Stories for April 2014

Wednesday, April 30

Red Hat Buys Cloud Storage Developer Inktank for $175 Million

Inktank, a Los Angeles open-source storage software developer, has been acquired by software subscription provider Red Hat of Raleigh, N.C., for $175 million.

Adjusted Edison Profit Beats Expectations

Edison International reported a lower first quarter profit, but its core earnings rose as the company benefited from revenue growth, lower expenses and workforce reductions.

Oakwood Worldwide Strikes $4 Billion Expansion Deal

Extended-stay and corporate housing specialist Oakwood Worldwide on Wednesday announced a $4 billion joint venture deal that is expected to more than triple its global reach over the next five years.

New CEO at Superior Industries

A veteran auto industry executive has been named the new chief executive of aluminum wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc.

USC Marshall Receives $4 Million Gift

A USC alumnus has made a large gift to its Marshall School of Business to enhance programs and student opportunities there, the university announced Wednesday.

American Homes 4 Rent Prices Offering

American Homes 4 Rent announced Wednesday the pricing for its secondary offering of preferred shares.

Markets Rise

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 45 points to 16,581. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 4,115. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,884. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 186.

Report: China to Overtake U.S. Economy, Maybe This Year

A new World Bank reports says the United States may lose its status as the world's largest economy — measured by its currency's purchasing power — sooner than expected, CNBC reports. China is downplaying the report's prediction, possibly to avert pressure to take on financial obligations or make concessions on climate change, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Economy Stalls in First Quarter

The U.S. economy grew in the first quarter — but very, very slowly. Most economy watchers blame frigid winter weather for dampening progress but not everyone is convinced weather tells the whole story, Forbes reports.

Sterling Banned But Not Gone Yet

Donald Sterling could choose to sell the L.A. Clippers — possibly for upward of $1 billion — or he could stand and fight. The Los Angeles Times looks at his options and explores potential buyers. At least one attorney believes a forced sale of the team could prompt an antitrust lawsuit. Also, CBS Los Angeles reports that UCLA is rejecting a $3 million pledge he recently made to support kidney research.

L.A. Accused of Possibly Illegal Plan to Prop Up LAX Unions

The consortium representing the nation’s largest airlines is threatening legal action against the city of Los Angeles over what it says is an unfair proposal that would make it easier for a labor union to organize at LAX, the Daily Breeze reports.

Dispute Could Shut Down Railway for Film Shoots

Fillmore & Western Railway Co. may be forced to shut down as a result of a legal dispute with the Ventura County Transportation Commission, which recently filed a lawsuit to evict the company, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Time Warner Profit Jumps on Strength of Movie Business

Time Warner Inc. said its first-quarter profit soared as revenue across all segments jumped, including double-digit growth from its Warner Bros. movie business, the Wall Street Journal reports.

CEO: Herbalife to Emerge From Probe Stronger Than Ever

Michael Johnson vowed Tuesday that the Los Angeles nutritional products company Herbalife would emerge unscathed from a Federal Trade Commission investigation stronger than ever, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Committee Approves California Porn Condom Bill

A bill that would require adult film actors to wear condoms during productions anywhere in California and to be tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases passed a committee vote Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

WellPoint Reports Lower Profit, But Raises Outlook

The parent of Anthem Blue Cross on Wednesday said its first-quarter profit shrank a narrower-than-expected 21 percent as the Indianapolis-based health insurer reported a jump in administrative expenses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

L.A. Mayor Seeks Cooperation with Long Beach on Port Issues

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday spoke of his desire to work with neighboring Long Beach on port issues, the Daily Breeze reports.

Pickens Long on Natural Gas, Short OPEC

Veteran investor T. Boone Pickens told Reuters at the Milken Institute Global Conference that he expects natural gas prices to climb above $5, and says he'd like to see the United States stop importing OPEC crude.

Twitter Falls to Lowest Point Since Going Public

Shares of Twitter this morning dropped to their lowest point since the company went public in November, reflecting investor concerns over the messaging service's ability to grow, the Associated Press reports.

Frontier Adds Passenger Fees

Another airline is promising to change the way we fly by offering cheap base fares, then adding a bevy of additional fees, Fox News reports. Passengers flying Denver-based Frontier Airlines will now have to pay extra to place carry-on bags in the overhead bin or for advance seat assignments.

Dow and S&P Up, Nasdaq Down

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points to 16,546. The Nasdaq fell 8 points to 4,095. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,879.

Tuesday, April 29

NBA Bans Sterling; Local Interest in Clippers High

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from any involvement in the National Basketball Association for the rest of his life and could also be forced to sell his team, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday.

Kuwait Fund Invests in NantHealth

NantHealth, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care technology company, on Tuesday announced it is getting an investment of $100 million from Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund.

DreamWorks Loss Wider Than Expected

Box office turkey “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” contributed to DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reporting a much wider first quarter loss than analysts expected on Tuesday.

Jacobs Falls After Earnings

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. fell more than 8 percent on Tuesday after the technical services consultant reported a worse-than-expected fiscal second quarter and cut its guidance.

Pritzker Group Acquires Technimark

Pritzker Group Private Capital has acquired custom packaging company Technimark.

Gores Group Completes Joint Venture With Premier Foods

West Los Angeles private equity firm Gores Group announced Tuesday that it had finalized a joint venture with British food manufacturer Premier Foods to control Hovis, Premier’s branded line of bread and flour.

Stocks Gain

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 87 points to 16,535. The Nasdaq rose 29 points to 4,104. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,878. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 185.

Mobile Security Firm TeleSign Gets $40 million in Series B

Marina del Rey’s TeleSign, a mobile phone authentication service, has raised $40 million in a Series B round led by Illinois private equity fund Adams Street Partners.

YouTube Celebrity Comedy Collective Gets Xbox Pilot Order

Jash, a YouTube comedy channel headquartered in Century City started by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera and others, has received a pilot commitment from Xbox Entertainment Studios.

Truck Drivers Picket at Ports

Drivers and their supporters are picketing several trucking companies and marine terminals at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, causing a work stoppage at one terminal and traffic backups at others, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

League Preparing Sterling Sanctions

To force a sale of the team, the NBA is expected to fine and suspend L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling amid a scandal over alleged racist remarks, the Los Angeles Times reports, but the team owner may not go without a fight. The Wall Street Journal says the Clippers are worth hundreds of millions more than the $12.5 million Sterling paid in 1981.

Toyota's Surprise Move to Cost 3,000 Local Jobs

Toyota Motor Corp.'s move to Texas will mean the transfer of 3,000 marketing and finance jobs from its sprawling Torrance campus to a new North American headquarters, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Experts: Avoid Internet Explorer Until Bug Fixed

The U.S. and U.K. governments are advising computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers used to launch attacks, Reuters reports.

German Automakers Announce Recalls

BMW is recalling more than 156,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. because the engines can lose power or stall, the Associated Press reports. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 284,000 C-Class cars in the U.S. and Canada because the rear lights can fail.

Minkow Sentenced for Embezzling From Church

Barry Minkow, who built a reputation as a wonder boy from his L.A. carpet-cleaning business before it collapsed as a fraud, was sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling $3 million from his San Diego church congregation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney Expands Plan for Shanghai Resort

Walt Disney Co. on Monday announced an expansion of the Shanghai Disney Resort before it has even opened, as it seeks to capitalize on a boom in Chinese tourism, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports.

Brown and His Budget Get Warm Reception

Gov. Jerry Brown received a warm welcome from lawmakers Monday as he pitched his proposal to pay off debt and save money for future economic downturns, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Herbalife Suspends Dividend for Stock Repurchase

Herbalife's announcement on Monday that the company would suspend its dividend in order to buy back more stock may buy Chief Executive Michael Johnson more time as he waits for multiple investigations to play out, Bloomberg News reports.

Kavanaugh: 'Being a Disruptor Made Me Public Enemy Number One'

During a Milken Institute Global Conference session on Monday, Relativity Media Chief Executive Ryan Kavanaugh described how he faced critics when he wanted to change the status quo in the movie business, the Hollywood Reporter says.

NBC to Rename News Center for Brokaw

NBCUniversal today will rename its Universal City-area news office in honor of veteran NBC journalist Tom Brokaw, who got his start with the network here and is now battling cancer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Silicon Valley Phone Tech Battle Nears Close

The Silicon Valley court battle between Apple and Samsung is entering its final phase as each company accuses the other of stealing key features to develop some of the latest smartphones on the market, the Associated Press reports.

Twenty-Five Years in Business News

From Starbucks to Google and Steve Jobs to Oprah Winfrey, CNBC looks back at the companies, technology and people that shaped the business world during the cable network's first quarter century.

Stocks Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 71 points to 16,520. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 4,089. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,876.

Monday, April 28

New Equity Partner for Downtown’s Pac Mutual Building

Downtown L.A. real estate company Rising Realty Partners announced today that its equity partner in the historic Pac Mutual building, New York investment firm Mount Kellett Capital Management, had sold its stake to Houston pension fund advisor Lionstone Group for an undisclosed price.

Herbalife's Adjusted Net Beats Expectations

Herbalife Ltd. reported a 37 percent drop in first-quarter profit Monday and said it would suspend its quarterly dividend so it could use the cash to repurchase shares. Adjusted net income and sales were better than expected.

BYD Unveils Buses From Local Plant

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority will take delivery in the next few weeks of the first two electric buses made by Chinese manufacturer BYD Motors Inc. at its assembly plant in Lancaster.

Mercury General Beats Expectations

Mercury General Corp. on Monday reported 9 percent higher first-quarter profit as revenue from both premiums and investment income rose.

Dow, S&P and LABJ Rise, Nasdaq Falls

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 87 points to 16,449. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 4,074. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,869. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 185.

Toyota to Move Marketing HQ to Texas

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to move large numbers of jobs from its sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance to suburban Dallas, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Comcast to Shed, Swap Customers in Charter Deal

Cable companies Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications have agreed to a $20-billion deal that would exchange subscribers in numerous markets should Comcast successfully acquire Time Warner Cable, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nearly 280,000 homes in Los Angeles would be affected.

Truckers Picket Ports

Some truck drivers for companies that move cargo in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach this morning began a two-day strike that could be far more disruptive than past job actions, Southern California Public Radio reports.

More Big Drug Company Deals Emerge

Pfizer Inc. today confirmed that it has made a renewed approach to AstraZeneca on a takeover bid valued at nearly $100 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Separately, Forest Laboratories has agreed to acquire Furiex Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $1.33 billion.

Pressure Mounts on Clippers Owner Sterling

As the L.A. Clippers struggle in the playoffs, pressure has increased on team owner Donald Sterling following the release of a racially charged recording, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Work Starts on Cleantech Center

For a contaminated, 20-acre site on the southeastern edge of downtown Los Angeles, the fourth time is finally the charm as construction begins on the long-awaited Cleantech Manufacturing Center, the Downtown News reports.

Home Sales Thaw Slightly

The National Association of Realtors says U.S. home buyers signed more contracts to buy existing homes in March, as weather in much of the country warmed and as more listings came on the market, CNBC reports.

Developer, Guggenheim Co-Founder Launch Investing Venture

Prominent Los Angeles developer Nelson C. Rising has joined with Guggenheim Partners co-founder Todd Morley to launch a massive real estate investing venture, the Los Angeles Times reports.

PCM May Become a Takeover Target

MacMall parent PCM Inc., an El Segundo company that sells information technology products and services, is facing a possible takeover attempt by a competitor, the Los Angeles Times reports.

BofA Suspends Buybacks

Bank of America on Monday revised its previously announced regulatory capital ratios downward and suspended its share buyback, CNBC reports.

More Scrutiny of UCLA's Med School

In the wake of a $10-million payout to a whistleblower, UCLA's School of Medicine is drawing more scrutiny over its financial ties to industry and the possibility that it compromised patient care, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warner Bros. on a Caped Crusade

Warner Bros. has put renewed focus on reinvigorating its DC Comics characters in movies and television. But the Wall Street Journal reports that the studio has a long way to go to catch up to its more-successful nemesis Marvel Comics, now owned by Walt Disney Co.

