Stories for October 2013

Thursday, October 31

NantWorks to Buy Alcatel-Lucent Unit

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong's tech holding company NantWorks has agreed to buy Alcatel-Lucent’s digital multimedia business.

Green Dot’s Quarter Meets Wall Street Forecasts

Shares of Green Dot Corp. jumped more than 12 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the prepaid debit card company reported third quarter adjusted profit that met analysts' expectations. It also announced an expanded distribution deal with longtime partner Wal-Mart.

Marcus & Millichap Shares Gain After IPO

The initial public offering of Marcus & Millichap Inc. went to market at a lower price than expected on Thursday, but then the Calabasas real estate brokerage saw its shares gain nearly 12 percent on their first day of trading.

Dole Sale Narrowly Approved

Dole Food Co. stockholders on Thursday approved the sale of the company to its 90-year-old chairman and chief executive by the narrowest of margins.

Thomas Properties Sets Acquisition Vote

Real estate investment trust Thomas Properties Group Inc. has called a special meeting for Dec. 17 so shareholders can vote on the company’s proposed acquisition by Parkway Properties Inc.

Stocks Decline Again

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 73 points to 15,546. The Nasdaq fell 11 points to 3,920. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,757. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 176.

YouTube Ad Rates Expected to Rise for TV Networks

The video streaming site is lowering the broadcaster's take from 70 percent of advertising revenue to 45 percent, considered standard for most YouTube channels.

J2 Acquires UK Cloud Company

The Hollywood Internet company announced Thursday that is has purchased EPA Cloud, which provides secure email services such as email hosting and archiving.

Snapchat Moves Venice HQ

The company signed a lease in June for 6,000 square feet at 63 Market St. in Venice and has moved some if its staff to the site, a block from the beach.

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FAA to End Restrictions on Passenger Devices

Federal aviation regulators on Thursday unveiled measures to lift restrictions on fliers' electronic devices. Tablets, e-readers and other gadgets generally can be used during all phases of flight by the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

CBS Dispute Cost Time Warner Cable Its Subscribers

Time Warner Cable lost 306,000 TV subscribers over the past three months, in part due to a month-long blackout of CBS in markets that included Los Angeles, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Calderon Subject of FBI Sting

State Sen. Ron Calderon accepted about $88,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio owner and a Southern California hospital executive during a wide-ranging probe into his conduct as a legislator, Al Jazeera America reports, citing a 124-page affidavit.

Prime Downtown Development Site to Be Sold

San Francisco developer MacFarlane Partners plans to build a mid- and high-rise mixed-use complex at a site it is acquiring that overlooks Pershing Square, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Banks Haunted by Sins of Past, Present and Future

The cost to banks of cleaning up past misdeeds has soared over $100 billion globally, and is leaving lenders running scared from areas that put them in potential danger of upsetting regulators, Reuters reports.

From Anonymity to Scourge of Wall Street

The architect of a recent legal crackdown on Wall Street’s dubious mortgage practices was a 69-year-old career prosecutor, toiling away in anonymity in Los Angeles for much of his career, the New York Times reports.

SEIU Breaks Off Contract Talks with County

The possibility of a walkout affecting a wide array of public services loomed larger Wednesday after the union representing most Los Angeles County government employees broke off negotiations, charging that county officials have been unresponsive to their demands, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lack of Worker Training Slows Covered California

Delays in training enrollment counselors and insurance agents are slowing health policy sales, the Los Angeles Times reports, but Covered California says it's moving swiftly to address shortcomings.

Obamacare Being Blamed for Raising Your Premiums at Work

The estimated 149 million Americans under age 65 who get their health insurance through their employers could be the next group to feel the impact of the Affordable Care Act, according to claims made in 2014 open enrollment documents reviewed by CNBC.

Some Factories Sticking with Old Health Plans

Some small manufacturers facing soaring costs for employee health insurance say they are likely to continue coverage for their workers, even though they won't be required to under the Affordable Care Act, the Wall Street Journal reports.

CBRE ‘Untethers’ Workers at New Office Space

Real estate brokerage CBRE's staff in downtown L.A. now has no assigned desks or offices, with employees roaming freely, the Los Angeles Times reports, and executives view the move as an example for other white-collar firms.

Air Traffic Control Modernization Hits Turbulence

Ten years after Congress gave the go-ahead to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system, one of the government's most ambitious and complex technology programs is in trouble, the Associated Press reports.

Boeing 747 May Be Flying Into Sunset

Demand is falling for the renowned jumbo jet introduced more than 40 years ago as airlines switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient aircraft, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bitcoin Pursues the Mainstream

The currency known as bitcoin — a much-hyped type of digital cash — has mostly attracted attention for its popularity in the black market. But the New York Times reports that some entrepreneurs, investors and even merchants are eyeing mainstream use.

Dr. Oz Fires Back at NFL 'Shilling' Accusation

Dr. Mehmet Oz is firing back at criticism by a Los Angeles Times columnist who contends that Oz is shilling for the NFL at a time when the sports league is struggling with medical, legal and image problems from the player-concussion issue, Ad Age reports.

Stocks Decline

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 54 points to 15,565. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 3,926. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,760.

Wednesday, October 30

DC Comics to Move to Burbank

DC Comics will move its operations from New York City to the Warner Bros Studios lot in Burbank in 2015, according to media reports.

Big 5 Shares Jump on Earnings Report

Shares of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. rose 16 percent on Wednesday, after the retailer reported higher third quarter profit.

BYD Hires Counsel in Workplace Violations Probe

Chinese electric bus manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. has hired an international law firm to represent its U.S. division in an ongoing investigation by the California Department of Industrial Relations into workplace violations, the company said Wednesday.

Stocks Slide

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 62 points to 15,619. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 3,931. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,763. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 177.

Hot Sauce Plant Under Fire

Irwindale has filed a suit against Huy Fong Foods, charging that the odors at the company’s new Sriracha hot sauce plant are a public nuisance and asking a judge to halt production, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pricewaterhouse to Buy Booz Consulting

PricewaterhouseCoopers on Wednesday said that it plans to bolster its advisory business by acquiring the consulting firm Booz & Co., its biggest acquisition in several years, the New York Times reports.

Deasy to Stay on at LAUSD

Los Angeles public schools chief John Deasy will continue to lead the nation's second-largest school district through June 2016, the district's legal counsel announced Tuesday, ending days of speculation about his future, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Networks Hope App Viewing Leads Back to TV

Although MTV and Disney are encouraging binge viewing in the Netflix vein, they're doing it to benefit their TV businesses, Ad Age reports.

County Leaders Oppose Whittier Oil Drilling Plan

Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to oppose Matrix Oil's proposal to drill on publicly owned parkland. But as the Los Angeles Times reports, the project may still go ahead because the city of Whittier already approved the project and does not recognize county authority there.

CBRE Group Reports 138 Percent Profit Increase

The world's largest commercial real estate brokerage, CBRE Group Inc., turned a $94-million profit in the third quarter, led by growth in lease activity in the United States and the overall real estate recovery in Europe, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Senate Confirms Tom Wheeler as FCC Chairman

Tom Wheeler was confirmed on Tuesday as the next Federal Communications Commission chairman after U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz yielded, the Wrap reports.

Head of California's Insurance Exchange Explains Difference

Peter Lee, head of Covered California, tells the Los Angeles Times that the state's new insurance exchange is adjusting its marketing to emphasize that it's separate from the troubled federal Internet site.

Allergan to Sell Lap-Band Unit

Allergan Inc. has struck a deal to sell its troubled lap-band obesity-intervention business to Apollo Endosurgery Inc. for as much as $110 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.

BlackBerry Meets With Facebook

BlackBerry and Facebook executives met last week about a possible bid for the smartphone maker, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Study: Proxy Adviser ISS May Not Help Investors

Four academics at Stanford and Harvard universities are calling for more scrutiny of and transparency from Institutional Shareholder Services, the proxy advisory firm that many mutual-fund managers rely on when exercising their voting powers as corporate shareholders, Barron's reports.

Lenovo Signs New 'Project Engineer': Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher: Project Engineer. That's not the name of his next TV show, but the actor and tech entrepreneur's new job title at computer maker Lenovo. Ad Age looks at how all this came about.

Stocks Gain

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 5 points to 15,685. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 3,955. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,772.

Tuesday, October 29

Oxy Profit Better Than Expected

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said that its third-quarter profit rose 15 percent, as the company benefited from an increase domestic oil and natural gas production and higher U.S. energy prices.

Mann’s Quallion Sold to Pennsylvania Company

Billionaire entrepreneur Al Mann has sold his Sylmar battery technology company, Quallion LLC, for $30 million to EnerSys, an industrial battery maker in Reading, Pa.

Ixia Makes Bay Area Acquisition

Ixia has agreed to purchase Net Optics Inc., a Northern California network monitoring software company, for $190 million in cash.

IHOP Sales Offset Lower DineEquity Profit

Shares of DineEquity Inc. hit an all-time high on Tuesday as the restaurant operator beat analysts’ earnings estimates and saw same-store sales rise at its IHOP chain.

'Turbo' Failed to Boost DreamWorks' Quarter

Revenue and earnings fell at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. in the third quarter, as the high-profile movie “Turbo” failed to meet expectations.

Dow, Nasdaq, S&P Rise, LABJ Falls

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 111 points to 15,680. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to 3,953. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,771. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 177.

Brighter Takes Shine to $15 Million More

The series C round was led by Menlo Park venture firm Tenaya Capital and includes existing investors Mayfield Fund and Benchmark, both also in Menlo Park.

Fullscreen Launches Service for Brands

Called Channel+, the service provides clients with a dedicated team to oversee the day-to-day operation of the brand's YouTube channel.

Congress Considers Wall Street-Friendly Laws

The House this week is scheduled to vote on two bills that would undercut new financial regulations, handing Wall Street a victory, the New York Times reports.

Could the Fed Need a Bailout?

Critics warn that the Fed's bond-buying binge could put the central bank's finances at risk if interest rates were to rise sharply, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Noguez Hit With More Felony Charges

More charges were filed against Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and tax consultant Ramin Salari, alleging they illegally lowered taxes on additional commercial buildings, the Los Angeles Times reports.

White House Knew Millions Could Not Keep Health Plans

The Obama administration knew millions of Americans who buy their insurance individually would not be able to keep their health insurance as the Affordable Care Act took hold, NBC reports.

Deluxe Entertainment Moves to Santa Monica

Hollywood-based film and television production firm Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. is leasing a former Santa Monica warehouse that is being converted to office space by landlord Hudson Pacific Properties Inc., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Brown Signs Clean Energy Pact

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new pact Monday to formally align California's clean energy policies with those of Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Case-Shiller: Home Prices in Large Cities Soared in August

Home prices in the nation’s largest metro regions jumped sharply in August, posting yearly gains not seen since the last boom, according to a leading gauge, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Time Warner Cable Boosting Internet Speeds in L.A.

Internet speeds are about to double for Time Warner Cable's premium customers in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls Sharply

The Conference Board says U.S. consumer confidence fell sharply in October as consumers turned gloomier in their outlook for the future, Reuters reports.

Businesses Boosted Stockpiles

U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in August, a sign that they expected stronger demand for their products, the Associated Press reports.

Carradine Settles Pellicano Lawsuit

Keith Carradine has become the latest to wrap up a civil lawsuit against notorious P.I.-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano, whom he accused of spying on him amid contentious divorce proceedings about 15 years ago, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Facebook Marketing? Don't Bother

Facebook is doing more to disconnect than connect brands to their customers, says CNBC, according to a critical report on the social media site.

How You're Being Nickel and Dimed by Airlines

Customers might not like them, but airlines sure do. In fact, airlines are on track to collect a record $42.6 billion in ancillary revenue, CNBC reports.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 57 points to 15,626. The Nasdaq rose 4 points to 3,944. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,767.

Monday, October 28

Herbalife Beats Expectations Again

Herbalife Ltd. late Monday raised its full-year profit guidance after reporting that its third-quarter profit jumped 35 percent.

Resume Problems Cause Ixia CEO to Resign

Vic Alston resigned as chief executive of Ixia after having been found to have falsified parts of his resume.

Natrol Awarded $3.3 Million from Nature’s Products

Nutritional supplement maker Natrol Inc. has been awarded $3.3 million by a federal court jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in a case that stemmed from an FDA product recall of protein powder in 2011.

Lower Profit at Mercury General

Mercury General Corp. on Monday said net income fell 41 percent in the third quarter, as the auto and property insurer saw higher expenses and lower investment income. The results still exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Dow, Nasaq Fall; S&P, LABJ Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 1 point to 15,569. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 3,940. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,762. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 178.

Demand Approved as Registrar for Top-Level Domains

The company's domain registry business has been approved as a registrar for the dot dance and dot democrat top-level domains, known as gTLDs, by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Disney Show Will Appear First on App for Tablets

Noting that tablet computers like the iPad are increasingly the “first screen” for preschool viewers, Disney executives said they would make the first nine episodes of “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West," available on mobile devices first, the New York Times reports.

Party Like It’s 1999?

Twitter Inc. plans to go public at a value of $11 billion, without a profit. Venture capitalists just valued Pinterest Inc., which generates no revenue, at nearly $4 billion, and revenue-deprived Snapchat Inc., is angling for a similar price tag. But the Wall Street Journal says we're not quite on the cusp of another dot-com bust.

