Plan Sparks U.S. Rally

Stocks are rallying sharply Thursday in response to the latest iteration of a European Central Bank rescue plan, the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press report.

Stocks Open Strong

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 221 points, or 2 percent to 13,268. The Nasdaq was up 56 points, or 2 percent, to 3,125. The S&P 500 rose 25 points or 2 percent to 1,428. The LABJ Stock Index gained 2 points, or 2 percent, to 139.

Wednesday, September 5

Wal-Mart Opponents Seek to Stop Construction at Chinatown Store

Two organized labor opponents of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s planned grocery in Chinatown say on Thursday they will try to immediately halt construction at the site.

Daily News Parent Puts Subsidiary in Chapter 11

Digital First Media, parent of the Los Angeles Daily News, announced that it has put one of its East Coast subsidiaries, Journal Register Co., into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

AeroVironment Falls to Quarterly Loss

AeroVironment Inc. reported a loss in its fiscal first quarter, driven by higher research and development costs and some delays in contracts.

BreitBurn Energy Sells Partnership Units

BreitBurn Energy Partners said that it plans to raise money by selling 10 million partnership units.

NCal Shareholders Approve Grandpoint Merger

NCal Bancorp said that its shareholders have approved the bank holding company’s merger with Grandpoint Capital Inc.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 12 points to 13.047. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 3,069. The S&P 500 was down 2 points to 1,403. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 137.

3M Seeks to Save Avery Unit Deal

3M Co. insists that it remains in talks to buy Avery Dennison Corp.’s office-products unit, just hours after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the $550 million deal had been abandoned, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Casino Mogul Denies Threatening Porn Producer

Steve Wynn and porn producer Joe Francis face off before jurors in Los Angeles this week, with the casino mogul denying that he threatened to kill the "Girls Gone Wild" founder and saying the accusation is threatening his upscale casinos, the Associated Press reports.

Outlook Remains Negative for U.S. Banking Industry

While the majority of banks have improved their finances during the last four years, Moody's Investors Service says looming economic threats mean the outlook for the industry remains negative over the next 12 to 18 months, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Banks Face Libor Lawsuits

The scandal over global interest rates has state officials working intensely behind the scenes to build a case for suing the nation’s largest banks, the New York Times reports.

Amazon Customers Stock Up Before Sales Tax

With Amazon.com set to begin collecting sales taxes on California purchases Sept. 15 and many tech-savvy consumers are cramming in some last-minute tax-free shopping, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Coordination to Save CalPERS in Health Care Costs

An effort by three healthcare organizations that saved the California Public Employees' Retirement System $37 million in the last two years is gaining national attention as Medicare and employers search for ways to control rising medical costs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Don’t Like the Price? Wait a Minute

Deploying a new generation of algorithms, Internet retailers are changing prices on an hour-by-hour and sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In Europe, Signs of a Jobless Generation

Euro-zone youth unemployment will remain elevated for at least the next half-decade, the Wall Street Journal reports, with the International Labor Organization forecasting a small reduction in the jobless rate that will come from young people withdrawing from the labor market instead of stronger hiring activity.

Survey: U.S. Less Competitive Globally

The World Economic Forum says the United States has slipped further down a global ranking of the world's most competitive economies, CNBC reports.

Morning Stocks Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31 points to 13.067. The Nasdaq was up 1 point to 3,076. The S&P 500 was up 1 point to 1,405. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 137.

Tuesday, September 4

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 55 points to 13.036. The Nasdaq dropped 8 points to 3,075. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,404. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 136.

Feds May Block Sale of Avery Dennison Unit

3M Co.’s pending acquisition of Avery Dennison Corp.’s office products unit may face an anti-trust lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department, sources told Bloomberg News late Tuesday.

IPC Expands on East Coast

IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. has acquired three related hospitalist practice groups in New England.

Textile Industry Contractor To Pay $104,000 in Back Wages

A Gardena garment contractor has agreed to compensate its employees for back wages after the company failed to pay overtime and gave its employees cash under the table, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Jury Tells Cathay to Pay Garden Grove Developers $11.6 Million

Cathay General Bancorp. said in a regulatory filing that an Orange County Superior Court jury awarded $11.6 million in damages to Garden Grove Galleria LLC, which had sued the bank over a disputed construction loan.