Xbox Proceeds with Original Programming Plan

Nearly two years after launching a studio to create shows to be streamed on Xbox consoles, Microsoft is almost ready to serve an assorted helping of original programming, the company announced during an event at its offices in Santa Monica, the Associated Press reports.

Report Sees Growth at Ad Agencies

Ad agency employment is at its highest level since 2001, agency stocks have hit all-time highs and U.S. ad spending this year is forecast to grow at its fastest clip since 2004, according to an analysis by Ad Age.

SkyMall Loses Captive Audience

As air passengers are increasingly allowed Internet access to ease boredom, analysts warn that in-flight catalog SkyMall must modernize or join the Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs on the retail scrap heap, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Water Cops Hit Streets of California Cities

At least 45 water agencies throughout California are imposing and enforcing mandatory restrictions on water use as their supplies run dangerously low, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 110 points to 16,471. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,088. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,872.

A Deal That Banc of California Couldn’t Pass Up

SALE: Popular’s branches, $2.2 billion in assets, deposits to go to Irvine lender.

After buying two L.A. banks in the past 18 months, Steven Sugarman figured his Banc of California Inc. in Irvine was about done consolidating and ready to focus on organic growth.

Policy Buyer Says Brokers Dead Wrong on Mortality

insurance: Investor claims firm misrepresented health of insured.

Investor in life insurance policies sues brokers over failing to provide healthy returns.

Messaging Apps Seek to Speak to Different Markets

online: Invisible Text plies shortlived sector; Privatus offers law firms security.

Makers of messaging apps Invisible Text and Privatus are latest entrants to a crowded field.

Super Risky?

Show looks to ride cape of Marvel movies

Co-producers of comic book-based traveling show Marvel Experience are betting on a super-size response.

Tease photo

Value of Family Hits Home With Latinos

Steve Moya and Alvaro Huerta home in on the family unit in preparing Latinos for the workforce.

As the nation’s largest racial group, Latinos represent an important demographic sector for L.A.’s economic prosperity.

Overseas Outreach

Proposed free-trade agreement for United States, European Union would be job creator for Los Angeles.

How to jumpstart job growth in Los Angeles?

Sick Rules

A proposed state law would require that employers grant sick pay, but it also encourages lawsuits over the issue. So the Business Journal asks: Should the government mandate sick pay, even if it means

Should the government mandate sick pay, even if it means more lawsuits?

Spinning Wheels on Traffic

Motorists should not be driving the debate on how to ease traffic, according to Joe Markowtiz.

Investor Group Takes Shine to Westside Market

INVESTMENT: Off-market deal for Brentwood office building hits $39 million.

A six-story Brentwood office building on an up-and-coming stretch of Wilshire Boulevard sold late last month for $39.3 million in an off-market deal.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions

Home-Grown

Cleveland High, CSUN alumnus Scott Beiser now schools middle-market investment industry as CEO of top performer Houlihan Lokey.

L.A. native Scott Beiser’s love of numbers has added up to a healthy career at investment bank Houlihan Lokey.

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming calendar of events

News of the Week

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

CIM Group plans to buy Farmers Insurance Group’s longtime headquarters in Park Mile for an undisclosed amount.

Assets Dispersed as Bankruptcy Boutique Shutters

CLOSURE: Lateral moves abound as slowdown causes Stutman Treister wind-down.

The upcoming closure of top bankruptcy litigation boutique Stutman Treister & Glatt has led to a flurry of lateral moves as the firm’s talent searches out landing spots.

Debit Card Provider Faces Another Wal-Mart Rival

FINANCE: Green Dot shares fall after retailer signs deal with American Express.

FINANCE: Shares fall as Green Dot investors fear a competing prepaid debit card at Wal-Mart may swipe business.

Online Publisher Sells Off Advertising-Site Business

INTERNET: Oversee.net puts focus on growing presence in comparison shopping.

Oversee.net sells off ad-site business as the Web publisher puts more money into comparison shopping.

Downtown Leaders Sounding Out Festival Plan

MUSIC: Businesses fear Labor Day weekend event will drive off customers.

Downtown L.A. leaders are questioning if a Labor Day weekend festival will work for businesses.

Barbie to Get All Dolled Up for Live-Action Movie

MANUFACTURING: Film part of Mattel’s plan to lift sales of sagging product.

Live-action Barbie film plays into toymaker Mattel’s plan for big-screen productions.

Rooms to Grow

HOSPITALITY: HBA expands beyond luxury market to interior design for less expensive hotels.

Luxury hotel interior designer HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates now seeks inside jobs for lower-price lodgings.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Pasadena’s Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Federal Network Systems, an Ashburn, Va., provider of communication and information security and services.

They’ve Managed to Avoid an Identity Crisis

In his 34 years as an attorney in Los Angeles, Michael A. Sherman has made a name for himself as a bet-the-company litigator.

Fish-Free Filets Angle For Sales

Gardein looks to hook more than just vegans with meatless product.

Gardein hopes to scale more than vegetarian and vegan markets with its fishless filets.

The Royal Treatment for Fantasy Fans

Crystal Cruises offers visit to sets of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’

Crystal Cruises looks to ride HBO’s buzz with “Game of Thrones” packages – dragons not included.

Condos Tap Vintage Appeal

Granite Park Place serves private label to push luxury units.

Granite Park Place uncorks a private-label wine to bottle up buyers for its luxury condos.

Companies Not Sweet on Tweets

PR: SEC’s change in disclosure regulations sets firms atwitter.

PondelWilkinson says its public company clients have yet to click with using social media to inform investors.

Homebuilder On Move Into Cities

real estate: KB refocuses from suburbs to transit hubs.

KB Home shifts its focus to urban infill residences and away from its traditional suburban roots.

Friday, April 25

City National Profit Falls Short

City National Corp. reported a 6 percent increase in first-quarter net income, but Los Angeles's largest locally based bank still missed Wall Street forecasts by 4 cents a share.

Mattel-Mega Brands Deal Gets Canadian OK

Canadian toymaker Mega Brands Brands Inc. on Friday said that its acquisition by Mattel Inc. had been approved by Canadian regulatory courts and was expected to be completed next week.

Research Solutions, Skechers Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week, in line with the larger markets.

Stocks Decline

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 140 points, or 1 percent, to 16,361. The Nasdaq fell 73 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 4,076. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,863. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 2.5 points, or 1 percent to 185.

FTC Comes to Tesla's Defense

Federal Trade Commission officials said Thursday they oppose banning automakers such as Tesla from selling cars directly to consumers, Reuters reports. The Associated Press reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was paid less than $70,000 last year but could get more later.

Ex-KPMG Partner Gets 14 Months for Insider Trading

Scott London, a former L.A.-based partner with accounting giant KPMG, has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison and fined a $100,000 for giving confidential information about clients to a golfing buddy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fandango to Buy Movieclips Network

Fandango, the Los Angeles online ticketing service owned by NBCUniversal, has signed a deal to acquire Venice-based Zefr Inc.'s Movieclips, an operator of film-related channels on YouTube, the Business Journal reports.

'Small World' Inspires Disney Film

"It's a Small World", the 50-year-old Disneyland attraction with the catchy theme song performed by automatonic children, is being turned into a movie, Deadline.com reports.

Former Pacific Hospital Owner Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

Michael Drobot pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges related to his role in a medical fraud scheme linked to the corruption cases pending against state Sen. Ron Calderon and former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Demand for Home Loans Plunges

Mortgage lending declined to the lowest level in 14 years as homeowners pulled back sharply from refinancing and house hunters showed little appetite for new loans, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Justice Department Seeks Mortgage Deal with BofA

As part of the government’s crackdown on banks that sold troubled mortgage investments during the financial crisis, the Justice Department several weeks ago made Bank of America an opening settlement offer of roughly $20 billion, sources tell the New York Times.

HCP Joins Venture to Run Retirement Homes

Long Beach real estate investment trust HCP Inc. announced a joint venture with Brookdale Senior Living of Nashville, Tenn. to operate a portfolio of continuing-care retirement communities, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Garcetti Appointees Sue DWP Union Chief

Two appointees of Mayor Eric Garcetti filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday against Brian D’Arcy, head of the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s biggest union, concerning two union-related trusts he helps oversee, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Businessmen Sentenced in Black-Market Peso Case

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced two San Gabriel Valley men to prison and fined their South El Monte-based import-export company $75,000 for illegally moving millions of dollars from the U.S. to Mexico as part of a “black market peso exchange,” the Pasadena Star-News reports.

Texas Delegation to Tour Sriracha Factory

A Texas state representative announced Thursday he will be among a delegation of politicians and business leaders from the Lone Star State who next month will tour the Irwindale factory where hot chili sauce Sriracha is made, the Pasadena Star-News reports.

Stocks Fall

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 131 points to 16,370. The Nasdaq fell 57 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 4,091. The S&P 500 fell 13 points, or 1 percent, to 1,866.

Thursday, April 24

Fandango Buys Movieclips from Zefr

Fandango, a movie information and ticket-purchasing website owned by Burbank’s NBCUniversal, has acquired the 45,000-item Movieclips catalog from Venice ad services firm Zefr.

AllenCo to Spend $700,000 on Improvements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced an agreement with AllenCo Energy Inc. that will require the Signal Hill company to make significant improvements at its controversial oil field near USC.

American Homes Plans Secondary Offering

American Homes 4 Rent on Thursday announced yet another public offering of preferred shares as it continues to acquire rental homes across the country.

USC School to Offer First Online Doctorate

USC's Rossier School of Education is working with an Arizona provider of cloud-based educational software to launch the school's first doctorate degree delivered online, a Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership.

Dow Flat, Nasdaq, S&P and LABJ Rise

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed unchanged at 16,502. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 4,148 The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,879. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 187.

Irwindale Delays Sriracha ‘Public Nuisance’ Decision

Faced with a flock of Sriracha supporters, the Irwindale City Council on Wednesday night delayed its decision to declare the Huy Fong Foods hot chili sauce factory a public nuisance, the Pasadena Star-News reports.

Beverly Hills Robinsons-May Site Back on Market

One of the most desirable pieces of real estate in the country, the former site of a Robinsons-May store in Beverly Hills, is once again on the market after the latest in a succession of owners abandoned development plans, the Los Angeles Times reports.

FCC to Propose New 'Net Neutrality' Rules

The Federal Communications Commission today will propose new rules on Internet traffic that would allow broadband providers to charge companies a premium for access to their fastest lanes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tesla May Build Another Car Factory in California

Rumors are swirling that Tesla will begin making more cars in California at a facility the company has leased in Lathrop, east of San Francisco, but the company isn't saying, the Los Angeles Times reports.

E-Cigarettes Face First Regulations

The Food and Drug Administration today plans to impose the first federal regulations on electronic cigarettes, eventually banning sales of the popular devices to anyone under 18, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Postal Workers Union to Protest Staples Store Program

Thousands of postal workers around the country, including in Los Angeles, today are expected to protest the opening of postal counters in Staples stores staffed with retail employees, not union workers, the Associated Press reports.

Apple Jumps on Earnings, Stock Split

Apple posted quarterly earnings and revenue that topped estimates late Wednesday and announced a 7-1 stock split, leading shares to spike in early trading today, CNBC reports.

DeGeneres Shows Home-Renovation Overdrive

The New York Times looks at the increasingly sophisticated real estate chops of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who has bought, renovated and sold more than half a dozen California homes in recent years.

Study: Toll Lanes Seem to Speed Things Along, Somewhat

The first comprehensive analysis of Los Angeles County's experimental toll lanes indicates the pay-to-drive routes made some rush-hour commutes faster and less painful, but made little to no difference for many drivers battling morning traffic, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sherman, Hahn Urge Valley Business Leaders to Speak Up

Two local members of Congress on Wednesday urged local business leaders to increase their involvement in issues ranging from transportation to immigration reform if they want to bring more federal dollars to the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Durable Goods Orders Grow More Than Expected

Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose more than expected in March and a measure of business capital spending plans surged, bolstering views of an acceleration in growth in the second quarter, Reuters report.