Desolation Row: Manchester Square in Ruins

Manchester Square, once a thriving working-class neighborhood near LAX that is now an urban void of unkempt buildings, desolate streets and residential lots scraped bare where thousands used to live. It’s the result of airport growth, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Are Standards Too High at Harvard-Westlake?

The new president of L.A.'s pre-eminent private high school is striving to make its push for excellence less suffocating, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AMC Networks Buys Liberty Media's Chellomedia

AMC Networks Inc., cable channel parent of AMC, WE and IFC, has struck a deal to acquire Liberty Global's Chellomedia for more than $1 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

ABC-Univision Venture to Blend News, Satire

Fusion, an English-language joint venture between Walt Disney Co's ABC and Univision Communications Inc. that launches tonight, will combine hard news, satire and pop culture aimed at the hard-to-reach "millennial" Hispanic audience, Reuters reports.

NFL's Nonprofit Status Questioned

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who recently filed a bill to revoke the NFL's tax exemption, argues that working folks are subsidizing a special break for a sports league that's brought in more than a half billion dollars since 2010 that is untouchable to the Internal Revenue Service, CNBC reports.

Wesco Aircraft at Full Throttle

Valencia's Wesco Aircraft, among the world's biggest sellers and distributors of aerospace parts and components, has focused on drumming up business in the commercial and civilian sectors to keep growing, the Los Angeles Times reports in a business profile.

Nielsen to Measure Mobile Viewing

Nielsen next fall will begin counting television programs watched on mobile phones and tablets within its traditional TV ratings, the Associated Press reports.

Media Outlets Embrace Conferences as Profits Rise

Financially struggling media companies are racing to add conferences, festivals and other live events to their business strategy, convinced they can provide a reliable revenue stream and expand the reach of their brands, the New York Times reports.

‘Thanksgivukkah’ Fever Hits Southland

You want pumpkin filling in that Sufganiyot? Local merchants are gearing up for what's been dubbed “Thanksgivukkah,” an extremely rare convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on Nov. 28, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Dow Jones, Nasdaq Down; S&P Up

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 16 points to 15,554. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 3,933. The S&P 500 was up less than 1 point to 1,760.

New York Investor Sold on West Hollywood Retail

ACQUISITION: Thor buys Robertson Boulevard site in $27 million deal.

A major New York landlord is paying top dollar to make inroads in L.A.’s retail real estate.

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Power Up Coast’s Natural Gas Plants

OP-ED

Current plants should be amped up to offset the loss of San Onofre, according to John T. Young Jr.

Online Ads Get Some Depth

Evolve Media division gives Web videos 3-D effects without need for glasses.

SpringBoard looks to maintain viewers’ focus on online video with 3-D effects that don’t need glasses.

State Storage Rule May Fuel Electric-Car Offshoot

ENERGY: Need to secure power could give Coda batteries inside lane.

State electricity-storage ruling could charge up business for battery maker left over from Coda Automotive.

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Getting Started in Los Angeles

OP-ED: Mayor Eric Garcetti shouldn’t wait to ditch the city’s gross receipts tax and costly union work rules.

Mayor Eric Garcetti shouldn’t wait to ax the city’s gross receipts tax and bad union work rules, writes Arthur F. Rothberg.

Supply Lowers Demand

COMMENT

The problem with Demand Media is that it treated content like a pawn, not a king, Charles Crumpley believes.

Horse Park Plans for Long Run

SPORTS: Santa Anita seeks stable relationship with Breeders’ Cup.

Santa Anita hopes to be permanently saddled with hosting the Breeders’ Cup.

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L.A. Port-Powered Truck Maker Grinds Gears

Automotive: Balqon yet to turn around electric fleet’s fortunes.

Balqon continues to spin its wheels as financial woes mount for the L.A. port-hired maker of electric trucks.

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Video Platform Lets Stars Know Where They Stand

INTERNET: Software by Maker Studios tracks viewership in real time.

Maker Studios pitches its service as a platform for video stars to make more money off their creations.

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Seat at Table

Two Chinese chains pick L.A. market to launch restaurants.

Two Chinese chains look to get things cooking in the United States with initial outposts in Los Angeles.

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Human Milk Company Pumped About New HQ

NUTRITION: Prolacta to open plant to increase baby formula production.

Prolacta Bioscience has unveiled its headquarters and a manufacturing plant for the company’s human milk-based nutritional products.

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Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

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

Fuller Plate Boosts Stock Of Restaurant Operator

DINING: Rise in earnings for Cheesecake Factory defies industry trend.

Cheesecake Factory serves up a surprising rise in earnings as the rest of the sector struggles.

Small-Aircraft Company Catches Ride on Defense

AVIATION: New products also provide lift for shares of AeroVironment.

Defense contractors’ strong earnings help small-aircraft maker AeroVironment’s shares take wing.

Restaurant Raises Steaks By Buying Its Own Cattle

DINING: Duo purchase Chianina livestock to feed need at namesake eatery.

Restaurateurs take the bull by the horns and buy their own Chianina cattle to serve at namesake restaurant.

Strong Quarter Puts Shares of Toymaker in Play

MANUFACTURING: Jakks’ stock climbs on back of healthy earnings report.

Investors make a play for Jakks’ stock after the toymaker reports a strong third quarter.

Taking Plunge

EXERCISE: Former Olympian now tests mettle as operator of swim academy chain.

Olympian Lenny Krayzelburg dove into opening swim academies when his sporting career began to dry up.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

A Little Room for Art

Tif Sigfrids always wanted her own art shop, and finally opened a gallery two weeks ago in Hollywood.

Architects Have Cross to Bear

Two firms will team up to prepare Crystal Cathedral for Catholic ceremonies.

Two architecture firms meet at the alter in the change-over of the evangelical Crystal Cathedral to a Catholic church.

Bad Bonds From Wedbush Pay Off For Former Broker

Arbitrators order Wedbush to pay its former broker $4 million for pushing bad bonds.

Friday, October 25

Amgen Confirms Layoffs

Amgen Inc. on Friday confirmed that 100 employees had been notified earlier this week that their jobs were being eliminated due to the company’s restructuring or outsourcing efforts.

Avery Dennison’s Quarter Better Than Expected

Avery Dennison Corp. on Friday reported a lower third-quarter profit, largely due to expenses related to the sale of two units, but adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations.

Garcetti Signs Waiver for TV Pilot Fees

Mayor Eric Garcetti has signed an ordinance to waive fees for the filming of television pilots in Los Angeles, the mayor’s office announced Friday.

Ryland Opens Development in Texas

Ryland Group Inc. announced Friday that it has opened a residential development in Texas.

Jakks, Ceres Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week, as the markets recovered from declines earlier in the week.

Markets Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 61 points to 15,570. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 3,943. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,760. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 177.

Maker Studios Star's Pop Pitch

Branded efforts from Maker stars highlight the YouTube network's ongoing journey to mine gold in online videos outside of traditional video ads.

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Snapchat Seeking More Money

A report from tech blog AllThingsD on Friday indicates that the company is considering raising hundreds of millions in funding that would value the company at $3.6 billion.

Hulu Names Chief Financial Officer

Chief Executive Mike Hopkins has appointed Elaine Paul as chief financial officer, effective Monday.

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Deadline’s Finke Breaks With Penske

Nikki Finke announced plans to leave the Deadline website she founded, now owned by Jay Penske’s media group that includes Variety, and start over again at NikkiFinke.com, the Wrap reports.

L.A. Schools Chief May Leave

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy, who has led the nation's second-largest school system since 2011, has told some top district officials that he could be leaving in coming months, the Los Angeles Times reports.

City Seeks List of At-Risk L.A. Buildings

The city of Los Angeles sent a request Thursday formally asking a UC Berkeley engineering professor for a list of concrete buildings that could be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

States Teaming Up to Support Electric Cars

California, New York and six other states said on Thursday that they would work jointly to adopt a range of measures to spur lackluster sales of electric cars, the New York Times reports.

Demand Media Lays Off 15

Just days after Demand Media co-founder Richard Rosenblatt announced his resignation as chief executive, the Santa Monica-based digital-media company has laid off all 15 members of the research and development unit, including chief innovation officer Byron Reese, sources tell Variety.

Twitter Sets Cautious Valuation for IPO

Twitter set a price range for its initial public offering Thursday, putting a conservative valuation of at least $10 billion on its business to try to avoid pitfalls suffered last year by rival social-media company Facebook, USA Today reports.

Rumors of Buyout Talks Drive Safeway Stock Gains

Safeway Inc. shares have climbed for two straight days on speculation of a buyout offer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Burke’s Reshaping of NBCU Unsettles Staff

Variety looks at how Steve Burke's latest moves at NBCUniversal have shaken up staff and raised questions about the chief executive’s style, if not his strategy, in running the media giant.

Obamacare Needs 'Amazon-Like Shopping Experience'

The problems plaguing the federal Obamacare website were a function of poor management and implementation, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former special adviser on health policy to President Barack Obama, told CNBC.

City National's Quarter Beats Expectations

City National Bank’s corporate parent reported solid earnings late Thursday, with profits higher than analysts expected, the Business Journal reports.

BofA to Cut Thousands of Mortgage Jobs

Bank of America is cutting thousands jobs as it responds to changes in the housing market, echoing moves by other banks, the Associated Press reports.

Markets Rise

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 24 points to 15,534. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to 3,940. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,755.

City National Profit Beats Expectations

City National Bank’s corporate parent reported solid earnings, with profits higher than analysts expected.

Thursday, October 24

Report: Gov't Says London Should Get 3 Years in Prison

Scott London, the former KPMG auditor who has pled guilty to insider trading, deserves three years in prison and a $100,000 fine, according to a confidential report from the U.S. Probation Office.

Caltech Names New President

The California Institute of Technology on Thursday said that Thomas F. Rosenbaum, provost and physics professor at the University of Chicago, has been named the Pasadena university’s ninth president.

Mixed Quarter for Reliance Steel

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. on Thursday said weaker metals pricing contributed to a 6 percent decline in third-quarter profit despite higher sales.

Markets Gain

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 96 points to 15,509. The Nasdaq rose 22 points to 3,929. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,752. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 177.

Floral Startup Looks to Bloom With Seed Investment

BloomNation announced Thursday that it has raised $1.65 million from Menlo Park's Andreessen Horowitz, Boston's Spark Capital, San Francisco's CrunchFund and Santa Monica's MuckerLab.

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Jury Decides Against BofA on 'Hustle' Program

In a major win for the U.S. government, a jury Wednesday found Bank of America Corp. liable for fraud related to loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a program called the "Hustle" in 2007 and 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Republicans Switch Tactics on Obamacare

Emboldened by the intense public criticism surrounding the rollout of the online insurance exchange, Republicans in Congress are refocusing their efforts from denying funds for the health care law to investigating it, the New York Times reports. Even Democrats who support Obamacare suggest that parts may need to be postponed if changes aren't made quickly, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Beverly Hills Broker Suspended by Regulators

Bambi Holzer, a Beverly Hills financial broker, has been suspended from practicing after dozens of consumer complaints dating back more than two decades, the Wall Street Journal reports.

New Internet Site Opens City's Books

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin on Wednesday unveiled an online site, Control Pane L.A., that opens the city's financial records to the public, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Los Angeles Won't Appeal State Ride-Sharing Rules

A motion to appeal California's new rules for ride-sharing services failed by one vote Wednesday at a Los Angeles City Council meeting, capping months of debate about the city's role in regulating the new taxi competitors, the Los Angeles Times reports.

99 Cents Only Lays Off 160 Workers

99 Cents Only Stores Inc. has laid off about 160 workers as the company sought to streamline costs and stay competitive, the Los Angeles Times reports.

YouTube to Launch Subscription Music Service

YouTube is poised to launch a subscription music service as soon as December, positioning it to compete with Spotify, Rdio and other digital offerings, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Home Builders Target Higher End

Newly built homes are getting pricier as better-heeled buyers have rebounded more quickly from the recession than entry-level buyers, spurring some home builders to go upscale to match the shift, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why Apple Is Embracing the Power of Free

Apple Inc. famous for charging a premium for hardware, is embracing the marketing power of free. So the company surprised the industry this week by saying it would make many of its most-popular software programs, including the latest version of its OS X operating system, free to many users. The Wall Street Journal looks at the reasons behind the change.

Time Warner Cable Reaches Al Jazeera America Deal

Time Warner Cable, one of the country’s biggest cable operators, has agreed to carry Al Jazeera America, giving the Qatar-owned broadcaster exposure to millions more households as it seeks to build an audience in the United States, the New York Times reports.

Actresses Over 40 Are Hotter Than Ever in Hollywood

For decades, the age of 40 was the point of no return for the majority of Hollywood’s leading ladies of film. But there’s been a seismic shift in the way the industry and moviegoers view “aging” top actresses, and today their clout and box-office muscle have never been greater, the Wrap reports.

Major Pension Funds Ask for Climate Change Study

Some of the largest pension funds in the world are worried that major fossil fuel companies may not be as profitable in the future because of efforts to limit climate change, and they want details on how the firms will manage a long-term shift to cleaner energy sources, the Associated Press reports.

Pinterest Raises Another $225 Million

For a company with almost no revenue, Pinterest Inc. sure is valuable. The popular site for “pinning” collections of online images said Wednesday it raised $225 million from Fidelity Investments and other investors in a round of financing valuing it at $3.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Brand America Has Been Damaged

The head of the world's biggest advertising firm by revenue warns that the spying scandals and extreme politics are damaging the reputation of the United States and are weighing on business confidence, CNBC reports.