NetSol Moves to Profit

Shares of NetSol Technologies Inc. rose 6 percent on Tuesday after the information technology services provider said it moved to a profit in the fourth quarter on higher revenue.

Dick Clark Productions Sold to Guggenheim

Dick Clark Productions, which produces TV programs including "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and the Golden Globe Awards, is being sold to a group including investment firm Guggenheim Partners, which was the lead buyer of the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this year, the Hollywood Reporter and Wall Street Journal report.

Financing Secured for Key Grand Avenue Project

Grand Avenue project developer Related Companies has secured financing to build its planned $100 million apartment tower south of the Broad museum site, the Downtown News reports.

Tougher Regulation of Self-Insurance Faces Delay

An effort to crack down on a form of health care self-insurance for small businesses, which ran into business opposition, may be renewed in a special session of the California Legislature in December, the Los Angeles Times reports,

Multi-Use Project Starts Near Culver City

Construction has kicked off on a $63-million apartment and shopping complex near a light-rail station on the edge of downtown Culver City as developers move to capitalize on the new Expo Line, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal’s earlier coverage of development along the Expo line.

Cooperation Limit Sanctions for USC

USC finds itself in a familiar position today, ranked as one of the nation's top-five football teams and about to be the subject of another NCAA investigation, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

The Secret Wife-Auditioning Process Before Katie Holmes

Vanity Fair reports that Scientology in 2004 embarked on a top-secret project headed by the wife of Scientology chief David Miscavige: find a girlfriend for Tom Cruise.

Rivals Jostle Before New iPhone Announcement

Several major tech companies are cramming product announcements into this holiday-shortened workweek, hoping to get out ahead of Apple's expected new iPhone 5, the New York Times reports.

Multinationals Stake Venture Capital Claim

Such companies as American Express and General Motors have opened small offices in Silicon Valley to stay closer to innovation, as an investment and a mind-set, the New York Times reports.

Credit Cards Ramp Up 0-Percent Offers

It is a buyer's market for credit-card consumers now, the Wall Street Journal reports, with many credit-card companies offering cards with teaser rates that have longer lives.

Spaniards Pull Their Cash Out of Spain

While the situation in Spain is not as dire as that of Greece, some Spaniards are taking their euros, and sometimes themselves and their families, out of the country, the New York Times reports.

Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies

Europe is approaching a crisis as the region’s debt crisis and austerity measures increase the rates of depression, suicide and psychological problems, CNBC reports.

A Post-Vacation Briefing on Various Industries

Time to get back to work, says the Wall Street Journal, which this morning provides a post-summer vacation preview of the most important business issues for the fall and winter ahead.

Stocks Down This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 96 points to 12,997. The Nasdaq fell 18 points to 3,048. The S&P 500 was down 8 points to 1,398. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 135.

Monday, September 3

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Foreign Exchange

MANUFACTURING: Commerce company exports mattresses to address Chinese consumers’ worries about product safety.

Nova Lifestyle in Commerce is exporting its mattresses to – surprise – China, where buyers are concerned about their own country’s product safety.

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Bike Company Sharing More Than Pedal Power

KIOSKS: Long Beach to get some of Bike Nation’s profits; L.A. might, too.

A new bike-share system should be up and running in Los Angeles a few months before a similar system rolls out in Long Beach – but it looks like Long Beach might have gotten a better deal.

Taking the Field in Los Angeles

New Grand Park underscores benefit open spaces provide to economic vitality and real estate values.

Clive Hoffman sees enough open space to turn Los Angeles into a park place.

No Reservations on Century Plaza

Charles Crumpley has high praise for the new plans to redevelop the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

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Air Apparent

INTERVIEW: KCRW General Manager Jennifer Ferro is dialed into fundraising after taking the reins from local icon Ruth Seymour.

Jennifer Ferro says standing up to her boss helped her land the general manager job at KCRW-FM.