Zimmer Holdings to Buy Biomet

The nearly $13.4 billion cash-and-stock deal, announced today, brings together two providers of orthopedic, surgical and dental products, and is the latest in a wave of health care and pharmaceutical deals. the New York Times reports.

New World of Risqué Business Names: Holy Crap and Big Ass Fans

Not long ago, a cereal called Holy Crap might have been the punch line of a joke, or even banned. Few would have expected annual sales to grow to $5.5 million in four years. The New York Times looks at how risqué company names can lead to sales success.

Markets Rise

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 29 points to 16,531. The Nasdaq rose 29 points to 4,156. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,882.

Wednesday, April 23

Oversee.net Sells Domain Monetization Business

Downtown Los Angeles Web and mobile publisher Oversee.net has sold its domain monetization business known as “DomainSponsor” to Rook Media, a Swiss tech firm.

New Owner for Popular Bank Branches

Twelve Los Angeles-area branches of Puerto Rico’s Popular Community Bank are being purchased by an Orange County lender.

Mattel Makes Barbie Film Deal With Sony

Sony Pictures Entertainment and toymaker Mattel Inc. on Wednesday announced a deal to bring the El Segundo toymaker's Barbie doll to life in a comedy film.

Better-Than-Expected Quarter Boosts Skechers

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. jumped 5 percent Wednesday after the Manhattan Beach shoe company announced first quarter earnings that soared above expectations.

Jakks Pacific Shares Fall on Earnings

Shares of Jakks Pacific Inc. fell 9 percent on Wednesday after the toy company reported higher revenue and a narrower loss in the first quarter.

Earnings Roundup: Avery, Cheesecake, IPC, Teledyne, On Assignment

A slimmer Avery Dennison Corp. on Wednesday announced fiscal first quarter results that were in line with Wall Street expectations for profit. Cheesecake Factory Inc. said Wednesday that same-store sales rose at most of its outlets during the fiscal first quarter but poor weather cut into profits. IPC disappoints. Defense cuts hit Teledyne. On Assignment meets forecasts.

Environmentalists Cite Global Warming to Block Burbank Ikea

An L.A. environmental group is seeking to halt a planned Ikea in Burbank that would be the nation’s largest, alleging that the massive project did not undergo a proper review to assess and reduce its impact on global warming.

Markets Fall

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 13 points to 16,502. The Nasdaq fell 34 points to 4,127. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,875. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1 percent, to 187.

Exide Workers Get Layoff Notices

Exide Technologies, the operator of a Vernon battery-recycling plant, announced temporary layoffs of nearly all of its employees due to its shut-down was over air pollution concerns, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lack of Lodging Slows L.A. Tourism Growth

Tourism in Los Angeles is failing to keep pace with Orlando, New York and Chicago, primarily because the city lacks enough hotel rooms near the downtown convention center, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Justices Mixed on Aereo's Copyright Fight

U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical on Tuesday about online TV service Aereo Inc.'s position in a copyright dispute with broadcasters, but several raised concerns about how a ruling against the startup could affect cloud computing services, Reuters reports.

BBCN, Cathay Near Top of National Stock Ratings

Two of L.A.’s Asian-American banks ranked near the top of analysts' national lists of bank stocks that investors should buy, a signal of economic strength in local immigrant communities, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AOL Launching Free Streaming Movies Service with Miramax

Films from Miramax's library of titles will be available to stream free via mobile and other connected devices on Miramax's AOL channel, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Can Valeant Work Its Magic On Allergan?

For the last few years Valeant Pharmaceuticals has been buying big medical brands like Bausch & Lomb. Forbes looks at whether the latest decision to team up with hedge fund manager William Ackman in a bid to acquire Botox-maker Allergan could work. Also, Ackman tells CNBC that he did not front-run Allergan stock.

UC Settles With Surgeon in Whistleblower Retaliation Case

A $10 million settlement ends a case brought by a UCLA department chairman who says the college’s medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Boeing's Profit Slides on Pension Costs

Boeing Co. on Tuesday said pension charges pushed down net income in the first quarter, but improvements in its core operations beat analysts' expectations as output for jetliners continued to rise, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Show Creator Signs Netflix Deal

"Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz has signed a multiyear deal with Netflix to create and produce a new show and serve as executive producer for other projects, Deadline Hollywood reports.

Markets Slip

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 21 points to 16,494. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 4,140. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,877.

Tuesday, April 22

Apollo Global Wins Auction for Classic Party Rentals

Classic Party Rentals on Tuesday said that a bid by affiliates of Apollo Global Management beat out an offer by creditors to take over the company.

Amgen Misses Expectations

Amgen Inc. on Tuesday reported a lower-than-expected first quarter profit, but said it plans to submit its experimental cholesterol drug for approval by the end of the year.

Jacobs Buys Verizon Unit

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. on Tuesday said it will acquire Federal Network Systems from Verizon Communications.

Markets Gain

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 65 points to 16,514. The Nasdaq rose 40 points to 4,161 The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,880. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 189.

Plans to Link LAX Moving Forward

With a surge in rail construction in Los Angeles, governing boards are expected to choose in coming weeks among several proposals that would connect the airport to the Crenshaw Line, expected to be complete in 2019, and the existing Green Line, the New York Times reports.

Tesla Delivering First Cars to China

Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, who’s preparing to begin deliveries of the Model S electric vehicle in China, forecast the company will be making cars in the country in the next three to four years, Bloomberg News reports.

Valeant, Ackman Bid for Maker of Botox

Activist investor William Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals revealed their offer to acquire Allergan, valuing the wrinkle treatment maker at about $46 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Anthem Signs Up Most Californians Under Health Law

With open enrollment for Obamacare wrapped up, insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross stayed ahead of the pack in California sign-ups, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Guilty Plea to Securities Fraud in Disney-Marvel Deal

A San Francisco man has pleaded guilty to a single count of securities fraud Monday related to the 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment by Walt Disney Co., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Deals Reshape Novartis, Glaxo

Drug giants Novartis and Glaxo today unveiled a series of transactions worth more than $20 billion that transforms both companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fox Exec Fired Over Aid Emails

A vice president at Fox Cable Networks was fired this month after allegedly using her work email to discuss fundraising with the girlfriend of a passenger who was on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Gas Prices Rise, Along With Exports

Drivers in the U.S. are facing rising gasoline prices ahead of summer-vacation season, just as refiners here are shipping more gas to other countries, the Wall Street Journal reports.

American Middle Class No Longer the World’s Richest

After three decades of slow growth, median income in the U.S. trails that of Canada, and poor Americans now make less than the poor in several other countries, the New York Times reports.

Temping Becomes Permanent Way of Life for Many

For Americans who can't find jobs, the booming demand for temp workers has been a path out of unemployment, but CNBC reports that now many fear it's a dead-end route.

Airbnb Fights Subpoena for User Data

Airbnb is in court today over efforts by the New York State Attorney General's office to get details on thousands of people suspected of renting out rooms illegally, CNBC reports. The New York Times looks at the challenges facing regulators of home and auto "sharing" firms like Airbnb, Uber and Lyft.

Burke: NBC Strong in Upfronts

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said today that NBC is going into the May upfront presentations to advertisers in its best position in more than a decade, the Wrap reports.

Climate Change Overshadows Success in Fighting L.A.'s Smog

Local leaders say progress since the first Earth Day in 1970 in cleaning up the skies of Los Angeles is great, but new problems — particularly global climate change — have grown into a daunting challenge, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 94 points to 16,544. The Nasdaq rose 39 points to 4,160. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,882.

OpenX Partners With YP Brand

Pasadena ad exchange firm OpenX has partnered with YP Intellectual Properties, operator of the Yellow Pages brand, to bring programmatic display advertising to the localized online and mobile directory service.

Monday, April 21

CIM Buying Farmers Insurance Complex

Hollywood developer CIM Group on Monday said that it has agreed to buy Farmers Insurance Group's longtime headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard.

L.A. Airport Board Recommends Palmdale Lease

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners recommended approval on Monday of a five-year lease with Japanese railcar manufacturer Kinkisharyo International LCC for space in Palmdale.

Markets Gain

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 41 points to 16,449. The Nasdaq rose 26 points to 4,122. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,872. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 188.

Enplug Nabs $2.5 Million in Seed Funding

Social media display maker Enplug has received $2.5 million in seed funding from a slew of venture capital funds and private investors.

Board to Consider Relaxation of Diesel Rules

The state Air Resources Board might give small trucking operations more time to comply with rules to clean up diesel emissions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Redstone Stays at No. 1 on List of Hollywood's Highest Paid

The Wrap's annual executive compensation survey finds that yet again Sumner Redstone pays himself off the charts.

California’s Farmlands Hit Hard by Drought

Heading into the third year of a prolonged drought, many California farmers forced to make dire choices that could that could leave fallow about 7 percent of the state’s cropland, the New York Times reports.

Many April Blockbusters Not Made in L.A.

Three of the biggest Hollywood movies this month — “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Draft Day,” “Transcendence” — have one thing in common: They don’t look like they were shot in L.A., the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Amgen Heart Drug Wins Fast-Track Status

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track designation for ivabradine, a heart drug licensed for sale by Amgen Inc., the San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports.

Fallout Lingers Over San Onofre Shutdown Costs

Objections and legal challenge have been filed against the proposed deal that would stick Southern California utility ratepayers with $3.3 billion in San Onofre nuclear plant costs, Southern California Public Radio reports.

New Owner for Beverly Hills Courier

The Beverly Hills Courier has been sold to Paula Kent Meehan, a former hair-care products executive turned philanthropist, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AEG Rebounds

Los Angeles entertainment giant AEG has seen most of its worldwide operations surge after a rough year that included a corporate shake-up and the Michael Jackson civil trial, the Los Angeles Times reports.

E-Cig Ban Begins in L.A. Bars, Restaurants

E-cigarette users in the city of Los Angeles were relegated to the ranks of tobacco smokers at midnight Friday, when a ban on e-cigarette use at bars, restaurants and other public areas took effect, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Airbnb Valued at $10 Billion

A group led by private-equity firm TPG has finalized an agreement to invest more than $450 million in Airbnb Inc., valuing the home-rental site at $10 billion, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Fox Consumer Products Expands Into Asia

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products is to set up its first branch in the Asia Pacific region, Variety reports.

Student Debt Holds Back Many Would-Be Home Buyers

The amount owed on student loans has tripled in a decade, to nearly $1.1 trillion, keeping a crucial segment of potential home buyers on the sidelines, the Los Angeles Times reports.

American Airlines Can't End Retiree Benefits Yet

A federal judge has rejected an attempt by American Airlines to quickly cut off benefits for many of its retirees, the Associated Press reports.

GM Plays Legal Games With Its Recall Liability

When it comes to its ignition-switch debacle, General Motors wants to play it both ways, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

'Frozen' Dress the Hottest Gown in Town

Toys, dolls, and clothes have always been a big part of strategy at Disney. Even so, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, the world’s largest licensing company has hit an unexpected merchandise jackpot with the Snow Queen of Arendelle's ice gown, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

A Blow to Corn-Based Biofuels

A new study indicates that biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, the Associated Press reports.

Markets Up

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points to 16,434. The Nasdaq rose 7 points to 4,103. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,868.

Businesses Fear Bill for Sick Days

GOVERNMENT: Employers say mandate would cost jobs.

Business owners and groups say a state proposal for three days of employee sick leave just won’t work.

Staging Comeback

Residential, retail developers look to get in on act as Hollywood’s star rises.

Residential and retail developers have taken a leading role in Hollywood’s revival.

Sheriff’s Department Brings In Data Processor

TECHNOLOGY: Platform by Citizen Global to handle videos, photos from public.

Sheriff books Citizen Global platform to handle crowdsourced data from emergency and crime scenes.