Facebook No Longer Teen's Most Popular Social Network

Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the social media network that is most important to teens, the Business Insider reports.

Markets Rebound

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 80 points to 15,493. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 3,924. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,751.

Wednesday, October 23

Jakks Quarter Beats Expectations

Shares of Jakks Pacific Inc. jumped more than 25 percent on Wednesday after the toymaker reported a 20 percent rise in third-quarter profit, helped by lower expenses.

Elite Aviation Get $50 Million Funding

Charter flight firm Elite Aviation on Wednesday said that it has received $50 million that will go toward global expansion, fleet growth and acquisitions to complement its business.

Teledyne Lands Boeing Contract

Teledyne Technologies Inc. on Wednesday said that it signed a contract with Boeing Co. for avionics data and an information management system for updated versions of the 737, 747 and 777 jetliners.

Improved Skechers Quarter Still Disappoints

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. fell 9 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday after the shoemaker’s third-quarter net income fell short of Wall Street expectations even though it rose 143 percent from last year.

L.A. City Council OKs Warner Center Plan

The Los Angeles City Council gave final approval on Wednesday for the Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan.

Markets Drop

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 53 points to 15,413. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 3,907. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 1,746. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 1 point to 175.

Maker Studios Releases Analytic Tools

Maker Max, which is available for all people in Maker's network, displays real time information about a video's views, the average time a viewer spends watching a video and which social networks are driving traffic to a video.

SEC Proposes Crowdfunding Rules

The proposed rules would limit the amount that a company can raise from non-accredited investors to $1 million a year.

StartEngine to Move into ROC

Co-Chair Howard Marks said StartEngine wanted to move closer to the center of startup activity and tap into a broader community of entrepreneurs.

Prosecutor: Countrywide Defrauded Fannie and Freddie

Bank of America Corp.’s Countrywide unit defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling them thousands of loans known to be defective, a U.S. attorney said in closing arguments in a lawsuit against the lender, reports Bloomberg News, which was also told by sources that Bank of America faces three more Justice Department civil probes over mortgage-backed securities.

White House Brings in Help to Fix Health Care Website

Jeffrey Zients, a former acting director at the Office of Management and Budget and a familiar troubleshooter, has been enlisted to try to fix the government's health insurance website, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple Unveils Slimmer iPad Air

Apple is aiming to beat back Android tablet challengers this holiday shopping season with two new additions to its iPad family: a fifth-generation model called iPad Air and a new iPad mini outfitted with the higher-resolution Retina screen, Variety reports.

Will the U.S. Really Owe $128 Trillion?

The Washington Post looks at Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) assertion that the Affordable Care Act will put a burden on the nation’s finances of a breathtaking $128 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Many Obamacare Shoppers Aren’t Actually Buying

It’s not clear yet how many Americans have secured new health insurance through Obamacare. But Time reports that some early statistics shows that the vast majority of people who have managed to navigate the sign-up process have enrolled in Medicaid, not private health plans.

Amazon, eBay Shake Up Shipping Strategies

Online retailers are shaking up their delivery offerings on the eve of the holidays, as eBay ramped up its rivalry with Amazon over same-day delivery with an acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Inside the Latest Fox Exec Shake-Up

Hollywood obsessed all summer over whether ousted Warner Bros. film chief Jeff Robinov would land at 20th Century Fox. But it turned out people were looking to the wrong man – or men, the Hollywood Reporter says.

How Office-Supply Retailers Became Quaint

Dramatic market changes are the main reason federal antitrust regulators are expected to approve the proposed merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, the industry’s second- and third-largest competitors, respectively, without requiring divestitures, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Garcetti Appoints Harbor Commission

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday completed his appointments to what will be a new five-member harbor commission, which will feature a majority of members living or working in the Harbor Area, the Daily Breeze reports.

Why Marijuana Investments May Go Up in Smoke

Marijuana stocks sound like they may be the next big thing as some states move to legalize the drug, but Herb Weisbaum tells CNBC that you need to watch for signs you're getting scammed.

Starbucks Debuts Teavana Bar

Can Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz do the same thing for tea that he did for coffee with Starbucks? He thinks he can, and the first Teavana tea bar opens Thursday in Manhattan, USA Today reports.

Markets Slide

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 76 points to 15,392. The Nasdaq fell 36 points, or 1 percent, to 3,894. The S&P 500 fell 11 points to 1,742.

Tuesday, October 22

Who Is Hulu's New CEO?

Video streaming service Hulu last week ended months of speculation with the announcement that Mike Hopkins has been named chief executive, replacing interim CEO Andy Forssell.

Amgen's Quarter Beats Expectations

Amgen Inc. late Tuesday reported a 25-percent profit increase in the third quarter, boosted by a jump in sales of its infection-fighting drugs. The biotech giant also raised its full-year revenue forecast.

OpenGate Launches Media Division

Beverly Hills private equity firm OpenGate Capital announced Tuesday it has launched a new division to focus on media and publishing acquisitions.

Gov. Brown Lauds Bell Gardens Casino Hotel Project

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday went to Bell Gardens to help campaign contributor Bicycle Casino celebrate the pending construction of its new luxury hotel.

Teledyne Buys Marine Instruments Maker

Teledyne Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said that it acquired C.D. Ltd., a marine engineering company in Aberdeen, Scotland.

EARNINGS ROUNDUP: BBCN, Wilshire, Hanmi

BBCN Bancorp has reported growing profits, with net income of $23.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Ontic Makes Another Licensing Deal

Aerospace supplier Ontic has signed a licensing agreement with Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. for heat and thermal management products used on missiles, blimps, and other military and commercial aircraft.

Markets Gain

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 75 points to 15,468. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 3,930. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,755. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 177.

Villaraigosa Joins PR Firm Edelman

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is becoming a senior adviser to the global public affairs division of public relations giant Edelman, Politico reports.

Downtown Streetcar Cost Warnings Suppressed

Months before the Los Angeles streetcar project's additional expenses became public, City Hall staff members quietly warned the cost estimate was not detailed and could rise, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the warnings were suppressed over concerns they could imperil the project.

Tepid Job Growth Supports Cautious Fed Stance

U.S. employers added far fewer workers than expected last month, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy that will likely add to the Fed's caution in deciding when to trim its monthly bond purchases, reports Reuters.

What’s Behind Hollywood’s Marketing Chief Exodus?

In a matter of months, Hollywood has seen the closest thing to a clean sweep of top studio marketing executives the likes of which hasn’t happened in recent memory, the Wrap reports.

Tour Bus Vendors Worry About Crowd Crackdown

Tour vendors fear that new restriction on sightseeing ticket sales along the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard will cut into sales, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Focus Features Layoffs Have Begun

Los Angeles and New York employees at Universal Pictures' Focus Features -- known for "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Kids Are All Right" -- were told Monday whether they would lose their positions, though it is not known how many jobs will be cut, Variety reports.

How the JPMorgan Deal Could Curtail Credit

The Justice Department's potential $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan may go a long way toward appeasing consumers' anger at big banks for the financial crisis, but CNBC reports that it probably won't help those same consumers get a mortgage.

Report: GOP Asked Ex-Fugitive McAfee to Diagnose Obamacare

The House committee responsible for Obamacare oversight last week asked for expert guidance about the troubled launch of the federal Healthcare.gov site from John McAfee, the eccentric tech legend once suspected in the murder of his neighbor in Central America, CNBC reports.

Nokia Launches Tablet in Prep for Microsoft's Gadget Push

Nokia has unveiled its first tablet and large-screen smartphones, which will form part of Microsoft's global push to become a leading player in consumer devices when it takes over the Finnish company's handset business, Reuters reports.

SEC Criticizes Management at Options Clearing Corp.

The clearinghouse that handles all U.S. options trading was hit with wide-ranging criticism of the way it manages risk and handles compliance, after an examination by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Research Shows Promise for Reversing Baldness

A breakthrough transplant technique that can generate human hair growth shows promise for treating baldness in men and women, NBC News reports.

Startup to Sell Balloon Trips to Edge of Space

Arizona start-up Paragon Space Development Corp. wants to develop high-altitude balloons to send thrill seekers to the edge of Earth's atmosphere. The trips would cost less than other proposed space jaunts, about $75,000, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Dow, S&P Up; Nasdaq Down

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points to 15,442. The Nasdaq was down 3 points to 3,917. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,750.

Monday, October 21

Edison Mission Energy Sold

Edison International’s bankrupt Edison Mission Energy has been acquired by New Jersey electric utility NRG Energy Inc. in a stock-and-cash deal valued at $2.6 billion.

Global Eagle Entertainment Buys U.K. Competitor

Global Eagle Entertainment on Monday announced it had acquired Travel Entertainment Group Equity Ltd. for $36 million.

Long Beach Port Traffic Rises

Year-over-year cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach climbed in September, rising 14.7 percent over last year’s activity, according to figures released Monday.

Better-Than-Expected Profit for Cathay

Cathay General Bancorp said Monday its third quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 15 percent and loans grew across the board.

Murdock's Acquisition of Dole Endorsed by Proxy Advisor

An independent advisory firm has given its stamp of approval to the offer by Dole Food Co. Chairman and Chief Executive David Murdock’s to take the company private for $13.50 a share.

Dow, LABJ Fall; Nasdaq, S&P Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 7points to 15,392. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 3,920. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,745. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 175.

Los Angeles to Weigh Appeal on Ride-Share Ruling

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz wants his colleagues to appeal a recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission to allow taxi-like ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Sidecar to operate under regulation at the statewide level, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Health-Insurance Exchange to Get Tech Help

The Obama administration said Sunday that it has enlisted additional computer experts from across the government and from the private sector to help rewrite computer code and make other improvements to its glitch-plagued online health insurance marketplace, the Washington Post reports.

Motorists to Foot Bill for ‘Hydrogen Highway’

California motorists – rather than oil companies – will pay more than $200 million to build up to 100 hydrogen fueling stations across California over the next decade, under a new law approved by Gov. Jerry Brown, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Facebook Not Liking Monday Morning

The social network Facebook was hit with an intermittent outage this morning that left some users unable to post status updates and "like" posts, CNBC reports.

Chinese Regulators Restrict Imports of TV Formats

In bad news for Hollywood and overseas TV companies seeking a foothold in China, that country's media watchdog has cut back the number of foreign TV formats allowed to be broadcast in the country, the Hollywood Reporter says. The new order is aimed at pushing domestically-produced and "morality-building programs."

Despite Deal, J.P. Morgan Faces Fight

J.P. Morgan Chase reached a tentative deal this weekend to pay $13 billion to end a number of civil investigations into its sale of mortgage securities before the 2008 financial crisis, but a separate and potentially more serious criminal probe into the bank and its executives will continue, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Regulators Move to Shut Down Exide Plant

Regional air pollution regulators have moved to shut down Exide Technologies' troubled battery recycling plant in Vernon, citing public health risks from its repeated emissions of lead and arsenic, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Demand Media Learns Hard Lessons

While Demand Media has diversified its business, it remains exposed to changes in Google's search methodology, the Wall Street Journal reports in a look the company's likely direction in the wake of co-founder Richard Rosenblatt’s abrupt resignation as chief executive. Check out the Business Journal's coverage.

France Summons U.S. Ambassador over Spying Allegations

France on Monday demanded that the United States respond to new allegations of "unacceptable" spying on French citizens and companies, thrusting privacy and espionage to the top of the agenda as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris for a scheduled visit, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tellabs to Be Taken Private for $891 Billion

Tellabs Inc. which helps telecommunications carriers manage traffic on their networks, said it agreed to be bought by private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners for $891 million, Reuters reports.

Health Net Sees a Big Opportunity in Obamacare

Although some insurers have taken a cautious approach to the Affordable Care Act, the Woodland Hills managed care provider Health Net Inc. is actively seeking to cover thousands of previously uninsured people under the new healthcare system, the Los Angeles Times reports in a company profile.

Instagram Artists Get Potential Big Breaks

A recent gallery show in Santa Monica allowed visitors to meet their favorite Instagram artists and learn about Instacanvas, an online marketplace for the cellphone-produced images, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Filmation Founder Lou Scheimer Dies

Lou Scheimer, who founded the Filmation animation studio that became a Saturday-morning cartoon powerhouse with characters such as Fat Albert, He-Man and the Archies, has died at his home in Tarzana, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 84.

Markets Mixed

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 22 0points to 15,340. The Nasdaq was up 7 points to 3,921. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,743.

Buyers Find Downtown Attractive Even as High Vacancies Persist

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Downtown L.A.

The downtown L.A. vacancy rate inched modestly higher in the third quarter, reaching 18.4 percent, while at the same time asking rents rebounded to $3.22 a foot, according to research compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Making Cut in Hollywood

Many celebrities lose their pounds of flesh to plastic surgery for little gain.

Michael Levine gets under stars’ skin as he slices and dices Hollywood’s love of plastic surgery.

August Pause Does Little to Slow Momentum Coming From Ports

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: South Bay

The South Bay industrial market remained tight in the third quarter as improved port activity continued to lift the market.

Actor’s Eco-Living Site Links With Branding Firm

INTERNET: SHFT.com will work with BBMG to create branded content.