CIM Puts Landmark Retail Location on Market

DOWNTOWN: Offers for Fresh Fare site will be accepted through Sept. 24.

CIM Group Inc. is selling its nearly 60,000-square-foot retail space anchored by downtown’s Ralphs Fresh Fare market.

No Room for Tax-Free Hotel at UCLA

UCLA’s tax-free status would give its hotel an unfair advantage, according to Laura Lake

News of the Week

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

FARMERS FIELD: The Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition, a group of environmental activists, anti-poverty groups and law professors, has sued the state of California to challenge the constitutionality of a state law opponents say gives special treatment to Farmers Field developer Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Frozen Yogurt Seller Gets Fresh Start at Beach

LEASE: Pinkberry to leave West Hollywood home for Santa Monica office space.

After seven years in West Hollywood, frozen yogurt company Pinkberry Inc. is moving its headquarters to the beach.

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Calendar of Events and Conventions

Long Way Down

Page 3

A few weeks ago, Fasha Mahjoor looked down from the top of an eight-story building and had quite a fright.

Investing in Financial Literacy Will Pay Off Down Road

Homing in on financial literacy could prevent another housing collapse, according to Amelia Xann

Show Biz’s Role in Los Angeles

Universal Studios was right to scrap plans for residential development to focus on entertainment and tourism.

Tom LaBonge praises Universal Studios for knowing how to play its role in L.A.’s economy.

Hollywood Figure, Arts Patron in Family Feud

Death of parents sets off fight over big oil company.

Steven Roth, once a high-profile Hollywood player, is fighting his brothers for control of the family oil business.

They Surf Third Wave Of Coffee

Goal of duo’s cafe is to promote relaxation, community connection.

Caffe Luxxe co-owners hope to brew interest in a slowed-down approach to java drinking.

A Name in the Crowd

Ad agency goes online to find new moniker.

DW+H has leaped on the crowdsourcing trend to rename the firm through an online contest.

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Making It Big

HOSPITALITY: Scaled-back changes to Century Plaza look like an easier sell.

The long-awaited redevelopment of the iconic Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel property looks like it may finally move forward.

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Power Company Currently Awaiting Outcomes

ENERGY: Questions over rate hikes loom as Edison wrestles with San Onofre.

Investors have zapped Edison International’s stock as the utility struggles with challenges over rates and the cost of repairs at San Onofre.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

In Beverly Hills, They’re Literally Making the News

MEDIA: Beverly Hills officials decide to start their own cable news show. Could it be they’re unhappy with the local newspaper?

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Leaving Law To Promote Tribal Beauty

Laura Miranda scales back legal practice to create clothing line.

Lawyer Laura Miranda has cut back on briefs to launch her own line of apparel.

One Parts Seller Thriving, the Other Struggling

AUTOMOTIVE: Motorcar Parts climbs after deal; U.S. Auto Parts slides.

U.S. Auto Parts Network stock slid on an analyst’s downgrade, while Motorcar Parts of America stock rose on news of a contract.

Fandango Takes Blockbusters to Bank

ENTERTAINMENT: More moviegoers want advance seats for opening weekends.

Fandango, a West L.A. movie ticket company, had a blockbuster summer now that more people book seats in advance.

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Wal-Mart Finding Its Way to L.A.

DEVELOPMENT: Moving into old retail sites is proving successful.

Wal-Mart’s strategy of bypassing union opposition to new stores by moving into spaces other chains have left is paying off despite some setbacks.

Changes Breathe Life Into Amgen’s Zombie Shares

INVESTMENT: New CEO and cost cuts send biotech’s stock to 52-week high.

Amgen’s stock has risen sharply since the company named a new chief executive and implemented other changes.

PR Expert Mainstreams Documentary on Obama

MARKETING: Michael Levine got media play for ‘2016: Obama’s America.’

How L.A. PR expert Michael Levine put “Obama’s America” on the mainstream media’s map.

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L.A. Startup Has New Take on Digital Videos

A whole generation of upstart video producers can now make money by shooting low-cost digital projects, posting the videos to Google Inc.’s YouTube and recouping a share of advertising revenue sold on the videos.