Ailing Phone Maker Calls Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong

HEALTH CARE: BlackBerry takes stake in NantHealth; will work on new handset.

NantHealth gets a line on mobile technology with an investment from phone maker BlackBerry.

Online Ad Agency’s IPO Connects With Investors

INTERNET: Rubicon stock flourishes in contrast to other recent flotations.

Online ad company Rubicon bucks trend and clicks with investors.

Latino Market

New licenses rev up auto insurer’s focus

Spain’s Mapfre hopes illegal immigrants obtaining drivers licenses will rev up its auto coverage market.

Tease photo

State Should Roll Dice on Cash-Free Lottery Sales

James Morel sees cash-free sales of lottery tickets as a safe bet.

Trafficking in Congestion

One-way streets during rush hour could help reduce time drivers waste trapped in gridlock.

Ted Lux would like to see local leaders make some inroads into easing traffic.

Saving Up For Sneakers

Last week’s Business Journal featured an article on fashion sneakers that sell for more than $1,000. So the Business Journal asks: What’s the most you’ve spent on sneakers?

What’s the most you’ve spent on sneakers?

L.A. at Home With Branded Content

Erik Deutsch touts L.A.’s home field advantage in producing branded content.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming calendar of events

Recovering Economy Helps Shore Up South Bay Office, Industrial

The South Bay industrial market had a robust first quarter, fed by continuing improvement in the general economy. As a result, rents increased in both the office and industrial markets.

Tri-Cities Landlords Hike Asking Rents Despite Gaining Space

The Tri-Cities office market slowed a bit in the first quarter as tenants vacated space, but landlords remained bullish in the face of the setback.

Tightening Santa Clarita Valley Market Sheds Lease Sweeteners

The Santa Clarita Valley commercial market continues to exhibit signs of stabilization, fueling increases in asking rates and decreases in concessions.

San Gabriel Valley’s Industrial Market Sets Pace for Neighbors

Strong demand and several quarters of good momentum drove the San Gabriel Valley’s industrial market to outperform every other regional market in Southern California in the first quarter.

San Fernando Valley Fills Up Without Help From Blockbuster Deals

Vacancy rates continued to fall in the San Fernando Valley office market in the first quarter as the region experienced healthy net absorption, though without any of the large marquee deals that characterized 2013.

Vacancies Don’t Restrain Landlords From Seeking Higher Rents

Despite a 21 percent vacancy rate, landlords along Wilshire Corridor continue to seek higher rents from tenants in advance of large-scale new residential and transit development.

Sun Continues to Shine on Westside as Market Chases Historic High

oin me in the Wayback Machine, Sherman.

Market Gives Back Space But Landlords Still Hike Up Rents

The numbers say Hollywood had a slow first quarter, but it would be hard to tell from a landlord’s or developer’s perspective.

Positive Absorption Returns as Downtown L.A. Becomes Draw

The downtown L.A. office market saw gains in the first quarter as more than 110,000 square feet were absorbed by a mix of relocations and internal expansion.

Vacancy Dip Healthy Development for Construction

The Los Angeles County office market continued to heat up for its third consecutive quarter, helping reinvigorate construction and redevelopment across the area to levels last seen five years ago.

Hotel Developers Check Into Blossoming Scene

Hoteliers are bringing room service to what they see as a growing scene in Hollywood.

News of the Week

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

Huy Fong Foods gave a tour of its Irwindale factory for representatives from cities in California and 10 other states, with owner David Tran saying he may consider leaving.

Furniture Maker Loses Standing After Stock Sale

MANUFACTURING: Shares of Nova Lifestyle fall even as company eyes China market.

Nova Lifestyle Inc., a Commerce furniture manufacturer and distributor, had an up and down week last week.

Podcast Network Operator Ready to Talk the Talk

INTERNET: Radio Titans relaunches in downtown L.A. with sponsorship model

Carl Kozlowski is giving podcasting another try – and hoping to sustain his network with a newly introduced sponsorship model.

Investor Chips Into Wood-Processing Business

ENERGY: Rentech pulls in $150 million from Blackstone to pursue new ventures.

Blackstone Group powers up wood- and fertilizer-focused Rentech with $150 million investment.

Sold on South Gate

development: Primestor buys into low-income city as prime shopping spot.

City leaders sold Primestor on low-income South Gate as the site of a $100 million shopping center.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

eturn to Sender: Zumbox, a digital postal services company in Inglewood, informed users that it was shutting down operations last week.

You’re Going to Ecuador and Coming Back a Star

It wasn’t Hollywood where dreams of stardom came true for Steve Jaffe. It was Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Perspiration Inspiration For Apparel

Creators hope exercise attire works out as clothes for office.

Ortiz Industry fashions a line of exercise clothing that also can be worn at the office.

Dodgers Pitcher Hit as Spokesman

Hyun Jin Ryu steps up to plate to promote Jin Ramen noodles.

Ottogi sees Dodgers pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu as quite a catch as a spokesman for its brand of ramen noodles.

Transforming Learning Into A Science

Professor Egghead’s hands-on lessons turn into budding business.

Professor Egghead Science Academy looks to class up after-school programs with its hands-on lessons.

Equity Firm Puts Money on Loans

INVESTMENT: Shackled banks open up market for Ares.

Equity firm Ares Management stepped into direct lending after new regulations handcuffed banks.

Wham-O’s Creditors Aren’t Playing

MANUFACTURING: Law firm, rival say toymaker stashed assets.

Creditors allege toymaker Wham-O is playing games to dodge paying its debts.

Friday, April 18

Amgen Drug Wins Fast-Track Status

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track designation for ivabradine, a heart drug licensed for sale by Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks.

Zefr Hires Two New Ad Execs

Online video advertising service Zefr has hired two new executives to lead its media sales division.

L.A. Employers Added 19,000 Jobs in March

Employers in Los Angeles County added nearly 19,000 jobs in March, led by a rebound in local government services, according to state figures released Friday.

L.A. Faces Three More Years of Deficits

Los Angeles faces budget deficits through 2018 even if elected officials keep a lid on spending and secure new concessions from the workforce, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Late Sign-Ups Improve Outlook for Health Law

A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults, the Associated Press reports.

Refineries Get Blame as Gas Prices Jump

Problems at some of the state's fuel refineries have sent gasoline prices soaring in California, just in time for the kickoff of the busy driving season, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lions Gate Consolidates Its Movie Marketing

Lions Gate Entertainment and Summit have merged their marketing divisions into one entity, Variety reports, forcing the ouster of longtime Summit marketing exec who oversaw the “Twilight” and “Divergent” campaigns.

Hollywood Begs for Tax Breaks

A battle for filmmaking tax credits has begun in several states — including California, the New York Times reports.

Panel Hears Recommendations From Film Czar

With L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti seeking to boost local filming, his Office of Motion Picture and Television Production presented its first formal recommendations at a City Hall hearing Thursday, the Los Angeles Daly News reports.

Moving Would Be Costly for Sriracha Maker

With all the trouble in the air in Irwindale, Huy Fong Foods is being peppered with offers of new homes close by and far away. But moving to any of them would be costly, Southern California Public Radio reports.

THR Files Motion to Dismiss Defamation Suit

The Hollywood Reporter and its parent company Prometheus Global Media have filed a motion to dismiss film financier David Bergstein's $150 million lawsuit charging the company with defamation, conspiracy and business interference, the Wrap reports.

Canadian Charged in 'Heartbleed' Attack

Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from a government website, Reuters reports.

The Moneyman Behind Sony's New Financing Deal

Lone Star Funds, a Dallas-based firm with no Hollywood experience, has raised $45.5 billion since its founding by billionaire John Grayken in 1995, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Chobani to Expand Beyond Greek Yogurt

Chobani plans to expand beyond its Greek yogurt cups this summer as it faces intensifying competition in the fast growing category, the Associated Press reports.

Back to Basics for Two Wall Street Powerhouses

In the first quarter, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley rode a wave of corporate deal making, helping bolster revenue in their traditional merger-advice and securities-underwriting businesses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Booming Business in Block Trades Faces New Risk

Wall Street banks are turning to an old-school way to make a profit: using their own money to help investors sell big blocks of stock. But an up-and-down performance in major indexes this spring underscores the risk of the practice, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Closed

The stock markets are closed today for Good Friday.

Thursday, April 17

Mattel Reports Surprise Loss

Mattel Inc. on Thursday reported its first quarterly loss in five years, blaming it on weaker Barbie sales and excess inventory marked down due to a lackluster holiday season.

Illinois Officials Investigating Herbalife

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office on Thursday said that it is investigating allegations that Herbalife is running a pyramid scheme.

Shareholders of Texas Bank Approve Hanmi Merger

Hanmi Financial Corp. on Thursday said that shareholders of Central Bancorp Inc. have approved a merger with Hanmi.

L.A. Port Traffic Rises

Traffic at the Port of Los Angeles surged 34 percent in March compared with the same month last year.

Jakks Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies made gains at the end of a shortened trading week on Thursday, ahead of the markets’ close on Good Friday.

Dow and S&P Decline; Nasdaq and LABJ Gain

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 16 points to 16,409. The Nasdaq was rose 9 points to 4,095. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,865. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 187.

Digital Publisher Woven Acquires News Site Uproxx

Culver City digital publisher Woven Digital has purchased Miami entertainment and news website Uproxx, further expanding its offerings aimed at young males.

Hot Sauce Maker Considers Moving Factory

Huy Fong Foods hosted a factory tour for politicians and business leaders from California cities and 10 other states on Wednesday, a sign the Sriracha hot sauce maker may move from Irwindale amid controversy about the facility's spicy odor, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jay Z Festival Coming to Grand Park Despite Concerns

Rapper Jay Z's Made in America music festival is coming to downtown's Grand Park on Labor Day despite concerns that the influx of thousands of people attending multiple stages with access to beer could create a "nightmare," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Office Tower Planned Next to WB Studio Site

Hudson Pacific Properties plans to build the 14-story Icon at Sunset Bronson Studios next to the 1920s landmark Hollywood building that was once executive headquarters of Warner Bros., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wal-Mart Launching Money Transfer Service

Wal-Mart Stores said today it will partner with Ria Money Transfer to launch the Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service, a program that will allow customers to transfer money to and from more than 4,000 of its stores, CNBC reports.

L.A. Register Launches

The L.A. Register's debut on Wednesday reflects a belief by the owner of Freedom Communications that print can still sell well in the digital era, the Los Angeles Times reports.

BlackRock Earnings Climb

BlackRock Inc. said its first-quarter earnings jumped 20 percent as revenue jumped and investors poured money into its mutual funds, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Health Industry Wants Price Transparency

About two dozen health industry stakeholders, including lobbying groups for hospitals and health insurers, issued recommendations Wednesday on how to provide patients more information about the cost of health-care services, the Washington Post reports.

Retailer Puts a Lid on New Stores, Expands E-Commerce

Home Depot Inc. which has long excelled at the traditional retail model of growing by adding new locations, is making a hard turn toward the Internet in the face of changing shopper habits, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Price Hikes Could Make Chocolate ‘Like Champagne’

As cocoa prices surge to near-record highs on demand for emerging markets, chocoholics brace for a hike in price – and maybe even a different taste – as chocolate makers hunt out cheaper ingredients, CNBC reports.

L.A. Gas Prices Soar

Local gas prices have risen dramatically in recent days, and one industry expert believes they'll remain above $4 a gallon until September, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Union Concerned by Plans to Resume 'Midnight Rider'

The union representing Hollywood crew members has expressed dismay over plans to resume production of “Midnight Rider” in Los Angeles after a train accident in Georgia killed an assistant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Publicist Leslie Sloane Exits BWR

Top Hollywood publicist Leslie Sloane, whose clients have included Katie Holmes, Blake Lively and Melissa McCarthy, has come to a mutual decision with BWR to part ways, the Wrap reports.

Markets Mixed

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 7 points to 16,418. The Nasdaq was up 11 points to 4,097. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,865.