On the TV show “Entourage,” Adrian Grenier played an actor who brought his friends along for the ride.

Magazine Founder Says Doing Good Still Works

PUBLISHING: Goldhirsh stays positive after firing editorial staff.

Ben Goldhirsh says he has his do-gooder-focused magazine doing well financially.

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Vacancies Dip, Absorption Rises As Departure of Farmers Looms

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Wilshire Corridor

Miracle Mile usually leads the news out of Wilshire Corridor, which stretches from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles, but it was the less swanky Park Mile and Wilshire Center to the east that made headlines in the third quarter.

Oil Company Still Digs Monterey Shale Location

ENERGY: Occidental to continue drilling efforts despite Chevron’s exit.

Occidental Petroleum sees its Monterey shale oil projects doing well enough to stay put.

Rents Rise in Hollywood as ‘Good Stuff’ Attracts Premium Prices

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Hollywood

Office vacancies in Hollywood climbed slightly, up to 15.4 percent in the third quarter from 14.2 percent the prior period, and a full 5 points higher than the same period a year earlier. More than 25,000 square feet came back onto the 2.3 million-square-foot market in the quarter, according to data from Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Helping Painter Get Hang of It

Mark Paolucci loves art enough to gut a portion of his office space to create a gallery.

Turning Bath Into Treat

Ice Cream Heads looks to clean up with shampoos, conditioners for kids.

Ice Cream Heads looks to scoop competitors with a line of scented shampoos and conditioners for kids.

Fans of Craft Beer Look to Get Something Brewing

PUBLISHING: Duo forms paper to cover and unite scene in Los Angeles.

The frothy L.A. craft beer industry has a new print publication, Beer Paper LA.

Fashion Forward

REAL ESTATE: Urban Outfitters lease lifts retailers’ morale in Westwood Village.

Urban Outfitters’ double-lease deal raises hopes that Westwood Village is back in fashion.

YouTube Network to Help Girls’ Magazine Turn Page

INTERNET: Awesomeness looks to add viewers to Seventeen’s video channel.

Media Temple’s acquisition has some users afraid of being stuck with inferior Web-hosting services from new parent GoDaddy

Web-Hosting Company’s Pickup a Sticky Situation

ONLINE: Some users of Media Temple critical of new parent GoDaddy.

Awesomeness teams with Seventeen to improve the numbers for the teen girl magazine’s YouTube channel.

Expansion Is a Hot Topic for Family’s Bakery Chain

DINING: Porto’s plans to bring its popular fare to West Covina, Anaheim.

Porto’s Bakery chain cooks up plans for additional locations.

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Room for Parking Takes Lots of Focus in Projects

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Parking space remains a driving issue for developers.

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Investment Pays Project Rewards

ENGINEERING: Aecom gets jobs on developments it co-funds.

Aecom builds up its project list by co-funding developments through its investment arm.

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Culver City Surge

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Culver City got projects moving in part by focusing on its transportation advantages such as a Metro line stop.

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Content Creator Hopes to Click With New CEO

INTERNET: Shakeup in management fails to boost Demand Media stock.

Demand Media CEO loses job but Wall Street remains pessimistic about content company’s future.

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Balance Struck in Sales and Leasing Activity Throughout Tri-Cities

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Tri-Cities

Slow and steady growth characterized the Tri-Cities real estate market in the third quarter, but increased activity might be on the near horizon.

Top-Tier Space Taken, Rental Rates Continue Roller Coaster Ride

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Santa Clarita Valley

Average asking rates for office space in Santa Clarita continued to yo-yo like the SlingShot ride at Magic Mountain in the third quarter.

Industrial Market Tightens Further, Driving Asking Rents Higher

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: San Gabriel Valley

The vacancy rate dropped by 8 basis points in the San Gabriel Valley industrial market in the third quarter, driving average asking rents up from 42 cents to 45 cents.

Investment Activity Highlights Period, Leasing Remains Tentative

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: L.A. County

Leasing activity remained generally lackluster across Los Angeles County in the third quarter as the countywide vacancy rate saw the slightest of dips and net absorption inched toward positive.

Scary Direction

Hollywood veterans stage haunted houses

Hollywood connections play big role in live horror productions.

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Real Estate Quarterly: San Fernando Valley

Main events in Los Angeles County’s submarkets.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

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

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Santa Monica Continues to Command Top Dollar in Sales, Leases

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Westside

One of the Westside’s trophy properties hogged the spotlight in the third quarter. The 97 percent-leased Lantana Entertainment Media Campus, at Olympic and Exposition boulevards in Santa Monica, traded for a whopping $328.4 million in July.

Pouring In Dollars

First Beverage taps maker of tea drink kombucha for its debut investment.

First Beverage Ventures sees kombucha maker Health-Ade as its cup of tea.

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Friday, October 18

Oxy to Sell Part of Mideast Operations in Restructuring

Occidental Petroleum Corp. announced on Friday it intends to sell part of its Mideast operations and part of its stake in a domestic pipeline company, as part of a planned restructuring.

Ceres Plans Layoffs

Agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. said in a regulatory filing that it will lay off 17 workers and terminate the employment of a high-level executive.

American Homes Prices Stock Offering

American Homes 4 Rent on Friday priced secondary offering of preferred shares at $25 a share.

Preferred Bank, Stamps.com Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose slightly for the week, as the markets rebounded from earlier losses.

Markets Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 28 points to 15,340. The Nasdaq was up 51 points to 3,914. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,744. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 175.

Chill Lays Off Staff, Moves Away From Entertainment

Chill Chief Executive Brian Norgard said that the company has laid off its entire entertainment team and some engineers, cutting down to nine employees.

L.A. Venture Capital Increases

L.A. County companies raised nearly $349 million during the quarter, up from $277 million during the second quarter.

LAX Runway Falling Apart, City Claims

The city of Los Angeles has filed suit against companies responsible for building a runway that is now allegedly riddled with cracked concrete and exposed steel bars, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Health Website Woes Widen With Wrong Data

Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far, the Wall Street Journal reports.

BofA Weighs Prohibiting Some Overdrafts

Bank of America Corp. is considering a plan to introduce a checking account that wouldn't permit customers to overdraw their balances under certain circumstances, sources tell the Wall Street Journal, even though such a ban could eat into the billions of dollars in revenue the bank collects in overdraft fees each year.

Calpers to Appeal San Bernardino Bankruptcy Eligibility

The California Public Employees' Retirement System on Thursday said that it would appeal an August court ruling granting Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection to the city of San Bernardino, Reuters reports.

Marketing Shake-Up at Fox

Fox chief marketing officer Oren Aviv has been fired and the Century City studio promoted its two international chiefs, Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, to run worldwide marketing and distribution operations. The Wrap looks at some of the reasons behind the shake-up.

How DreamWorks Slimmed Down to Stay Alive

Steven Spielberg's partner Stacey Snider tells the Hollywood Reporter about the cost cuts and new financial partners at the DreamWorks studio that will get its first big test with "The Fifth Estate."

Morgan Stanley the New Winner on Wall Street

Move over Goldman Sachs. Forbes says Morgan Stanley is the new winner on Wall Street, with the financial giant posting better-than-expected third quarter earnings from continuing operations mostly due to a 50 percent jump in revenue.

China's GDP Grew 7.8 Percent in Third Quarter

China's growth accelerated in the third quarter, putting to rest for now fears that the world's No. 2 economy was headed for a sharp slowdown that would rattle world markets, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Behind Debt Deal: Silence, Distrust and Hardball

The budget fight that ended Wednesday night marked a new low in an increasingly dysfunctional capital. The Wall Street Journal looks at why the traditional back-channel negotiations and 11th-hour bartering that produce most legislative deals didn't happen.

California Regulators Pushing for Electricity Storage

The state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday voted to create a formal "energy storage target" of 1,325 megawatts, equivalent to the output of almost three modern, natural gas-fired power plants. The goal applies to three investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Edison Co., the Los Angeles Times reports.

DMV Runs Sting for Illegal Use of Disabled Placards

The Department of Motor Vehicles this week mounted a sting operation that issued 241 citations statewide for improper use of disabled permits or illegal parking in handicapped spaces, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Mercedes Seeks to Shed Its 'Old' Design

Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz' youngest-ever design chief, is taking steps to boost the luxury brand's lagging global sales and woo younger affluent drivers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why the World Is Watching 'Gravity'

"Gravity" is turning out to be the breakout hit of the year, appealing to a wide range of moviegoers. The Wall Street Journal looks at how conventional Hollywood wisdom almost kept the film from ever getting made.

Morning Markets Mixed

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 5 points to 15,367. The Nasdaq was up 35 points to 3,898. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,739.

Thursday, October 17

Hopkins Named Hulu CEO

Former Fox executive Mike Hopkins has been named chief executive at Hulu.

Cinedigm to Buy Gaiam Unit for $51.5 Million

Cinedigm Corp. late Thursday said that it will acquire the licensing and distribution business of Colorado media company Gaiam Inc. for $51.5 million.

Disney to Market Marvel-Branded Fruits and Vegetables

Disney Consumer Products will showcase new selections of its Disney-branded fruits and vegetables at a trade show this week featuring Marvel and other characters, the company announced Thursday.

Unico American Buys New HQ Building

Unico American Corp. has purchased a two-story office building in Calabasas with plans to eventually make it the company’s headquarters.

S&P, Nasdaq, LABJ Gain; Dow Falls

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 2 points to 15,371. The Nasdaq rose 24 points to 3,863. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to 1,722. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 175.

Dollar Hit by Aftermath of Government Shutdown

The dollar sank, U.S. Treasury prices rallied and gold shot higher after lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avoid a U.S. debt default, as investors anticipated that lingering uncertainty in Washington would push back the Federal Reserve's plans to wind down stimulus efforts, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNBC looks at how the budget battle and resulting government shutdown has hurt the U.S. economy.

Chinese Agency Cuts U.S. Debt Rating

Dagong Global Credit Rating cut its credit rating for U.S. sovereign debt by one notch to A-minus from A on Thursday, saying the deal struck by Congress to raise the government's borrowing ceiling failed to solve the cause of its debt problem, Reuters reports.

Covered California Removes Glitchy Online Directory

Three weeks into open enrollment, the state's new health insurance exchange has pulled its online directory of medical providers after acknowledging serious problems with some of the information, the Los Angeles Times reports. The California Medical Association says it found mistakes such as obstetricians labeled as ophthalmologists and the wrong doctors described as fluent in Russian and Farsi.

Higher Profit for East West

Pasadena’s East West Bancorp Inc. late Wednesday reported higher earnings that were just shy of Wall Street expectations, the Business Journal reports.

Developers Get Creative with El Segundo Complex

Continental Development and Mar Ventures plan 15 diverse buildings in El Segundo, hoping to attract tech and media firms that want to buy, not lease, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Republicans Assess the Damage

The lessons most Republicans draw from their defeat in the 16-day partial government shutdown — starting with how they approach budget talks set to produce an accord by Dec. 13 — will set the direction for the party, Bloomberg News reports. Tea Party Republicans, on the other hand, may still be winning, Bloomberg BusinessWeek says.

Business Voices Frustration with GOP

The budget stalemate that had the U.S. flirting with default has left business and the Republican Party, longtime political allies, at a crossroads, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Where Are the Under-40 Stars in Hollywood?

In the wake of the Christian Grey casting debacle for “50 Shades of Grey,” Variety looks at whether Hollywood has a leading man crisis.

A 'Real Housewife' to Open Beverly Hills Real Estate Firm

Real estate agents Marisa Zanuck (wife of producer Dean Zanuck and sometime star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) and Ryan Serhant (Million Dollar Listing New York) are joining forces to open a Beverly Hills brokerage next month, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Mark Cuban Cleared of Insider Trading Charges

Flamboyant billionaire Mark Cuban on Wednesday was cleared by a Texas jury of using a private tip to avoid a big loss on his 2004 sale of Internet company shares, in a stinging rebuke for the U.S. government which had accused him of insider trading, Reuters reports.

Stockbroker Requests to Scrub Complaints Often Granted

According to a study of more than 1,600 arbitration cases, stockbrokers are being routinely allowed to scrub some customer complaints from their public records, leaving investors in the dark about potentially troubled advisers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Lawsuit Reveals How Airlines Value Frequent Fliers

Most travelers know that airline fares change rapidly, often to a shopper’s chagrin. The same thing can happen when you use frequent-flier miles to book a hotel or rental car, although typically you catch a break the more miles you’ve amassed with the airline. But two members of United’s MileagePlus program say in a lawsuit that they had the opposite experience, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Markets Mixed

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 60 points to 15,314. The Nasdaq was up 6 points to 3,845. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,724.

Profits Rise at East West

Pasadena’s East West Bancorp Inc. late Wednesday reported earnings just shy of Wall Street expectations.

Wednesday, October 16

Awesomeness to Relaunch Seventeen YouTube Channel

AwesomenessTV announced Wednesday that it has joined with Hearst Corp. to relaunch the Seventeen YouTube channel and will create a multichannel network for the magazine's teen girl brand.

Mattel Earnings Climb

Strong global sales of its flagship Barbie and newcomer doll lines such as Monster High helped boost Mattel Inc.'s third quarter net income 16 percent.

Macy’s Line, Acquisition Drag Down Joe’s Jeans

Shares of Joe’s Jeans Inc. fell more than 8 percent Wednesday, a day after the apparel maker said it moved to a loss in the third quarter on declining sales of one brand and expenses related to an acquisition.