Wednesday, April 16

Cardenas Invites Sriracha Maker to the Valley

U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas wrote an open letter Wednesday to Sriracha-sauce maker Huy Fong Foods Inc. to consider relocating to the San Fernando Valley.

American Apparel Back in Stock Market Compliance

American Apparel Inc. said late Wednesday that it had been informed by the NYSE Mkt Exchange that the company was back in compliance with the exchange’s listing requirements.

Long Beach Port Traffic Falls

Traffic at the Port of Long Beach declined 1.9 percent in March compared with the same month last year, according to figures released Tuesday.

Warner Bros. Recruits Ex-Clinton Official

Political analyst and former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers has been named as the head of worldwide corporate communications at Warner Bros., the company announced Wednesday.

Markets Gain

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 162 points, or 1 percent, to 16,425. The Nasdaq rose 52 points, or 1 percent, to 4,086. The S&P 500 rose 19 points, or 1 percent, to 1,862. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 186.

CBS' $67 Million Man

CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves' $66.9 million compensation in 2013 will make him the best-paid CEO in American media and put him among the world's highest-paid executives in any industry, the Hollywood Reporter says.

'Midnight Rider' Moves to L.A.

Production on the film "Midnight Rider" could resume in June and be relocated from Georgia to Los Angeles, the Hollywood Reporter says. Filming on the Gregg Allman biopic was suspended in February when camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed while shooting on a train track.

BofA Swings to Loss

Bank of America said it swung to a first-quarter loss as results were hurt by $6 billion in legal charges and slumping mortgage originations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Southland Home Prices Surge, Sales Plummet

The median price of a house reaches $400,000 in the Southland. But would-be buyers of low- and mid-priced properties are increasingly priced out amid tight lending standards and stagnant paychecks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Market Forces Haircut on IPOs

With seven out of the 10 IPOs that priced last week now trading below their IPO price, CNBC reports that every single IPO deal so far this week has priced below the expected range. Moelis & Co.'s shares opened higher in their trading debut this morning, but only after an initial public offering that priced below the New York investment bank's expectations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Industry Shows Vigor, But Housing a Drag on Economy

U.S. industrial production rose at a faster-than-expected clip in March, the latest sign the economy was gaining momentum. But Reuters also reports that groundbreaking for new homes still remains well below its post-recession peak in November.

Mt. Gox Gives Up on Rehabilitation Bid

The defunct bitcoin exchange has given up its plan to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and said it has agreed with a Tokyo court on the first step toward liquidation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bill Seeks to Ease Affordability of Housing

SB 391 would fund more than 10,000 subsidized homes a year through a new fee on recording real estate documents. The Los Angeles Times reports that critics say it unfairly saddles homeowners and businesses with added costs.

Carriers, Manufacturers Back Anti-Theft Measures for Smartphones

With several states and municipalities considering various mandatory "kill-switch" laws for mobile devices, the wireless industry on Tuesday announced a voluntary commitment to include new anti-theft technology on phones starting next year, CNBC reports.

New Money for Alamitos Bay Marina Approved

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a $1.85 million contract increase to upgrade electrical infrastructure at Alamitos Bay Marina, the city's oldest marina, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Metro Drops Downtown Subway Entrance Plans

Transportation officials have shelved plans for a second entrance to a downtown subway station across from L.A. police headquarters and the Los Angeles Times because the newspaper's parent company says it may develop the site, the Times reports.

Owens Valley Mobilizes Against DWP Project

A parade of Owens Valley residents at a public hearing Tuesday said the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's plan to cover two square miles of high desert with a million solar panels would destroy scenic vistas and ruin the sense of isolation at Manzanar National Historic Site, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Grads Remake China Workforce

The Chinese have long been potent rivals to American and European manufacturers. Now, China is giving Westerners something new to worry about: a generation of workers able to compete in higher-technology endeavors, Bloomberg News reports.

Markets Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 98 points to 16,360. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 4,055. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,853.

Tuesday, April 15

TigerText Expands Board

Santa Monica enterprise messaging app TigerText announced Tuesday that it named three new members to its board representing its latest investors.

BlackBerry to Collaborate with NantHealth

Smartphone maker BlackBerry announced Tuesday that it has invested in Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth with the hope that its smartphones can be married to the West L.A. billionaire’s next-generation medical information technology.

On-Location Filming Stays Steady in L.A.

On-location production remained flat in the first quarter despite evidence that the state’s tax credit program is keeping more production in the Los Angeles region.

Farmers Market Owner Gets Line on $100 Million

A.F. Gilmore Co. has obtained a $100 million credit facility from Wells Fargo Bank, secured by its iconic Farmers Market retail center in the Fairfax District.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 89 points to 16,263. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 4,034. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to 1,843. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 184.

New York Attorney General Probes Herbalife

The New York Attorney General’s Office is investigating Herbalife over claims it is a pyramid scheme, the New York Post reported. At least two whistleblowers have given investigators sworn testimony, sources said.

Garcetti Budget Would Delay Cut in Business Tax

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's proposed budget calls for hiring 140 firefighters and a sweeping overhaul of the city's 911 dispatch system, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the $8.1-billion budget plan also delays a promised cut in the city business tax.

County Unveils Budget With Hiring Binge

Los Angeles County’s budget officials on Monday unveiled a proposed spending plan that calls for hiring about 1,300 new employees, as well as money for reforms in the troubled jail and child welfare systems, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Edison to Streamline Management

Southern California Edison Co. plans to lay off hundreds of employees in a management streamlining move, mostly at its Irwindale offices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Regulators Seek to Hold Ports to Targets

The South Coast Air Quality Management District wants to hold the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach responsible for earlier pledges to cut pollution from the thousands of trucks, ships and trains carrying goods to and from the nation's largest port complex, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Former Bell Official Gets Prison Term for Tax Fraud

Robert Rizzo, the former city administrator who ruled the city of Bell during an era of widespread corruption, was sentenced Monday to 33 months behind bars for tax fraud, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Woman Sentenced in Medical Fraud Case

Susanna Artsruni of Midvalley Medical Supply in Van Nuys, who pleaded guilty of submitting nearly $25 million in bogus bills to Medicare, was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $10 million restitution, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Yellen: Mega-Banks Might Need to Hold More Capital

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said today that the largest U.S. banks might need to hold additional capital to withstand periods of financial stress, the Associated Press reports.

Oprah Exec Named Science Channel General Manager

Science Channel has named Rita Mullin, an 18-year Discovery Communications veteran who has been executive vice president of programming and development at Oprah Winfrey Network, as its new general manager, the Wrap reports.

Markets Slip

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 5 points to16,168. The Nasdaq fell 28 points, or 1 percent, to 3,993. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,830.

Monday, April 14

Lions Gate Makes Partnership with RocketJump

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on Monday announced a multi-year partnership with Freddie Wong's popular YouTube content producer RocketJump Studios.

Maker's Deal With Disney to Proceed

The board of directors and shareholders of Maker Studios have approved its acquisition by Walt Disney Co. despite a counter-offer made public Monday for the Culver City media company.

Markets Rebound

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 146 points, or 1 percent, to16,173. The Nasdaq rose 23 points, half a percent, to 4,023. The S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,831. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 184.

Relativity Media Bids for Maker Studios

Midsize film and entertainment company Relativity Media has made a bid to buy Maker Studios, the online-video producer that is preparing to vote this week on a separate bid from Walt Disney Co., the Wall Street Journal reports.

New L.A. Newspaper Launches This Week

Freedom Communications’ Los Angeles Register, a new daily newspaper, will debut Wednesday in the Orange County Register parent's latest expansion in Southern California, the Register reports.

TIAA-CREF to Buy Nuveen Investments

TIAA-CREF has agreed to buy Nuveen Investments for $6.25 billion including debt, in the retirement- and financial-services behemoth's largest acquisition ever, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tesla, Sinopec May Build Charging Stations in China

Tesla Motor Inc.'s Chief Executive Elon Musk reportedly is visiting China this month for talks with one of China's largest refiners to build charging units in its nationwide service-station network, MarketWatch reports.

Musk Seeks End to Spy Satellite Monopoly

The Los Angeles Times looks at efforts by SpaceX's Elon Musk to break the controversial grip of Boeing and Lockheed Martin on launches of the U.S. government's most sophisticated national security satellites.

Downtown's Former May Co. Building Set for Revival

A huge former department store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles is being sold to a New York real estate investment firm that intends to pump new life into the old building and its rebounding neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waxman Concerned About Times' Fate in Spinoff

Rep. Henry A. Waxman said media experts he consulted have serious concerns about the fate of the Los Angeles Times under the Tribune Co.'s plans to spin off the newspaper into a separate unit, and he called on executives to change the terms, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chances of Getting Audited by IRS Lowest in Years

Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns, the Associated Press reports. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.

Ellison: Still No. 1 and Doing What He Wants

Most of us spend much of our lives thinking that we should do the right thing. Larry Ellison, the fifth-richest person in the world and the chief executive with the highest total compensation in 2013, appears burdened by no such concerns, the New York Times reports.

Evictions From Rent-Controlled Units on the Rise

An increasing number of rent-controlled units are being converted to condos or simply flattened, leaving a dwindling supply and fewer affordable options for residents, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's coverage of a state bill aimed at limiting evictions under the Ellis Act.

A Silver Lining in Stock Sell-Off?

Odd as it sounds, some investment pros say all that air coming out of bubble-like tech momentum stocks might actually be a healthy development, USA Today reports.

'The Highway' Shakes Up Country Star System

Despite an audience that is minuscule compared with FM radio stations in big markets, Sirius XM Radio Inc.'s contemporary country channel increasingly wields a disproportionate influence on sales of records and concert tickets, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Cronuts: The Next Designer Cupcake?

As last decade’s gourmet cupcake craze fades away, the 62-store Crumbs Bake Shop chain is shifting its energies from its own struggling outlets to sales through other retailers, and also is trying to cash in on another snack fad, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Wi-Fi's Battle in the Sky

Wi-fi service on plane flights is taking off, promising much better connections for travelers and a bonanza for the companies that sell the systems. Reuters looks at which Wi-Fi system may win out.

Teddy Ruxpin Creator Ken Forsse Dies

Ken Forsse, whose cuddly talking teddy bear marked a technological leap forward for toys in the mid-80s, has died at age 77, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Concussion Cases Inspire New Law Course

George Washington University’s law school is offering the first course devoted to the legal implications of sports-related traumatic brain injuries, the New York Times reports.

Markets Rebound

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 108 points to16,135. The Nasdaq rose 42 points, or 1 percent, to 4,041. The S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,831.

Dodgers Still Not Reaching Base

TV: Carriers say high price of channel will lose customers.

Time Warner Cable may have dropped the ball in its plan for other carriers to pick up its new Dodgers channel.

In the Dumps

City zones may bury waste haulers

Waste haulers fear getting dumped by city of L.A.’s new franchise zone plan.

Tease photo

Risk, Returns

Banking: Low-profile First Credit rides bridge financing to become L.A.’s most profitable lender for three years running.

First Credit has crossed over into elite territory with its high returns from bridge financing.

Gymnasium Muscles Into Kids’ Market

Cave CrossFit looks to make play with new program for children.

Cave CrossFit works out a plan for a new kids’ program.

Breezing by Age Milestone In L.A. County

Armstrong gardening business traces roots back to 1889.

Armstrong Garden Centers planted itself in Los Angeles way back in 1889.

Hitting Brakes to Go Forward

Vycon sets up kinetic energy storage system at subway station.

Vycon hopes its kinetic energy storage system gets on a roll from installation at a subway station.

Shoemaker Pairs Well With Luxury

FOOTWEAR: Collector steps it up as $1,000 sneaker designer.

Former Wall Street exec has proved a high-end shoo-in as the maker of $1,000-plus sneakers.

Taking Pass on Politics

The death of Mickey Rooney last week got Michael Levine reminiscing.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

J2 Global Inc., a Hollywood Internet services and media company, has acquired Critical Software Ltd., a Staffordshire, England, email security and management company operating under the brand name iCriticalTM.

Fruit Bar Makers Launch Cold War

FOOD: Duo says rival ice-cream distributor is freezing them out.

Fruit bar makers claim new rival is using its powerful ice-cream distribution network to freeze them out.

Program Homes In to Help Immigrant Workforce

Castuló de la Rocha and Jonathan Plutzik praise a program that works to get employees citizenship.

Bracing for Disaster

Tenants in rent-controlled units should help building owners bear expense of retrofitting properties.

John R. Donaldson and Joshua Marrow want soft-story apartment tenants to help financially support quake retrofitting.

Changing Pasadena

The city of Pasadena has joined with developers to bring in a more eclectic selection of shops and restaurants to draw crowds. So the Business Journal asks:

Do you patronize Pasadena’s stores and restaurants?

Time to Make Waves at Ports

Charles Crumpley pushes for a sea change in the way the ports are promoted and operated.

Investors Bottle Up Former Coca-Cola Building

acquisition: Duo plans office-retail renovation for downtown Los Angeles.

Commercial property sales are surging in downtown L.A.’s Arts District as more developers and investors see potential in the once heavily industrial area.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming calendar of events.

BUCK JORDAN

Investment: Canyon Creek put a total of $530,000 in retail services tech company Bridg in April and October funding rounds.

Buck Jordan, managing partner at Canyon Creek Capital, says his firm is a “bridge fund” that targets companies between the seed and Series A stages.

ADAM LILLING

Investment: Plus Capital and AMC Networks co-led last year’s $4 million seed funding round of YouTube network DanceOn in August. Other investors include Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of “So You Th

When Plus Capital Managing Partner Adam Lilling sat down with DanceOn Chief Executive Amanda Taylor, he got more than a good story.

YVES SISTERON

Investment: Upfront Ventures provided $500,000 in seed funding last April to downtown L.A.’s DailyLook, an online fashion retailer. Upfront followed that up by investing in DailyLook’s Series A round

Yves Sisteron didn’t get caught up in analysis paralysis when he decided to invest in DailyLook.

ERIK RANNALA

Investment: Mucker participated in online tuxedo rental company Black Tux’s $2.6 million February seed round.

Everyone loves a wedding.

MARK MULLEN

Investment: Double M participated in Santa Monica firm MomentFeed’s A round in December after having made seed-round investments in the company.

Before Mark Mullen upped his investment in social media marketing company MomentFeed late last year, he wanted to know if customers liked the Santa Monica company’s product.

TIANXIANG ZHUO

Investment: Karlin Ventures invested in Santa Monica mobile advertising company NearWoo’s $1.2 million seed round last August.

About half of Karlin Ventures’ portfolio companies are found through incubators.

MIKE JONES

Investment: Science incubated Dollar Shave Club and participated in the online razor club’s $1 million seed round in March 2012. Dollar Shave Club has since become one of L.A.’s hottest startups.

It began with a viral video. As soon as Mike Jones saw Michael Dubin swinging a tennis racket and riding a forklift through Dollar Shave Club’s downtown L.A. warehouse, he was intrigued.

Decision Points

Almost every day brings news of another investment in a startup technology company. But what makes an investor decide to bankroll one company and not another?

Seven venture capitalists discuss the key criteria they review before investing in startups.

News of the Week

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

Boeing Co. expects to end production of its C-17 Globemaster III transport jet at its Long Beach plant three months earlier than expected.

Digital Media Arm Thinks It Has Virtual Match

EMPLOYMENT: Manatt division brings in 18-year industry vet Eunice Shin.

Manatt Digital Media has hired Eunice Shin to head its business consulting services, capping off nearly a year of growth for the new investment and consulting arm of West L.A. law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips.

Duo Looks to Lock In New Cold-Storage Facility

FOOD: $75 million venture aims to handle imports, exports through Long Beach.

Construction of a $75 million, 250,000-square-foot cold-storage facility in Long Beach began last month.

Document Finder’s Not Looking Good on Paper

PUBLISHING: Investors shed Research Solutions over plan for reverse stock split.

Document-finding company Research Solutions at a loss with investors after planning a reverse stock split.

E-Commerce Site Sold on Future in Tech Incubation

INTERNET: Clearance.co in reverse merger with Miami shell company.

Executives’ connection leads to e-commerce site Clearance.co’s union with Development Capital Group.

Steel Firm Faces Insurance Meltdown Over Lawsuit

METALS: National Fire says it shouldn’t have to cover Reliance’s antitrust damages.

Insurer refuses to cover damages against Reliance Steel for meddling with Houston competitor.

Bean Counter Looks to Grow Beyond Show Biz

ACCOUNTING: Nigro Karlin hopes to add sectors with its extra personal services.

Nigro Karlin looks to add more non-show business clients to its beyond-bean-counting personal service.

Disappointed by Test Results, Investors Flee Puma

BIOTECH: Sector selloff also a factor as shares of cancer drug maker plunge.

Puma shares take a drubbing as investors are spooked by test results and a sector sell-off.

Friday, April 11

Herbalife Drops on Report of Criminal Probes

A report that both the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating Herbalife sent shares of the nutritional supplement company sliding 14 percent on Friday.

City Zones May Bury L.A. Waste Haulers

The city of L.A.’s plan to create franchised zones for commercial trash hauling promises to dramatically scramble a long-established market, creating winners and losers.

Carriers Say Price of Dodger Channel Will Drive Away Customers

After doing the math, pay-TV providers appear to be sticking to their story that carrying the all-Los Angeles Dodgers channel SportsNet LA on Time Warner Cable’s terms doesn’t pencil out.

Providence Saint Joseph Completes MRI Test

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center announced it is the first hospital in the nation to conduct an MRI scan of a patient with a new MRI-compatible heart pacemaker.

Puma, Arrowhead Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

Markets Slide

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 143 points, or 1 percent, to 16,027. The Nasdaq fell 54 points, or 1 percent, to 4,000. The S&P 500 fell 17 point, or 1 percent, to 1,816. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points, or 1.5 percent, to 183.

IAC Increases Stake in Tinder, Size of Deal Disputed

Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp has upped its stake in West Hollywood hookup app Tinder Inc.

Evolve Media Hires New Chief Technology Officer

Integrated digital media company Evolve Media has brought on former CareerArc Group executive Travlin McCormack as its new chief technology officer.

Boeing Plans to Boost Local Workforce

After years of eliminating jobs in Southern California, aerospace giant Boeing Co. announced plans to increase its engineering workforce in Long Beach and Seal Beach by 1,000 positions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti Calls for Roadwork, Tax Cuts

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti presented list of initiatives in his first State of the City address Thursday, promising to reinvigorate the city's major boulevards, cut taxes for businesses, put building records online and keep a lid on DWP rates, the Los Angeles Times reports.

State Senate Approves Property Tax Break for Space Firms

Private space companies, such as SpaceX in Hawthorne, would get a local property tax break on launch vehicles, fuel, satellites and other gear under a bill approved overwhelmingly Thursday by the California Senate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: Moonves Buys Allen’s Malibu Mansion

Sources tell New York Post's Page Six that CBS chief Les Moonves has bought Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s home on Malibu’s prestigious Carbon Beach for $28 million. Moonves reportedly will keep his Holmby Hills mansion, and use the beach house as a weekend retreat.

Record-Breaking L.A. Mansion for Lease

Fleur de Lys, the Westside mansion that recently sold for a record price of $102 million – possibly to Michael Milken is now available for lease for $400,000 a month to long-term tenants, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CBS Chief Tells How the Colbert Deal Got Done

Stephen Colbert's agent reached out to CBS about his taking over “Late Night” the day after David Letterman announced his retirement, and Colbert quickly emerged as the top candidate, CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler told the Wrap.

Former Bell Official Gets 11 Years in Prison

Angela Spaccia on Thursday became the first person sentenced in the Bell municipal corruption case. The Los Angeles Times reports that her lengthy 11-year prison term was the first indicator of how Judge Kathleen Kennedy intends to punish those convicted of misappropriating more than $10 million from one of the county's poorest cities.

Sebelius to Exit HHS

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who led the troubled rollout of the 2010 health-care law, will step down, capping a rocky five years in the Obama cabinet, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bloomberg News looks at how her departure may help shift the debate on Obamacare.

Report: DreamWorks Animation Wants a Piece of Vevo

DreamWorks Animation, which has been looking to expand its business beyond animated movies, is eyeing music site Vevo, which is controlled by Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Abu Dhabi Media, sources tell ReCode.

Music Labels Join Studios in Suing MegaUpload

The Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit Thursday against MegaUpload and its founder, Kim Dotcom, just three days after the Motion Picture Association of America filed a similar suit against the defunct file-sharing service, CNet reports.

Microsoft, Apple Diverge on Bankrolling Intellectual Ventures

Recent investment decisions by four iconic tech companies comes in the midst of a heated debate over whether it is too easy for patent owners to extract large royalty payments, and whether patent buying firms like Intellectual Ventures spur or stifle innovation, Reuters reports.

Viacom Looks to Set Social Media Guarantees

Viacom plans to underpin its social media guarantees to advertisers with data from Mass Relevance on social activity across Twitter, Facebook and other venues in real time, Ad Age reports.

Google Offers Glass to Everyone

Google Glass experimental sunglasses will become available to the mass public for the first time, the company announced Thursday. Google has restricted the number of people who can buy, but next Tuesday anyone can buy a pair for $1,500 plus tax, The Wrap reports. (And wait for the punchline.)

Disney Sued Over New Ride Access Policy

Families of children with disabilities have sued Walt Disney Co. over a new policy that change how theme park and resort guests with disabilities can get quick access to rides and attractions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nasdaq Rising; Dow, S&P Down

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 40 points to 16,130. The S&P was down 1.7 points to 1,831. The Nasdaq was up 5 points to 4,059.

Thursday, April 10

Blackstone Unit to Invest in Rentech

Shares of Rentech Inc. jumped 13 percent on Thursday after the company said that a Blackstone Group unit would invest $150 million in its wood fiber business. It also announced a settlement with a dissident investor group.

Suit Seeks to Block Maker Studio Acquisition by Disney

Former officers with Maker Studio Inc., including the chief executive, are seeking a court order to stop a shareholder vote on the company’s $500 million acquisition by Walt Disney Co.

Zumbox to Shut Down

Digital postal mail startup Zumbox has informed users that it will shut down operations next week.

SEC Halts Trading of GrowLife Shares

Trading in shares of GrowLife Inc. was halted Thursday for two weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission questioned some of the company’s stock transactions.

Stocks Drop

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 267 points, or more than 1 percent, to 16,170. The Nasdaq fell 130 points, or 3 percent, to 4,054. The S&P 500 fell 39 points, or 2 percent, to 1,833. The LABJ Stock Index fell 5 points, or more than 1 percent, to 185.

Long Beach Slams L.A. Panel's Port Merger Proposal

Long Beach leaders attacked a proposal by the Los Angeles 2020 Commission to merge the nation’s two busiest seaports, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

2020 Report Silent on Show Biz Jobs

The Los Angeles 2020 Commission report offers prescriptions to reverse a net decline in jobs over the last two decades, but leaves the film and TV industry out of the picture, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Irwindale Declares Sriracha Factory a Public Nuisance

The popular Sriracha hot sauce found itself in hot water again Wednesday night when the Irwindale City Council labeled its factory a public nuisance, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

UCLA Wants to Participate in Marijuana Drug Study

A British company developing a pharmaceutical version of a cannabis extract used to treat epilepsy could test its product at UCLA as part of the Food and Drug Administration approval process, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

L.A. Backtracks on Automatic Raises for General Managers

The Los Angeles City Council will reconsider an ordinance approved Wednesday that automatically raises the wages of some of City Hall’s top earners, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

New Waldorf Astoria to Evoke Hollywood Glamour, California Cool

Designs for the $200-million Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria -- the luxury chain's first new U.S. outpost west of Chicago -- have been unveiled by local hotelier Beny Alagem, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pleas Close Chapter in Bell Corruption Scandal

The long-running Bell corruption scandal drew toward an end Wednesday when five former council members pleaded no contest to criminal charges and agreed to pay restitution to the small, cash-strapped city, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fewer Hours, Same Workload at Big Banks

The biggest investment banks recently signaled a sea change in corporate culture, telling their junior employees to ease up a bit on their hard-charging work schedules. But a number of young bankers tell the New York Times that while they now can enjoy a leisurely brunch on Saturdays, their overall workload has not changed noticeably.