DreamWorks Unit in Digital Joint Ventune with Hearst

DreamWorks Animation SKG's AwesomenessTV unit and Hearst Corp. have formed a joint venture for a YouTube channel aimed at the readers of Hearst's Seventeen magazine.

Markets Rise

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 206 points, or 1 percent, to 15,374. The Nasdaq rose 45 points, or 1 percent, to 3,839. The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 1 percent, to 1,722. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent to 173.

Lawmakers Race to End Stalemate

Senate leaders in both parties this morning were putting the finishing touches on an agreement to temporarily raise the nation's debt ceiling and fully reopen the government as lawmakers raced to resolve their budget stalemate and calm anxious financial markets, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Brookfield Completes MPG Acquisition

With its acquisition of some of the tallest skyscrapers in downtown Los Angeles finally completed late Tuesday, New York-based Brookfield Office Properties Inc. is now the dominant office landlord in the city's financial district, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Council Waives Fees for TV Pilots

Calling it a signal to the television industry that it seeks to halt runaway productions, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a measure suggested by Mayor Eric Garcetti last year to waive all permit fees for television pilots filmed in the city, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

LAX Employee Arrested in Dry Ice Bombs

A Los Angeles International Airport employee has been arrested in connection with dry-ice bomb explosions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Government 'Paralysis' Spooks Home Builders, Buyers

Confidence among the nation's home builders slipped more than expected in early October – a combination of continuing cost challenges in the market and the budget showdown in Washington, CNBC reports, which also says applications for government mortgage products dropped to a six-year low last week.

Seismic Standards Apply Only to Some Buildings

It's a rare case in which Los Angeles has demanded that property owners make old concrete buildings stronger. About 100 buildings converted into residences have been retrofitted citywide, most of them in downtown. But a Los Angeles Times analysis of city and county data found more than 1,000 risky buildings that are not required to be retrofitted until the owners change the building's use.

'Lion King' Is Broadway's First $1 Billion Show

The Lion King is about to claim a big crown, the Hollywood Reporter says. The Disney musical that kicked off Broadway's obsession with movies is on pace to become the first show to reach $1 billion in cumulative gross this month.

Twitter Picking NYSE Bolsters Big Board’s Web-IPO Allure

Twitter Inc.’s decision to list on the New York Stock Exchange rather than the tech-laden Nasdaq is a victory for the Big Board, opening the door for more Internet listings, Bloomberg News reports.

Advance Auto Parts to Buy General Parts International

Advance Auto Parts Inc. plans to buy General Parts International Inc. for just over $2 billion, a takeover that would create one of North America's largest aftermarket auto-parts providers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Real-Estate Pioneer Loses Its Touch

Vornado Realty Trust grew from a small, New Jersey strip-center owner to a giant in real estate partly through its strategy of buying big stakes in retailers to get a piece of their valuable holdings of malls, stores and parking lots. But, as the Wall Street Journal reports, you would never know it from how the company fared in its latest deal, a failed investment in J.C. Penney Co.

Gay Couples Find Traps in Divorcing

Even though gay marriage is now legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia, gay divorce remains a difficult matter, CNBC reports. The first and biggest pitfall that awaits homosexual couples seeking a divorce is that they may not be able to get one.

Markets Jump

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 202 points, or 1 percent, to 15,370. The Nasdaq rose 45 points, or 1 percent, to 3,839. The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 1 percent, to 1,721.

Tuesday, October 15

Making a Break: President Discusses Defy Media Merger

After the companies announced the merger, Keith Richman spoke with the Business Journal by phone about the name Defy Media, the new company's structure and why many digital media startups are now acquisition targets.

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L.A. Port Numbers Down From Last Year

Cargo traffic at the Port of Los Angeles declined 4.5 percent in September compared with the same month last year, according to figures released Tuesday.

Banc of California Completes Merger

Banc of California Inc. on Tuesday announced the completion of the merger of its two banking subsidiaries, Pacific Trust Bank and Private Bank of California, into a single national charter bank called Banc of California.

Patch Editors Announce Departures

Two of AOL Patch’s local editors in Los Angeles announced their departure from the site on Tuesday.

Son of Sport Chalet Founders Resigns from Board

Eric Olberz, the son of Sport Chalet Inc. founders Norbert and Irene Olberz, has stepped down as a director amid a review of strategic alternatives by the La Canada Flintridge sporting goods chain.

Garcetti Calls for Better Workforce Training

The Los Angeles region is poised to create more manufacturing jobs but more needs to be done to get potential workers ready for those jobs, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday at the opening of the Westec manufacturing expo.

Markets Drop

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 133 points to 15,168. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 3,794. The S&P 500 fell 12 points to 1,698. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 171.

GoDaddy Scoops Up Culver City's Media Temple

President Russell Reeder will stay with the company while Media Temple Chief Executive Demian Sellfors will step back into an executive consultant role.

Police Discount Terrorism in Dry Ice Bombs at LAX

Police said four dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport, two that exploded and two that didn’t, are not connected to terrorism, the Los Angeles Times reports.

House GOP to Put Forth Budget Proposal

House Republican leaders are drafting a plan to rival the U.S. Senate’s efforts to break the stalemate over the shutdown and the debt ceiling, casting doubt on the prospect of a quick resolution, the Washington Post reports.

Brown Vetoes Affordable Housing Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have authorized cities and counties to force developers to set aside units for low-income residents, the Sacramento Bee reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Warner Using YouTube to Strike a Chord

At Warner Music Group, YouTube and its personalities have elbowed out radio, MTV, Yahoo and Myspace as the leading way to reach young music listeners, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Terminal Planned at Bob Hope

The future of Burbank's Bob Hope Airport may include a new two-story terminal 68 percent bigger than the current 80-year-old facility, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Warner Music to Move HQ to Paramount Plaza

Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest record company, is moving from its long-time headquarters at 75 Rockefeller Center to 1633 Broadway Tower, also known as Paramount Plaza, Billboard reports.

Disney: Reject ‘Mini-Tender’ Offer

Disney is urging shareholders to reject an effort by Toronto-based TRC Capital to mount a “mini-tender offer” to buy up to 2 million shares at the below-market price of $61 a share, Variety reports.

First Look at 'Avatar' Attraction

Walt Disney Co. released a video that gives the first glimpse of planned attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla., based on the blockbuster movie "Avatar," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nobel Winner Warns of Another Bubble in Home Prices

One of three American economists who won the 2013 economics Nobel prize on Monday for research into market prices and asset bubbles expressed alarm at the rapid rise in global housing prices, Reuters reports.

Hearing Planned Over EDD Backlog

The California Assembly plans to hold a hearing as early as next month to probe the causes of a snafu at the Employment Development Department that caused tens of thousands of unemployment claim payments to be delayed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple Hires Burberry CEO as Retail Chief

Apple Inc. has hired Angela Ahrendts, chief executive of retailer Burberry, for the new position of senior vice president of retail and online stores, the Wall Street Journal reports. Henry Blodget at Yahoo Finance says Ahrendts - credited with Burberry’s turnaround - could become Apple's next CEO.

Jamie Dimon: Hero or Goat?

Jamie Dimon should be fired. That seems to be the conclusion of the pundit class about JPMorgan Chase’s beleaguered chairman and chief executive. But the New York Times reports that many of the people who count — investors, analysts, board members and, even regulators — firmly disagree.

Study: Popcorn Makes Moviegoers Ignore Ads

Researchers at a German university say that chewing may diminish the effectiveness of film advertising, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Markets Slip

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 62 points to 15,239. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 3,809. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,704.

Grocery App Launches From Savings.com

Favado compiles discount and sales information from more than 65,000 local grocery and drug stores.

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Monday, October 14

Demand Media CEO to Resign

The board has named Shawn Colo, who co-founded of the Santa Monica digital media company with Rosenblatt in 2006, interim president.

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MannKind Submits Another Application for Afrezza

MannKind Corp on Monday said it had submitted a revised application to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to allow the company to market its inhaled diabetes drug Afrezza. The submission includes results from two additional clinical trials required by regulators.

Superior Industries CEO Announces Retirement

Superior Industries International Inc. on Monday said that Steven Borick will retire as chief executive of the aluminum wheel manufacturer at the end of March.

Break Media Merges With Alloy Digital, Becomes Defy Media

The new company will be headquartered in New York with production, technology, sales and marketing teams in Los Angeles and satellite offices in Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Detroit.

Markets Recover After Morning Drop

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 64 points to 15,301. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 3,815. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,710. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 172.

Three Americans Win Nobel in Economics

A trio of U.S. scholars on Monday won the Nobel Prize in economics for their research on the predictability of the price of stocks, bonds and other assets, Bloomberg News reports. The three laureates “laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset price."

Access Restored for Food Stamp Users

People in California, Ohio and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards over the weekend after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure, the Associated Press reports.

Work Begins on Blossom Plaza Multi-Use Complex

After a decade of delays, a $100-million real estate development in the heart of Chinatown is getting underway as the changing neighborhood catches a wave of investment sweeping through downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hollywood's Latest Thriller: How to Keep Scripts Secret

Intense security on scripts has become standard operating procedure in Hollywood, where studios and producers no longer just worry about movies being pirated, the Wall Street Journal reports.

City Attorney Acts to Shut Down Illegal Pot Shops

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office is moving to shut down 38 medical marijuana dispensaries operating outside the requirements of a voter-approved May ballot measure intended to reduce their number, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Netflix Could Offer Online Video Pay TV

Netflix is in talks with such U.S. pay TV companies as Comcast to make its popular online video service available via their set-top boxes, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Is L.A. Ignoring Concrete Risks?

More than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles and hundreds more throughout the county may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.

Replacing San Onofre Power a Challenge

State energy officials are scrambling to fill a large hole in California electricity supplies now that the San Onofre nuclear plant has been permanently closed by Southern California Edison Co., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rentech Shifts to More Fertile Field

For most of its 33-year history, Rentech Inc. tried to make money on green fuel development. But like its plans to sell synthetic diesel to major airlines in 2009, those efforts never really left the ground. The Los Angeles Times in a business profile details how the Los Angeles company now is profiting from its nitrogen fertilizer business near the U.S. Corn Belt. Check out the Business Journal’s earlier coverage.

Chinese Calls for ‘De-Americanized’ World

The political standoff in Washington has spawned frustration and growing worries in China, which remains the largest holder of U.S. government debt, as the clock ticks down to a possible U.S. debt default this week, the Washington Post reports.

The Long, Slow Process of IKEA Design

Swedish-based home retailer IKEA's commitment to shaving costs makes designing a kitchen a five-year task, the Wall Street Journal reports.

An IPO for USPS Not as Daft as It Sounds

If you were ask the average American to invest in the U.S. Postal Service, you would get a puzzled response. After all, the USPS lost $15.9 billion last year. But consider the outcome of the highly anticipated initial public offering of the Royal Mail in the U.K., where investors were so hungry for shares of the 360-year-old postal service that the stock price rose 38 percent on the first day, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Market Fall Back

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 64 points to 15,173 The Nasdaq fell 11 points to 3,781. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,696.

Thrift Charters Future as Bank

LENDING: OneWest would become L.A.’s second biggest.

Charter change would vault L.A.’s biggest thrift, OneWest, into this market’s second-biggest bank.

Electric Plan Shocks Businesses

ENERGY: Edison customers say shift to off-peak hours unworkable.

Southern California Edison’s time-of-use plan to ration summer electricity shocks some business owners.

Projects Change Gears With Bikes

Real Estate: New rule lets developers swap out car spaces.

City of L.A.’s new bike-parking requirements let some projects put the brakes on more expensive car spaces.

Bar Gets Green Around Gills

Kendall’s Brasserie builds nightly special menu around once-banned absinthe.

Kendall’s Brasserie hopes its absinthe-focused happy-hour menu isn’t too hard to swallow.

Getting the Hang of It

Mike Bryant is afraid of heights.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

On the Runway

DINING: DineEquity’s IHOP lands at Atlanta airport in pursuit of new venues.

DineEquity seeks a lift from nontraditional venues such as an IHOP in an Atlanta airport.

Activists May Hold Up Lender’s Big Acquisition

BANKING: PacWest’s bid to pay $2.3 billion for CapitalSource questioned.

Community-minded groups look to mount hefty opposition to PacWest’s big deal to buy CapitalSource.

Satellite TV Company Beaming Over Indie Films

Television: DirecTV seeks to keep subscribers with exclusive offerings.

DirecTV hopes exclusive indie films will play a big role in securing satellite subscribers.

3-D Printing Studio’s Tasty Treats Spur Sweet Deal

Food: Sugar Lab scooped up by company looking to expand into desserts.

Kyle and Liz von Hasseln, the husband and wife team behind innovative Silver Lake 3-D printing studio Sugar Lab, got a sweet surprise last month.

News of the Week

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

Done Deals

Former U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor now covers lot of ground overseas for Mayer Brown.

Former Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor now handles overseas business for law firm Mayer Brown.

Big Apple Business Plucks Downtown Portfolio

ACQUISITION: Deal for MPG expands Brookfield’s Class A holdings in market.

New Yorkers this week will hold the keys to a huge chunk of the office space in downtown Los Angeles.

Real Stores Still Real Nice

Charles Crumpley thinks online retailer JustFab’s new foray into regular retailing is just fabulous.