Madden to Remain President of Fox Television Studios

David Madden has signed a new long-term contract with 20th Century Fox Television, where he'll remain as president of Fox Television Studios, the Wrap reports. Madden has been in the role since 2010.

H-P to Settle Bribery Case

Hewlett-Packard will pay $108 million in criminal fines and civil penalties for bribing officials in Russia, Poland and Mexico to win technology contracts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wal-Mart to Offer Discount Organic Line of Food

Wal-Mart will announce today that it is putting its muscle behind Wild Oats organic products, offering the label at prices that will undercut brand-name organic competitors by at least 25 percent, the New York Times reports.

Hollywood Business Manager Gary Haber Dies

Hollywood business manager Gary Haber has died, the Wrap reports. The CPA, whose Haber Corp. was established in Encino in 1977, served on the boards of the Academy of Country Music and many other industry and philanthropic organizations. He was 68.

Yelp's Deal With Yahoo Has Small Businesses Crying Foul

Some small-business owners are complaining that a deal in which Yelp provides business listings for Yahoo searches is erasing years of positive feedback from customers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As Web Grows, It Grows Less Secure

The computer bug known as Heartbleed is a stark reminder that the Internet is still in its youth, and vulnerable to all sorts of unseen dangers, including simple human error, the New York Times reports.

Secret Scores Have Consumers Pegged — Fairly or Not

Consumers won access to their credit scores more than a decade ago, after advocates voiced concerns over errors and lending bias. But most people remain in the dark about hundreds of other data-collection programs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mannequins Make a Comeback

Mannequins are the latest weapons in the ever-intensifying push to get consumers more excited about shopping in stores rather than online, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Slip

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 70 points to 16,367. The Nasdaq fell 74 points to 4,110. The S&P 500 fell 15 points to 1,858.

Wednesday, April 9

Commission Recommends Combining Ports, Regulating DWP

A commission of civic leaders on Wednesday recommended combining the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, creating a regional tourism authority and setting up an independent rate-setting body for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

State Chamber Lists Job-Killer Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual list of “job killer” bills on Wednesday – and the current tally of 26 is fewer than in recent years.

Loss Narrows for Joe's Jeans

Joe's Jeans Inc. on Wednesday reported a smaller fiscal first-quarter net loss and a boost in sales, both attributed to its acquisition of Hudson Clothing Holdings Inc.

Teledyne Buys Lab Equipment Firm

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. acquired Photon Machines Inc., a Montana company that makes lab instrumentation equipment.

Gores Group Sells Security Company

Gores Group on Wednesday said it has sold an Alabama security products company to Cornerstone Detention Products in the same state.

Stocks Rise

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 181 points, or 1 percent, to 16,437. The Nasdaq rose 71 points, or 2 percent, to 4,184. The S&P 500 rose 20 points, or 1 percent, to 1,872. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 190.

'Heartbleed Bug' Puts Web Security at Risk

The discovery of a significant flaw in software that was supposed to provide extra protection for thousands of websites has thrown the tech world into chaos, as experts scramble to understand the scope of the vulnerability, the Los Angeles Times reports. Time looks at ways you can protect yourself.

Toyota Recalls 6.4 Million Vehicles

Toyota said it is recalling 6.39 million vehicles, in a blow to the company's reputation for quality control, the Wall Street Journal reports. The recall involves 27 vehicle models, including the RAV4, Corolla, Yaris, Matrix and Highlander.

Sriracha Odor Fight Gets Reheated

The Irwindale City Council will hold a public hearing tonight to determine whether the smells coming from Huy Fong Foods' Sriracha hot sauce factory constitute a public nuisance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blue Bottle Coffee Scoops Up L.A. Firms

As it prepares to expand into the Southland, Oakland-based cult coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee is acquiring two Los Angeles coffee businesses — Handsome Coffee Roasters in the downtown Arts District and subscription coffee service Tonx, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prosecutors: KPMG Auditor Should Get 3 Years

Prosecutors want former KPMG auditing partner Scott London to serve three years in federal prison for giving confidential information about his firm’s clients to a friend, who used the tips to make more than $1 million in illegal stock-trading profits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lyft Lowers Prices in All Markets

After announcing a major round of funding last week, ridesharing start-up Lyft has said it is immediately lowering the cost of rides in all its markets. In Los Angeles, prices have decreased by about 20 percent, Lyft told the Los Angeles Times.

FCC Chairman Suggests Broadcasters Act More Like Netflix

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, a former venture capitalist and lobbyist, told broadcasters Tuesday that they need to look toward the future online or they may find themselves trampled like other failed industries before them, ReCode reports.

Time Warner Dumps Debt on Time Inc.

The $1.4 billion in debt and loans that will be assigned to Time Inc. in its spinoff will be used in large measure to pay its Time Warner parent for the British publishing subsidiary IPC Media, the New York Post reports. Ironically, IPC is still technically carried on Time Warner’s books.

As Wage Debate Rages, Some Have Made the Shift

As lawmakers in the nation's capital are mired in debate over likely outcomes from raising the federal minimum wage, businesses hit with local wage increases already are grappling with the reality, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Study: ‘Medicare Millionaires’ Total Almost 4,000

Medicare paid almost 4,000 doctors and medical professionals more than $1 million apiece in 2012, including seven who received more than $10 million, Bloomberg News reports. One Florida ophthalmologist was paid $21 million.

Entrepreneur Rate Dips to Prerecession Levels

The rate at which Americans are starting new businesses declined last year to prerecession levels, according to the Kauffman Foundation's annual study released today. CNBC says that's a sign more individuals are landing jobs and not opting to start businesses out of necessity.

Big Banks to Get Higher Capital Requirement

The eight largest U.S. banks were told Tuesday that they will have to add as much as $68 billion in extra capital to comply with a new rule intended to help firms weather losses during periods of market stress, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Goldman Mulls Closing Dark Pool

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering shutting down Sigma X, one of the world's largest private stock-trading venues, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Stocks Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 41 points to 16,297. The Nasdaq rose 25 points to 4,138. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,857.

Tuesday, April 8

Weather Channel to Return to DirecTV

DirecTV on Tuesday said that it will once again offer the Weather Channel to subscribers after reaching a carriage deal with the cable channel’s owner.

McMorrow Makes Gift to USC Marshall

The University of Southern California and its Marshall School of Business announced Tuesday that local real estate executive William J. McMorrow made a substantial gift to the school to establish a global real estate program.

Swiss Firm Takes Stake in American Apparel

A Swiss investment firm has acquired more than a third of American Apparel’s latest stock offering, becoming the company’s second-largest investor and bailing the L.A. company out of a debt crisis.

AFEX Buys Bank in Toronto

AFEX, a Woodland Hills provider of cross-border payment services for businesses, has purchased Jameson Bank in Toronto, the company announced Tuesday.

Santa Monica Prop House Moves to Burbank

Omega Cinema Props is relocating from Santa Monica to the Burbank Airport Commerce Center.

Gores Group Invests in Tweedle

West Los Angeles private equity firm Gores Group announced Tuesday that it has made an equity investment in Clinton Township, Mich. automotive publishing company Tweddle Group Inc.

Stocks Rise

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 10 points to 16,256. The Nasdaq rose 33 points to 4,113. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,852. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 188.

AwesomenessTV Continues to Beef Up Executive Ranks

Los Angeles multiplatform content maker AwesomenessTV has hired veteran retail sales executive James Fielding as the company’s new global head of consumer products and retail.

Skid Row Cleanup Plan in Works

Los Angeles City Hall, under threat of county sanctions, is planning a dramatic increase in the amount services for the Skid Row area, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Comcast, TWC Make Case for Merger

Comcast Corp. today filed federal documents required for its acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., arguing that there is ample competition in the video and broadband markets thanks to new technologies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Microsoft Pulls the Plug on Windows XP

Microsoft Corp. today stopped supporting Windows XP, leaving many companies to run parts of their enterprises on the near-obsolete software, CNBC reports.

Hollywood Takes Megaupload to Court

Six major film studios have filed suit against Kim Dotcom's shuttered file-sharing site Megaupload for mass copyright violations, PC World reports.

Gervino Named Billboard Editor-in-Chief

Billboard, the music industry’s premier trade publication for more than a century, has named Tony Gervino to the top editor position, the latest in a series of changes to remake the magazine in a more general-interest direction, the New York Times reports.

Dick Clark Productions Increases Its Output

Adweek spoke with Dick Clark Productions' Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan about the company's growth, with roughly 100 televised musical performances, most of them live and in prime time, on tap for broadcast this year.

Comcast Doing Universal Hollywood Makeover

After years of semi-neglect by previous owners, the Southland theme park is getting a $1.6 billion overhaul as Comcast tries to broaden its appeal, the New York Times reports.

CAA Promotions Show Agency's Expansion

CAA promoted eight of its trainees to agent or executive at six of its departments during its corporate retreat in Carlsbad, the Wrap reports, reflecting the growing diversity of CAA's business portfolio.

Convicted Building Inspector to Keep Pension

Veteran Los Angeles building inspector Samuel In, sentenced last month to prison in an FBI corruption case, will continue to receive a yearly pension of more than $72,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A Bid to Put Google Glasses to Work

The technology giant will give more assistance to Glass users at businesses, where the wearable device has already found some acceptance, the New York Times reports.

Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits Faces Divided House

The Democratic-led U.S. Senate on Monday passed a bill to restore expired jobless benefits for 2.4 million Americans who have been out of work for at least six months. Reuters reports that the bill faces an unclear future in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Stocks Up

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points to 16,272. The Nasdaq rose 29 points to 4,109. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,851.

Monday, April 7

Puma Falls on Cancer Drug Data

Shares of Puma Biotechnology Inc. dropped 18 percent on Monday after the Westwood drug developer reported clinical trial results for its experimental breast cancer drug that were less dramatic than investors expected.

Long Beach Boeing Plant to Close Earlier Than Expected

Boeing Co. said Monday it expected to end production of its C-17 Globemaster III transport jet at its Long Beach plant three months earlier than expected.

MannKind Shares Fall on FDA Delay

Shares of MannKind Corp. fell nearly 8 percent Monday after the company announced that the FDA’s final decision on its inhalable insulin could be delayed beyond an expected April 15 deadline.

Former Mayor of Glendale Sentenced for Embezzlement

John Drayman, a former Glendale councilman and mayor, was sentenced Monday to one year in jail for embezzling some $300,000 from the Montrose farmers market, the L.A. County District Attorney announced.

Stocks Fall

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 167 points, or 1 percent, to 16,246. The Nasdaq fell 48 points, or 1 percent, to 4,080. The S&P 500 fell 20 points, or 1 percent, to 1,845. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1 percent, to 187.

Tech Stock Sell-Off Spreads

A sell-off of Internet and technology stocks that started on Wall Street last week spread around the globe today, with tech companies hammered by worries about excessively high valuations, the Associated Press reports.

Mallinckrodt to Buy Questcor

Mallinckrodt is buying Anaheim Hills' Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. for a combination of stock and cash valued at about $5.6 billion that will help to further diversify the Irish company's business, the Associated Press reports.

Coming to Your Twitter Feed: New Types of Ads

Hoping to win over e-commerce companies and mobile-game developers, Twitter will debut 15 types of new ad products and improved ways to target users over the next six months, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Storied 'Beverly House' Lists for $135 Million

No sooner did the mansion known as Fleur de Lys sell last week for a record-breaking $102 million than another L.A. estate hit the market with even higher aspirations: $135 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lawsuit Challenges a Hollywood Pillar

A class action by former interns on the 2010 film "Black Swan" could radically change Hollywood's reliance on unpaid neophytes. But proponents of the practice say the experience and opportunities are invaluable, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blackstone to Buy Gates Global

Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest buyout firm, agreed to acquire industrial-products maker Gates Global Inc. of Denver from Onex Corp. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $5.4 billion, Bloomberg News reports.