When D.C. Doesn’t Work

Some proponents of running government like a business have no clue about executive responsibilities.

The partial shutdown of the government is bad business for America, according to Luis Vasquez-Ajmac.

Tolls, Not Taxes, Should Fuel Highway Construction

Robert Poole sees tolls putting the state’s highways on the road to recovery.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

Merger Latest Play for Online Video Companies

INTERNET: Break Media and Alloy Digital link up for Defy joint venture.

Online video companies Break Media and Alloy Digital are in the process of merging, with the resulting joint venture to be called Defy Media.

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Drug Company Stung as Investors Bail on Sector

BIOTECH: CytRx’s stock offering flops in industry’s biggest sell-off in two years.

CytRx’s shot-in-arm stock offering swamped by tsunami of an industry sell-off.

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Merged Firms Double Up For Direct Digital Model

MARKETING: Russ Reid hopes SCA pickup pays off for non-profit clientele.

Russ Reid relies on a direct approach to fundraise for non-profits.

Making Most of Creative Space

Iam8bit-painted satellite offers extraterrestrials out-of-this-world hookup.

Production company iam8bit raises its profile with a cheeky alien-hailing painting on a satellite.

Coffee Company Looks to Get Percolating in L.A.

EXPANSION: Nestle aims to turn up heat with standalone Nespresso shop.

Nestle Nespresso USA will open its first standalone L.A.-area Nespresso coffee store and café this month on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills.

Dialed Up

Entravision soars with Spanish-language TV

Station owner Entravision channels Univision network’s ratings gain into increased ad revenue.

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Friday, October 11

Drug Developer Xencor Files for IPO

Xencor Inc., a Monrovia company developing antibody-based drugs to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and other conditions, on Friday filed for an initial public offering.

Activision Completes Stock Buy From Vivendi

Activision Blizzard Inc. completed buying back its shares from Vivendi Friday afternoon.

Arrowhead, CytRx Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose slightly for the week as the markets rebounded.

Markets Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 111 points to 15,237. The Nasdaq rose 31 points to 3,792. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,703. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 171.

Progress Continues on Shutdown and Debt Limit

President Obama is hosting Senate Republicans at the White House in an effort to build on the first signs of bipartisan progress over how to deal with the federal shutdown and next week’s debt-ceiling deadline, the Washington Post reports.

Garcetti Outlines Street Plan

Mayor Eric Garcetti this week launched his Great Streets Initiative, a plan to turn the main thoroughfares of up to 40 Los Angeles neighborhoods into pedestrian-friendly destinations, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Times also reports that he decided to replace Fire Chief Brian Cummings.

Magic Johnson Won't Return to ESPN

Lakers legend and entrepreneur Magic Johnson won't return to ESPN as an NBA studio analyst because of his busy schedule, the Associated Press reports. Johnson is part of the ownership group that agreed to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.

Legal Costs Push JPMorgan to Rare Loss

J.P. Morgan Chase's ballooning legal expenses took their toll in the third quarter, driving the nation's largest bank to its first-ever loss under Chief Executive James Dimon, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Del Monte Foods Sells Consumer Products Division

Del Monte Foods said that it would sell its consumer products division for $1.68 billion to Del Monte Pacific, the Asian company which already sells food under the Del Monte brand in the Philippines and India. The New York Times said the deal will let the company focus on what is now its biggest business, pet foods.

O.C. Register Parent to Buy Riverside Press-Enterprise

Aaron Kushner, owner of the Orange County Register, has increased his holdings in Southern California by agreeing to buy the Press-Enterprise, which circulates in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the Los Angeles Times reports.

State Accuses Corinthian Colleges of 'Predatory' Tactics

California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. on Thursday, accusing it of using false advertising and predatory tactics to lure potential students to its for-profit schools, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: Hulu Close to Naming Mike Hopkins as CEO

Hulu LLC, the Web streaming service controlled by Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox Inc., is close to naming Fox executive Mike Hopkins as its chief executive, sources told Bloomberg News.

Boeing Unveils Its Jumbo Killer: The 777X

Boeing Co. forever changed aviation in 1970 when it introduced its 747 jumbo jet. Now the world’s No. 1 maker of commercial aircraft is poised to offer a model that may kill off its best-known creation, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Tale of Two Rollouts

The New York Times looks at how California and Florida rolled out Obamacare in their states. While California “blew the socks off” expectations with its Covered California, Florida lawmakers refused to create a state exchange, forcing residents into an overwhelmed federal program.

Jury Clears Toyota in Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

A Los Angeles County jury handed Toyota Motor Corp. a significant legal victory Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports, clearing it of responsibility in a 2009 crash of a Camry that accelerated out of control, killing the driver.

BlackBerry Co-Founders Consider Takeover

BlackBerry Ltd. co-founder Mike Lazaridis’s potential bid for the struggling smartphone maker would face a battle for financing with Canadian investor Prem Watsa, who’s looking to take it private with his own buyout, Bloomberg News reports.

Market Gains

Market Gains In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points to 15,152. The Nasdaq rose 7 points to 3,768. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,694.

Thursday, October 10

Brookfield Expects to Complete MPG Deal Next Week

Brookfield Office Properties Inc. on Thursday said that it expects to close its $180 million acquisition of downtown L.A. office landlord MPG Office Trust Inc. by Tuesday.

Health Net Signs Deal with Prime

Health Net Inc. has signed a contract with Prime Healthcare Services to add 14 hospitals to its network.

Area Home Foreclosure Rate Drops

Home foreclosures fell sharply in Southern California in September, according to a report released Thursday.

Airpush Acquires Mobile Advertising Developer Hubbl

West L.A. mobile ad platform Airpush on Thursday said it would buy Hubbl, a New York developer of in-app advertising and personalization technology for mobile devices.

Markets Rise

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 323 points, or 2 percent, to 15,126. The Nasdaq rose 83 points, or 2 percent, to 3,761. The S&P 500 rose 36 points, or 2 percent, to 1,693. The LABJ Stock Index rose 4 points to 170.

Court Clears Activision Stock Deal

The Santa Monica video game publisher now says it expects to acquire 429 million shares from Vivendi by Oct. 15.

Dance Network Steps Into $4 Million

DanceOn has also added television producer Nigel Lythgoe – who has worked on reality competitions "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" – to its board.

House Republicans Eye Debt Limit Hike

A plan was presented to the House GOP caucus Thursday morning that would allow for six-week increase in the debt limit, without any strings attached, the Washington Post reports.

Stocks Soar on Hopes for Fiscal Deal

The stock market broke out of a three-week funk Thursday morning as Washington moved closer to a deal to allow the country to pile on more debt, the Associated Press reports.

L.A. County Among Least Affordable Housing Markets

A study released Thursday by real estate information company Trulia says a median-income household in Los Angeles County can afford only 24 percent of the homes currently for sale, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Poultry Plants Targeted in Salmonella Outbreak

The three plants operated by Foster Farms are blamed for an outbreak of salmonella poisoning that has sickened at least 278 people nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Landlords Thankful for Tech

Los Angeles may not have the biggest collection of technology businesses in the country, but it does have some of the coolest ones and they are expanding quickly. The Los Angeles Times reports that tech businesses represented about one-fourth of the 3.5 million square feet in Los Angeles County leases closed during the first six months of this year.

Tracing the Calendar Down to the Last Cent

Oct. 17 is when the Treasury Department expects to exhaust its so-called extraordinary measures to keep paying the country’s bills, putting it on the precipice of default. But the New York Times reports that both Washington officials and Wall Street traders have a second, yet more dire deadline in mind: Nov. 1.

Risk to Food Safety Seen in Furloughs

The partial government shutdown is endangering what America eats, food safety experts said this week, as all inspections of domestic food except meat and poultry have halted, the New York Times reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to recall furloughed workers to handle a salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds of people in 18 states.

'Preppers' Gear Up for a U.S. Default

As the U.S. government shutdown deepens, many Americans who are preparing for the worst outcomes in the event of a government debt meltdown — and driving a market for survival products and services in the process, CNBC reports.

News-Press & Gazette Stations Go Dark on DirecTV

Family-run News-Press & Gazette has a relatively small chain of 13 stations mostly in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, and Texas. But a contract impasse with the No. 1 satellite company DirecTV has resulted in stations from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs going dark on Wednesday, Deadline.com reports.

Algorithm to Bring 3D Textures to Touchscreen

Disney researchers have developed a new algorithm, which is capable of simulating 3D geometric features on touch screen surfaces and allow people to "feel" the texture of the objects viewed on a touchscreen, Computer Business Review reports.

Male, Rich and Smart? You're a Scammer's Dream

A report from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Investor Education Foundation suggests that certain groups of Americans may be more vulnerable to fraud than they think, CNBC reports.

Markets Rebound

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 178 points, or 1 percent, to 14,981. The Nasdaq rose 56 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,734. The S&P 500 rose 21 points, or 1 percent, to 1,677.

DogVacay Raises $15 Million More

The round, which brings DogVacay's total funding to $22 million, was led by Foundation Capital.

Wednesday, October 9

UCLA to Operate Motion Picture & Television Fund Health Clinics

UCLA Health System and the Motion Picture & Television Fund on Wednesday said UCLA plans to take over operations and leases on six Fund health clinics that now serve entertainment industry workers.

City of Hope to Partner with Providence Hospitals

City of Hope and Providence Health & Services on Wednesday announced a partnership that will add City of Hope's cancer patient care expertise to Providence’s Los Angeles-area hospitals.

Juicy Couture Name Sold for $195 Million

The once-trendy L.A. fashion line Juicy Couture has had its naming rights sold to New York-based Authentic Brands Group for $195 million in cash.

Dow, S&P Up, Nasdaq, BLAX Down

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 26 points to 14,803. The Nasdaq fell 17 points to 3,678. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,656. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 166.

UTA Adds Tech Vet to Expand Investments

The digital media arm of the Beverly Hills agency has hired tech startup veteran Robyn Ward to work with young companies and seek out investment opportunities.

EHarmony Names Board Member

William Weyerhaeuser is a retired clinical psychologist who is currently a director at Spokane, Wash., manufacturer Clearwater Paper Co.

Nativo Snags Yahoo Vet

Jay Freedman has left Yahoo become Nativo's chief revenue officer.

Expected Fed Nominee Has Easy-Money Leanings

Janet Yellen, expected today to be nominated to be the next Federal Reserve chief, is known for a willingness to push boundaries to goose a listless economy, reflecting an easy-money leaning, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Starbucks Opens Local Juice Factory

Seattle's Starbucks Corp. today officially opens a massive $70-million factory in Rancho Cucamonga that will be able to churn out 140,000 gallons of Evolution Fresh juice each week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Men's Wearhouse Rejects Jos. A. Bank Bid

The board of Men's Wearhouse Inc. has rejected a $2.3 billion unsolicited bid from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., an offer that would have combined two national leaders in the discount-suit business, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why Fox News Shuffled Its Anchors

Megyn Kelly's move to Sean Hannity's slot on the Fox News Channel is the network’s first primetime shift in a decade, revealing a quest for younger viewers and a new willingness to mix up news and commentary, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Discontent Under the Hollywood Sign

A satirical flier calling for the Hollywood sign to be torn down testifies to frustration of residents in the upscale hillside homes of Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland to the increasing crowds and tour buses, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fears of Global Recession Increase

For global leaders, the political crisis that has partially shut down Washington represents the most vexing kind of problem, one that they have virtually no means to stem but that could soon wreak economic havoc on their own shores, the Washington Post reports.

BlackRock: Investors Won’t Buy Bonds on a Default

If the U.S. goes into default because Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, investors won't rush into bonds like they did in 2011, Matt Tucker, BlackRock's head of iShares fixed-income strategy, tells CNBC. Instead, Treasurys could sell off.

San Francisco Offers Lessons on Quake Retrofitting

Los Angeles could learn from San Francisco's strategy to win regulations on wooden apartment buildings like the Northridge Meadows complex, which collapsed in the Northridge quake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney to Stop Issuing Stock Certificates

Walt Disney Co. plans to stop issuing stock certificates, delivering shares only in electronic form. That’s a blow to would-be collectors of the documents that feature drawings of Bambi and Mickey Mouse, Bloomberg News reports.

Film Exec Joseph A. Adelman Dies

Veteran film exec Joseph A. Adelman, a United Artist vice president who headed the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in the late 1970s, died Tuesday in Burbank following a six-month battle with cancer, Variety reports. He was 79.

Lack of Worker Skills Threatens European Recovery

A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicates that many countries in dire economic trouble have many workers who lack the skills needed to prompt an economic recovery, the Associated Press reports.

Market Slump Persists

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 33 points to 14,743. The Nasdaq dropped 36 points to 3,659. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,650.

Tuesday, October 8

L.A. Location Filming Rises

A sharp increase in feature film production helped boost location filming in Los Angeles during the third quarter.

Green Dot Finds New CFO

Green Dot Corp. on Tuesday said it has appointed Grace Wang as chief financial officer, effective Nov. 18. She succeeds John Keatley, who left last month.

American Homes to Sell Preferred Shares

Agoura Hills' American Homes 4 Rent on Tuesday said that it will sell $15 million in preferred shares in a secondary offering.

LTC to Fund Memory-Care Communities

LTC Properties Inc. on Tuesday said that it plans to spend $19.6 million to construct communities in Colorado for elderly patients with memory disorders.

Markets Slump

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 160 points, or 1 percent, to 14,777. The Nasdaq fell 76 points, or 2 percent, to 3,695. The S&P 500 fell 21 points to 1,655. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1 percent, to 168.

IdeaLists Launches Self-Serve Marketplace

Adam Glickman founded the IdeaLists in 2010 as a concierge service to help brands find creative studios.

Report: Startup Activity Steady

In total, L.A. companies raised more than $280 million in funding during the third quarter.

Dollar Shave Club Raises Round for Product Expansion

Dollar Shave Club, which was incubated out of Santa Monica's Science, started with a monthly subscription service for men's razors.

Break Media to Merge with Alloy Digital

Alloy Chief Executive Matthew Diamond and Break Chief Executive Keith Richman told the New York Times that the 50-50 merger will create a new company called Defy Media, which will focus on the 12-to-34 demographic.

Deal Reached on Vernon Battery Plant

State regulators have reached a deal with Vernon battery recyclers Exide Technologies to set aside $7.7 million to pay for new filters to lower its arsenic emissions and new piping for a stormwater system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Economic Confidence Falters

A Gallup poll says Americans’ confidence in the economy has tumbled more since the government shutdown began a week ago than in any week since the global financial crisis started in September 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Garcetti Reflects Changing City

The New York Times looks at how, three months into office, Mayor Eric Garcetti seems to embody a host of ethnic, ideological and cultural strains that are transforming Los Angeles.

Incentive Program Targets Unscripted TV Shows

Santa Barbara County expects to pump at least $500,000 a year into the local economy with its recently expanded movie and TV incentive program, placing a special emphasis on attracting reality shows, the Hollywood Reporter says.

New $100 Bills Start Circulating

The Federal Reserve today will have armored trucks rolling from its regional banks to the nation's financial institutions, filled with new high-tech C-notes designed to thwart counterfeiters, the Associated Press reports.

Former Union Leader Gets Prison Term

Tyrone Freeman, former president of the state service employees union, was sentenced Monday to federal prison for stealing from his low-income members to finance a lifestyle that included two wives, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Plot Thickens in Hollywood Union Election

Members of Teamsters Local 399 — which represents 4,500 studio transportation coordinators, location managers, casting directors, animal wranglers and drivers — this week are casting ballots in what has turned into a bruising and divisive battle for its top leadership post, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SAG-Aftra Extends Certain Contracts

SAG-Aftra will extend its contracts for corporate, non-broadcast and educational work by a year in order to better prepare for the next negotiation and to give members more opportunity to be involved in the process, the Wrap reports.

Loan Spigot Runs Dry for Small Biz

The government shutdown is throwing a wrench into efforts by some small businesses to get government-backed loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Community Banks Struggle to Repay Tarp Funds

Five years after Washington bailed out more than 700 banks, the money has become a burden for more than 100 community banks that can't seem to repay it. The Los Angeles Times reports that about a dozen of them are in California.

Microsoft Succession Fuels Speculation

There’s a question being whispered around Microsoft’s sprawling suburban campus, the New York Times reports. What will Bill Gates do when Steve Ballmer goes?

'Piolín' Hopes to Reboot Career

Three months after Eddie 'Piolín' Sotelo lost his Spanish-language radio show on Univision amid harassment allegations, the Mexican-born personality is about to launch a satellite radio show, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Publisher Made Up a Word to Sell Dictionary

What does it take to sell a new print edition of a national dictionary? McCann Melbourne in Australia is hoping a year-long guerilla marketing campaign and the birth of a word will be enough, AdAge reports.

Markets Fall

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 59 points to 14,877. The Nasdaq fell 44 points, or 1 percent, to 3,727. The S&P 500 was down 8 points to 1,668.

Monday, October 7

'Gravity' Boosts RealD’s Stock

RealD Inc. shares jumped more than 9 percent Monday, boosted by a stronger-than-expected weekend box office for the space thriller “Gravity.”

Kythera Plans $100 Million Stock Sale

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. on Monday announced a $100 million stock offering as it prepares to seek FDA approval of its groundbreaking drug that reduces double chins.

Cherokee to Buy Back Shares

Cherokee Inc. on Monday said that its board approved a stock repurchase program of up to 1 million shares.

Markets Slide

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 136 points, or 1 percent, to 14,936 The Nasdaq dropped 37 points, or 1 percent, to 3,770. The S&P 500 fell 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,676. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 2 points, or 1 percent, to 168.

Brown Signs Law Amending Prop 65

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law changes to Proposition 65, the state's anti-toxins law. The alterations aim to reduce lawsuits as well as fines for businesses, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Los Angeles Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Markit Could Launch Viral Messaging Revolution

Eight of the world's largest investment banks on Monday will launch their most ambitious assault on Bloomberg's grip on daily communications in financial markets with the start of free viral messaging service called Markit, the Financial Times reports via CNBC.

Nielsen to Measure Twitter Chatter on TV Shows

Nielsen is planning to introduce its new service that tracks Twitter posts about TV series, the New York Times reports.

There's Little Life Left in Pershing Square

Alterations over the years have turned downtown L.A.'s Pershing Square into a concrete jungle. Some parkgoers want it restored to an old-fashioned, tree- and bench-filled oasis, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Treasurys Rise as Partial Shutdown Drags On

Treasurys climbed Monday as the U.S. government limped into a seventh day of partial shutdown, adding to investor fears that the Washington wrangling could last longer than initially anticipated and further derail the economic recovery, the Wall Street Journal reports.

10 Years After Recall, California Still Feels Effects

The state was changed — but not the way proponents hoped — by the seismic election that propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger into the governor’s office, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Gasoline Prices Dip

Reuters reports that the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell 13.78 cents in the last two weeks, as refiners continued to pass on lower crude oil prices.

Families Still Hoarding Cash

Five years after U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering a global financial crisis and shattering confidence worldwide, families in countries as varied as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany remain hunkered down, too spooked and distrustful to take chances with their money, the Associated Press reports.

Buffett's Crisis-Lending Haul Reaches $10 Billion

Billionaire Warren Buffett tossed lifelines to a handful of blue-chip companies during the financial crisis. Five years later the payoff on those deals is becoming clear: $10 billion and counting, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Time Warner Cable to Acquire DukeNet

Time Warner Cable will expand its business services portfolio and network assets in the southeast by shelling out $600 million in cash for DukeNet Communications, a firm that delivers a range of commercial-class services and operates an optical fiber network that stretches 8,700 miles, MultiChannel News reports.

'Made in U.S.A.' Appeals to Wal-Mart

Manufacturers hoping to win business from Wal-Mart are finding a possible advantage if they can produce items in the United States. The retailer is looking to increase the number of American-made products it sells, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Digital Tools Play Big Role in Small Biz Growth

Tweet, Vine, Pin, Post. Update a blog. Like a Facebook status. Network via LinkedIn. There's myriad options for small business owners to connect with customers, peers and others via digital media, USA Today reports.

Markets Slump

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 90 points to 14,982. The Nasdaq dropped 23 points to 3,785. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 1,682.

Headphones Maker Sounds Out Culver City Move

LEASE: Beats Electronics to leave Santa Monica for Hayden Tract space.

Audio equipment company Beats Electronics, which sells high-end headphones branded by rapper and music producer Dr. Dre, will move its headquarters from Santa Monica to Culver City next year.

TV Appearance Has Ticket Vendor Sitting Pretty

TICKETS: Shares rise after Live Nation CEO talks up secondary market service.

CEO’s TV appearance gets investors out of their seats for shares of Live Nation.

Hefty Bids In the Bags

Heritage Auctions’ purses pull in six-figure payouts.

Heritage turns in a clutch performance with handbag bids topping $100,000.

Labor Works New Tactic in Los Angeles

OP-ED

Richard Berman sees a new union tactic working against local employers and workers.

App May Have Users’ Numbers

INTERNET: Ad Hoc’s Burner links multiple lines to one phone.

Ad Hoc Labs looks to get lines on customers with its Burner app linking multiple numbers to one smartphone.

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Obamacare’s Doctored Coverage

OP-ED: Individual payer finds pricey policies and few choices on California’s health care exchange website.

California’s health care exchange gets a poor early prognosis from Steve Duchesne.

Real Estate-Focused Firm Homed In on Work

LAUNCH: Big Law skips trophy space to open virtual Westwood office.

Eli Taban’s new law firm is called Big Law Partners, but if you show up at its Westwood offices, you won’t find any attorneys.

Fit to Print?

TV Guide owner finds value in PennySaver

Classifieds mailer PennySaver earns investment firm and new owner OpenGate’s stamp of approval.

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Games On For New Bar

EightyTwo looks to score customers with arcade approach.

Downtown L.A. bar EightyTwo bets on arcade games to feed its quarter-ly earnings.

Herbalife’s Claims for Distributors Tough to Swallow

OP-ED

Alma Morales Riojas gags on Herbalife’s claims about the distributors of its nutritional supplements.

Why Should Film Take Focus?

OP-ED: The mayor is wrong to support special tax cuts for movie companies. What about the rest of the city?

Adam B. Summers wants the mayor to direct his business-boosting focus beyond TV and film.

California Can No Longer Coast

COMMENT

Gov. Jerry Brown must be in a time warp, Charles Crumpley writes, because Brown still thinks California leads the entire nation.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

Made Wave

CPA Russ Lesser helped Body Glove International make splash as wetsuit maker and brand licensor.

Accountant Russ Lesser caught the big wave when he joined wetsuit maker Body Glove International.

News of the Week

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

Bond-Focused Firm Pursues Alternative Strategies

INVESTMENT: TCW buys Craton as means to grow and diversify assets.

Most of the assets managed by downtown L.A.’s TCW Group Inc. are invested in bonds, but the firm has been working for the past year to build up assets invested in its so-called alternative strategies – private equity, direct lending and distressed debt.

Festival Proves a Real Draw for Documentaries

FILM: Third edition of ArcLight Cinemas event pulls in 400 applicants.

ArcLight Cinemas Documentary Film Festival has filmmakers flocking.

Jeans Maker’s Stock Rise May Be Less Than Seems

APPAREL: Analyst says Joe’s purchase of Hudson may not be spike’s cause.

Investors give stock of Joe’s Jeans a leg up as the denim maker completes its acquisition of Hudson.

L.A. City Council Measure Would Curb Rogue Valets

HOSPITALITY: Nightclub and restaurant owners had long sought crackdown.

Los Angeles City Council passes measure to put brakes on rogue valet operators.

Los Angeles May Sign Off on Hefty Billboard Fines

ADVERTISING: Proposal mulled by city would raise rates by factor of 20.

City of Los Angeles may give billboard owners the higher sign by dramatically boosting scofflaw fines.

Public Relations Firm Spreads Out to Get Up Close

PR: Bread & Butter opens satellite offices to provide clients localized focus.

Bread & Butter chooses to get the word out on clients through satellite offices instead of beefing up its HQ.

Forward Thinking

SHIPPING: AWA teams with Australian company to move goods Down Under.

Freight forwarder AWA and its Australian partner think they have got the goods on Down Under consumers.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Putting His Best Foot Forward

When Ben Katz was producing low-budget movies a few years ago, it meant a lot to him when people bought copies of his films.

Economy Shines For Brush Maker

MANUFACTURING: Brush Research looks to boost capacity.

Customers from a variety of industries are combing through Brush Research’s catalog as economy improves.

Car Dealerships See Lots of Suits

AUTOMOTIVE: ‘Piece-rate’ ruling drives technicians to court.

State court ruling on piece-rate work may drive car technicians to battle with dealerships.

Friday, October 4

Farmer Bros. Gets Delisting Notice

Farmers Bros. Co. said Friday it had received a notification letter Thursday from the Nasdaq stock market, advising it that risked delisting for failure to file its annual report on time with SEC.

Report: KDAY Sale Falls Through

The sale of hip-hop station KDAY-FM (93.5) of Redondo Beach to Chinese investors has reportedly been called off.

PacWest Merger Opposed

A group that lobbies banks to do more lending in low-income communities is protesting the merger of CapitalSource Inc. and PacWest Bancorp, saying PacWest executives are not committed to community development activities.

Business Owners Indicted in Seal Oil Smuggling Case

The owners of a Walnut nutritional supplement company have been indicted on charges of smuggling seal oil capsules from China.

The Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week.

Wells Fargo Fires Workers Accused of Cheating on Sales Goals

Wells Fargo & Co. has fired about 30 branch employees in the Los Angeles region who the bank said had opened bogus accounts and attempted to manipulate customer-satisfaction surveys, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Port of L.A. Director Announces Departure

Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, announced Thursday that she will retire at the end of the year, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Twitter Reveals $1 Billion IPO Plan

Twitter Inc. on Thursday revealed plans to raise up to $1 billion in a public offering, looking to cash in on a messaging service that has transformed public conversation but is still losing money, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Boehner Pledges to Avoid Default

Speaker John A. Boehner has privately told Republican lawmakers anxious about fallout from the government shutdown that he would not allow a federal default, The New York Times reports.

Bell's Rizzo to Serve Prison Time

Robert Rizzo, the central figure in the scandal that made the working-class city of Bell a national symbol for government graft, pleaded no contest on Thursday in the corruption case, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Judge Says Coliseum Panel Violated Open-meeting Law

A judge Thursday said the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission appeared to have repeatedly violated the state's open-meeting law during its months of closed-door deliberations on USC's lease of the taxpayer-owned stadium, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Has Worst Big-City Roads in the Nation

The roads in greater Los Angeles are the most deteriorated in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports.

UCLA Environmental Studies Receives $15-million

A $15-million donation to UCLA is going to bolster environmental studies and start a new prize for innovation in sustainability, the Los Angeles Times reports. The money comes from the charitable foundation of Los Angeles philanthropists Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker.

Viral Video of Burning Tesla Sends Stock Tumbling

Tesla’s stock declined for the second day Thursday after a video of a burning Model S on a Washington highway went viral, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Is Mattingly’s Moment at Hand?

Don Mattingly has spent 24 years in the storied uniforms of the Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers but hasn’t yet reached the World Series, The New York Times reports.

Markets Rise

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 24 points to 15,020. The Nasdaq ticked up 21 points to 3,795. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,683.

Thursday, October 3

Port of L.A. Director Announces Departure

Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, announced Thursday that she will retire at the end of the year

HCP Fires Chief Executive

Health care real estate firm HCP Inc. on Thursday said it fired longtime chief executive James Flaherty.

United Online Names New CEO

United Online Inc. announced on Thursday that Francis Lobo would become president and chief executive of the company next month.

Molina Revises Share Buy-Back

Molina Healthcare Inc. on Thursday said that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $50 million worth of the company's common stock.

Markets Decline Continues

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 137 points, or 1 percent, to 14,996. The Nasdaq dropped 41 points, or 1 percent, to 3,774. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,679. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 2 points to 169.

Snapchat Increases Photo Lifespan With Stories

This is the first time that Snapchat has allowed content to live in its app longer than 10 seconds.

TigerText Revamps as Freemium Messaging Platform

The company has also created a web messenger so users can have access to those conversations both online and on mobile devices.

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Comcast Buys Universal City Tower

With an eye toward consolidating its Los Angeles-area operations, NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp. has purchased 10 Universal City Plaza, the tallest office building in the San Fernando Valley, for about $420 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti Sets Out to Rebuild Ties with Business Leaders

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday sought to rebuild frayed ties with the city's business leaders, embracing their City Hall agenda while promoting his efforts to speed L.A.'s economic recovery, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Focus Turns to Debt-Ceiling Deadline

The fight over the partial government shutdown appeared to be moving toward a bigger showdown over raising the nation’s debt ceiling Thursday, after the first White House talks to solve the fiscal standoff failed to make any progress toward a deal, the Washington Post reports.

AEG Cleared in Michael Jackson's Death

A Los Angeles jury on Wednesday found that concert promoter AEG Live was not liable for the death of Michael Jackson, capping a marathon civil trial, the New York Times reports. Michael Jackson fans don't understand the verdict, but AEG says the case never should have gone to trial, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tesla Stock Tumbles after Model S Catches Fire

Shares of Wall Street darling Tesla Motors fell 6 percent Wednesday after the high-flying stock was downgraded by an investment house and pictures and video of a mysterious Tesla Model S fire circulated on the Internet, the New York Times reports.

Hollywood's Most Expensive Spec Houses

In Los Angeles, it's boom time for a tiny group of developers, builders, architects and realtors dedicated to building and selling $55 million megamansions on spec. the Hollywood Reporter says.

A Refocus for Focus Features

After co-founding Focus Features 11 years ago, Chief Executive James Schamus was told by parent company Universal Pictures on Wednesday that he no longer had a job, Variety reports.

Businesses Often Opposed to Government Beg for Its Return

It seems for U.S. businesses, the only thing worse than too much government is no government at all, Bloomberg News reports. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was among several business groups deploying its army of lobbyists to stress the importance to Capitol Hill lawmakers of ending the government shutdown.

Ackman Modifies Bet Against Herbalife

Bill Ackman says he has reduced more than 40 percent of his hedge fund’s short position against Herbalife’s shares in an attempt to stem Pershing Square’s paper losses, which have run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, the New York Times reports.

Retailers Prep for Ho-Hum Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation says economic headwinds and the distractions of a government shutdown could temper spending this holiday season, AdAge reports. The group expects holiday sales to increase modestly by 3.9 percent to $602 billion, slightly ahead of last year.

Exide Continues to Show Excess Lead Emissions

Even after being forced to cut production last month because of high lead emissions, a Vernon battery recycler has continued to violate limits on releases of the potent neurotoxin, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Illicit Silk Road Shut Down

Describing him as "the modern, electronic version of Walter White in 'Breaking Bad,' " prosecutors on Wednesday called Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old former physics student from San Francisco, the mastermind behind Silk Road, an Internet site that peddled heroin, ecstasy and every known type of prescription medication, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Partial Shutdown Shatters Stereotypes

Taking out a mortgage. Getting married in a park. Going for a fall foliage drive. Cashing a check. Americans are finding that "the government" entails a lot more than the stereotype of faceless D.C. bureaucrats cranking out red tape, the Associated Press reports.

Markets Continue Decline

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 137 points, or 1 percent, to 14,996. The Nasdaq was down 33 points, or 1 percent, to 3,782. The S&P 500 fell 16 points, or 1 percent, to 1,678.

Wednesday, October 2

NY Firm Buys Stake in One California Plaza for $295 Million

New York real estate firm Madison International Realty announced Wednesday that it had purchased a 49 percent interest in One California Plaza, a 42-story office tower at 300 S. Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles.

Report: L.A. Economy Gains Steam

The economy in the city of Los Angeles grew at a faster rate than the nation last year, according to a report released by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

Caruso-LACMA to Study Fairfax Trolley Line

Caruso Affiliated and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wednesday said they will pay for a feasibility study on a proposal to build a Fairfax Avenue trolley line between the Grove shopping center and the Miracle Mile museum.

Universal Studios Exec. Rick Finkelstein Dies

Long-time Universal Studios executive Rick Finkelstein died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 64 years old.

Joe's Jeans Completes Purchase of Hudson Clothing

Commerce denim company Joe’s Jeans Inc. announced Wednesday morning it completed its acquisition of Hudson Clothing Holdings Inc.

Markets Decline

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 59 points to 15,133. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 3,815. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,694. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 171.

Evite Launches Snail Mail Service

West Hollywood's Evite announced Wednesday that it has started sending physical invitations by mail through a service called Evite Ink.

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SoCal Edison Says Mitsubishi Should Pay

Southern California Edison fired another salvo at its former contractor, demanding that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries pay it $140 million for the cost of investigating the failure of steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear power plant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Microsoft Investors Push for Gates to Step Down

Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp. are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, sources tell Reuters.

U.S. Hiring Survey Disappoints

Businesses added a less-than-expected 166,000 jobs according to a private hiring report that has taken on more importance amid the likely delay of the government's monthly statistics, the Wall Street Journal reports. The monthly report from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody's Analytics also revised downward the earlier August figure.

Demand Strong as Covered California Launches

Kicking off a historic healthcare expansion, California's new insurance market stumbled out of the gate Tuesday with strong demand contributing long hold times, and despite an online enrollment delay for small businesses, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Businesses Worry About Prolonged Shutdown

As the government's partial shutdown enters a second day, most companies across the country are doing business as usual. Yet concern is rising that a prolonged shutdown would cause some work at private companies to dry up and consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy, the Associated Press reports.

Amgen Suit by Alleged 'Professional Whistle-Blower' Tossed

Amgen Inc. won’t have to face a drug-marketing lawsuit brought by a New Jersey doctor whom the U.S. describes as a professional whistle-blower, Bloomberg News reports.

Falling Ontario Airport Traffic Stirs Concern

New Los Angeles airport commissioners on Tuesday questioned Los Angeles World Airports executives about falling passenger traffic at L.A./Ontario International Airport, but the seven members stopped short of signaling whether they would like to see the city sell the airport, the Daily Breeze reports.

Construction Firm Mourns Loss of CEO, Son

Employees of Santa Monica's Morley Builders are mourning the loss of its chief executive and his son, a senior project engineer, who were believed to have been killed in a jet crash at Santa Monica Airport on Sunday the Los Angeles Times reports.

Frontier Airlines Sold to Private Equity Group

The owner of Frontier Airlines has agreed to sell the Denver-based carrier to Indigo Partners, the investors who helped finance the super-cheap carrier Spirit Airlines, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Satellite-TV Providers Plan for Survival as Growth Fades

Satellite-television providers DirecTV and Dish, which shook up the pay-TV industry in the 1990s by luring millions of customers away from cable companies, are now struggling to adjust to the technology of the 2010s. Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Gross: Low Interest Rates May Persist

Bill Gross, manager of the world's largest bond fund at Pimco, said Wednesday that the global economy may be facing low rates for decades, Reuters reports.

Insider Trading Trial of Mavericks’ Owner Begins

Mark Cuban is a “righteous man” or a "brazen billionaire." Dueling narratives were presented to a jury on Tuesday as lawyers from the Securities and Exchange Commission and from the Dallas Mavericks owner delivered opening arguments in Cuban’s civil insider trading trial, the New York Times reports.

Agency Says Card-Fee Problems Persist

The credit-card industry has cut down on fees charged to borrowers as a result of a consumer-protection law enacted four years ago, but several problematic practices persist, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Slide

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 91 points to 15,101. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 3,806. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,687.

Tuesday, October 1

Paramount Cuts 110 Jobs

Paramount Pictures announced layoffs on Tuesday as part of the studio’s effort to cut costs.

Shamrock Sells Globetrotters

Westwood private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors has sold the Harlem Globetrotters to a Georgia company that owns and operates theme parks.

Activision Blizzard Plans Vote if Appeal Fails

Activision Blizzard Inc. said in a regulatory filing that it would seek shareholder approval of its plan to buy back its stock from controlling shareholder Vivendi if an appeal of a court injunction fails.

Amgen Completes Tender Offer for Onyx

Amgen Inc. has completed its tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. at $125 a share, or a total price of $9.7 billion.

SEC OKs FTD Spin-Off

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved on Tuesday the spin-off of FTD Companies Inc. from United Online Inc., which will now take place Nov. 1.

Thomas Properties Completes Liquidation of Joint Venture

Thomas Properties Group Inc. said Tuesday it has completed the liquidation of a joint venture with the California State Teachers' Retirement System.

Platinum Equity Buys Industrial Firm, Completes CBS Deal

Platinum Equity on Tuesday said that it has acquired MetoKote Corp., a Lima, Ohio provider of industrial metal coating services.

CBRE Expected to Dismantle Real Estate Fund

CBRE Global Investors, CBRE Group Inc.’s investment management business, is expected to end a $700 million real estate debt fund following the departure of key executives.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 62 points to 15,192. The Nasdaq rose 46 points to 3,818. The S&P 500 rose13 points to 1,695. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 171.

FreedomPop Launches Phone Service

The West L.A. company announced Tuesday that it has launched a free phone plan that gives customers access to voice, text and data without paying for a monthly phone contract.

Lettuce Launches Wholesale Service

Lettuce is software-as-a-service that taps into a company's system to manage and automate all aspects of selling physical goods, including inventory, payment processing and fulfillment.

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Government Shutdown Begins...

The U.S. government this morning began to shut down for the first time in 17 years, the Washington Post reports. The New York Times looks at who is going to work and who is staying home.

...But Obamacare Moves Forward

New health insurance marketplaces under President Barack Obama's signature health-care law opened for business today, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Los Angeles Times lists five things to watch for in California's launch.

Dish, Disney Agree to Extend Talks

Dish Network and the Walt Disney Co. have extended the deadline on their negotiations for a retransmission consent agreement, which had been set to expire Monday night, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Residents Concerned About Santa Monica Airport Safety

Nearby residents had been pushing for limits on flight operations over concerns about noise, pollution and safety even before Sunday's deadly jet crash at Santa Monica Airport, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Frederick's Considers Offer to Go Private

Frederick’s of Hollywood, a local lingerie brand that competes with behemoth Victoria’s Secret, is considering a proposal from some of its largest shareholders that would take the company private, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fresh & Easy Files for Reorganization

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to ease a sale to Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Amazon Hikes Seasonal Hiring, Wal-Mart Adds Online Capacity

Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire 70,000 people for its U.S. warehouses this holiday season, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal also notes Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is building warehouses to better compete with Amazon on Internet orders.

L.A. County Leads California in Poverty Rate

Los Angeles has the highest poverty rate among California counties, according to an analysis that factors in the soaring price of city housing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warner Bros. Strikes Financing Deal

Warner Bros. Pictures has reached a film financing deal with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, formed by Dune Entertainnment's Steven Mnuchin and RatPac Entertainment, the film finance vehicle of filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian businessman James Packer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Paramount Lifer A.C. Lyles Dies

A.C. Lyles, who started in the mailroom and had worked for Paramount in some capacity for more than 80 years, has died, the Hollywood Reporter says. He was 95.

Albert Wheelon Dies

Albert "Bud" Wheelon, one of the nation's central figures in the development of the first spy satellite and later the commercial communications satellite industry, has died at his home in Montecito, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 84.

The Government Is Down, So Why Aren’t Stocks?

Apparently, markets have nothing to fear but fear itself. Time's Rana Foroohar looks at why the markets — which swooned yesterday — are not tanking this morning.

Markets Gain

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 63 points to 15,193. The Nasdaq rose 33 points to 3,804. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to 1,694.