Microsoft Makes Amazon-Like Programming Push

Microsoft Corp. is going Hollywood with a cast including comedians Sarah Silverman and Seth Green, aspiring World Cup players and eerily human robots, Bloomberg News reports. All are involved in shows that Microsoft’s new Xbox television studio plans to roll out globally in June.

Yahoo Makes New Push Into Video Content

Yahoo Inc. is raising its ambitions in online video, with plans to acquire the kind of original programming that typically winds up on high-end cable-TV networks and streaming services like Netflix, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

A Thoughtful Look at Pixar

Ed Catmull's new book "Creativity Inc." explores animation film studio Pixar's triumphs and near-disasters, outlining a system for managing people in creative businesses, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ad Expenditures Growing

Global ad spending is on track to grow 5.5 percent this year to $537 billion, while Internet advertising will account for nearly one-quarter of that, according to the latest forecast from Publicis' ZenithOptimedia TechCrunch reports.

Poll: Internet Companies' Growing Ambitions Spook Americans

The personal data gathering abilities of Google, Facebook and other tech companies has sparked growing unease among Americans, with a majority worried that Internet companies are encroaching too much upon their lives, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll indicates.

GM Get Its Close-Up in 'Captain America'

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" opened over the weekend with a record April box office, Variety reports, but as AdAge notes, the film might as well have been called "Scarlett Johansson Drives a Corvette Stingray" as movie-goers witnessed a flood of well-integrated General Motors product placements.

Americans Still Love Traditional Radio

New data indicates that while the number of Americans that listen to some AM/FM radio has shrunk marginally over the past decade, it has also remained firmly above the 90 percent threshold – an astonishing level of penetration when you consider the number of alternatives that have emerged, Quartz reports.

Stocks Down

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 101 points to 16,312. The Nasdaq fell 20 points to 4,107. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,856.

Rights Enforcer Deputizes ISPs in File-Sharing Fight

Rightscorp enlists Internet service providers to pull the plug on users of illegal TV- and movie-sharing sites.

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Brand Recognition

INVESTMENT: Incubator Imprint Venture Lab forgoes tech scene to find and power up apparel, appliance businesses.

The incubator Imprint Venture Lab eyes new brands in the hope of repeating its success with Knockaround Sunglasses.

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Security System Maker Risks Taking on Big Guys

MANUFACTURING: Smaller player Astrophysics aims to expands sales by 50 percent.

Astrophysics battles bigger rivals to lock down a piece of the security screening market.

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News Maker Looks to Tell Its Stories in Silicon Beach

MEDIA: New York’s RNN opens L.A. outpost to land new media customers.

New York news producer looks to channel content to new media businesses.

Sheer Appeal of Jobs Program Pulls in Hair Stylists

NON-PROFIT: LMG Studio offers makeovers to women after Chrysalis training.

Hair salon holds event to help women in workplace counseling program make the cut at job interviews.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Fullscreen Inc., a Culver City-based YouTube network, has acquired ScrewAttack, a Dallas video game-focused media company.

Healthy Votes of Approval for Inhalable Insulin

BIOTECH: MannKind stock rises after its device receives FDA panel’s OK.

Shares of MannKind climb after its inhalable insulin device receives FDA panel’s approval.

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Drivers Deserve Break on Data

Ruben Guerra backs legislation that would let motorists steer the collection of and access to car data.

Twitter Wings Way to New Santa Monica Space

LEASE: Social media giant sheds temporary outpost, signs up for five years.

Another major Silicon Valley company is getting serious about Silicon Beach.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming local conventions

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming calendar of events

News of the Week

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

The U.S. Senate confirmed Maria Contreras-Sweet, co-founder of Los Angeles community bank ProAmerica Bank, to head the Small Business Administration.

New Eatery Aims to Jazz Up South Los Angeles

DINING: Chef Richard Petty to serve up Southern cuisine at legendary music venue.

Chef Richard Petty plans to bring a Southern-style dining experience to a South L.A. site once known as a venue for jazz legends Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald.

L.A. Newspaper Group Could Be Heading for Sale

PUBLISHING: Lang parent Digital First reportedly looking to cut costs.

Is the Los Angeles News Group about to go on the market as part of its parent company’s sale?

Little Left for Lender After Sale of Loans, Deposits

ACQUISITION: Future of Wedbush Bank in question amid Grandpoint deal.

Wedbush Bank, a savings and loan owned by securities brokerage Wedbush Inc., is selling its loans and deposits to Grandpoint Bank.

Oil Field Losing Ground to Foes

energy: Urban site may close despite corrections by AllenCo.

Oil field operator fears unfounded fracking allegations could force it to shutter the urban site.

Client Has ‘Poor’ Excuse to Dodge Legal Bills

LAW: Quinn Emanuel can’t put number on Elie Samaha’s worth.

Quinn Emanuel may be wondering why it repeatedly represented a client who didn’t pay his bills.

Los Angeles Has Work to Do on Job Creation

OP-ED

Los Angeles needs to get to work on job creation, according to Edward E. Leamer and Judy D. Olian.

Turning Work Into Child’s Play

Bizainy kits make kids bosses of their own businesses.

Bizainy makes a play for young entrepreneurs with its line of business-launching kits.

Snack Maker Puts Accent On Exotic

Bridgepoint’s new Zouq line serves up South Asian flavors.

Bridgepoint looks to spice up the snack market with its new South Asian-influenced line.

Padding Mattress Sales

Spanish ads pull in Hispanic customers.

Sit n’ Sleep says it’s now freeeeeee in recovering economy to launch a Hispanic ad campaign.

Answer Just a Stone’s Throw Away

Daniel Singer is the 14-year-old creator of Backchat, an anonymous messaging application.

Minding Stores

Pasadena taps eclectic lineup to pull in crowds

Pasadena looks to sell itself as a hip shopping and dining spot by courting quirky and high-end stores.

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Front and Center

L.A.’s downtown has everything in place to maintain its resurgence except, perhaps, parking.

Parking could be a central issue to reviving L.A.’s city center, writes Robert Cohen.

A Fracking Problem?

The city of Los Angeles is considering a proposal to ban fracking while the safety of the practice is researched.

Friday, April 4

Los Angeles Lures Large Convention from San Diego

Los Angeles has snagged a major environmental convention from San Diego.

True Car Registers for IPO

Santa Monica’s booming auto shopping website TrueCar has registered for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking to raise up to $125 million.

Amgen Cancer Drug Results Disappoint

Shares of Amgen Inc. fell 4 percent on Friday after the Thousand Oaks biotech giant said an experimental skin cancer drug had not significantly improved survival rates in clinical trial patients although it reduced the size of tumors.

Ares, Wells Make Deals With Guitar Center

Guitar Center has announced deals with debtor Ares Management and lender Wells Fargo Capital Finance that the Westlake Village-based music retailer said puts it in a significantly stronger financial position.

MannKind, Mandalay Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

Stocks Drop

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 160 points, or 1 percent, to 16,413. The Nasdaq fell 110 points, or 2.6 percent, to 4,128. The S&P 500 fell 24 points, or 1 percent, to 1,865. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points, or 2 percent, to 189.

Garcetti Asks CBS to Bring Late Show Here

Mayor Eric Garcetti is offering incentives for CBS to bring the next 'Late Show' to Los Angeles in the wake of David Letterman's announcement that he will retire from the New York-based show, the Hollywood Reporter says. Fox News looks at how a ratings slip contributed to the 66-year-old entertainer's decision and CNN gives an appreciation of Letterman.

Dodgers Channel Talks End With DirecTV

Time Warner Cable has revealed that the company is no longer in negotiations with DirecTV to carry the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA channel, meaning the satellite company’s L.A. subscribers will be left without access to the team’s baseball games, Variety reports.

U.S. Adds 192,000 Jobs

U.S. employers hired at a steady pace in March, putting the economy on firmer footing for the spring, the Wall Street Journal reports. The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent as more people found work and more people joined the labor force.

Housing Bubble Echoes in Southern California

Zillow says high prices, climbing interest rates and flat incomes are pushing home-buying out of reach for more Southern Californians. And that’s starting to bring back behavior seen in the bubble days, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Long Beach Trophy Tower Goes for $102 Million

One of Long Beach’s trophy skyscrapers, Shoreline Square, has been sold for nearly $102 million to a San Diego real estate investment firm, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Google 'Glass' Trademark Submission Stalled

The U.S. Trademark office has pushed back on Google’s effort to trademark the term ‘Glass’ for its electronic wearable glasses device, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Ares Takes Control of Guitar Center

Ares Management has gained control of Westlake Village retailer Guitar Center Holdings Inc. in a debt-for-equity swap, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Schools See Steep Increase in Filming Revenue

The Los Angeles Unified School District has found an unusual solution to at least some of its budget woes selling more licenses to film production companies. Filming fees are up 40 percent for the district, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Moelis & Co. Seeks More Than $211 Million in IPO

Boutique investment bank Moelis & Co., the boutique investment bank, disclosed today that it was seeking to raise more than $211 million in its coming initial public offering, the New York Times reports.

Univision Radio Cuts Dozens of Workers

Univision Communications is restructuring its radio division, eliminating dozens of workers at stations around the country as the company centralizes its programming functions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: Lopez Bests Combs in Bid for Fuse TV

Sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that Jennifer Lopez has bested her ex-boyfriend Sean “Puffy” Combs in the contest to acquire cable music channel Fuse TV.

Edison Execs Sell Stock After Proposed Rate Deal

Edison International's chairman and chief financial officer pocketed a combined $17.7 million when they sold stock after an increase in price followed a major settlement involving the defunct San Onofre nuclear power plant, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Lululemon Prevails in Suits Over Yoga Pants Recall

A lawsuit accusing Lululemon Athletica Inc. of defrauding shareholders by hiding defects in its yoga pants that led to a costly recall should be dismissed, a U.S. judge has concluded, Reuters reports.

IPic to Bring Luxury Cinema to Westwood

IPic Theaters, the Boca Raton, Fla. chain that operates a popular luxury movie theater in Pasadena, is bringing its brand of premium cinema to Westwood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Behind the Recent 'Reality' Acquisition Spree

It's a full-on smush-fest between the U.S. and Europe as "Jersey Shore's" SallyAnn Salsano scores $50 million for her unscripted company and an overseas reality TV acquisition boom continues, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Bond King Pens Ode to Departed Cat

“There is a tragic end to all living things,” says Pimco’s Bill Gross in his latest investment outlook. No, the fixed-income money manager is not talking about the bond market. He is referring to his beloved cat Bob, who apparently was a prized stock picker, MarketWatch reports.

Stocks Decline

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 11 points to 16,561. The Nasdaq fell 58 points to 4,180. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,885.

Thursday, April 3

Amgen Ends GlaxoSmithKline Partnership

Amgen Inc. on Thursday said it would pay GlaxoSmithKline more than $275 million to get out of a co-marketing agreement with the British drug company to promote Amgen’s osteoporosis drug Prolia in certain regions outside the United States.

Response Genetics Adds More Health Plans to Client List

Shares of Response Genetics Inc. jumped 18 percent on Thursday after the cancer diagnostic test company signed agreements with six additional health plans and two large health care groups.

Solid Concepts Is Acquired

Stratasys, an international 3-D printing company, said it plans to buy Valencia’s Solid Concepts Inc. and another private company in Texas, and will merge them with its own manufacturing subsidiary.

Stocks Fall

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down less than 1 point to 16,573. The Nasdaq fell 39 points to 4,238. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,889. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 193.

Subway Survives Beverly Hills Legal Challenge

Knocking down one of the last hurdles for L.A.’s long-awaited Westside subway extension, a judge ruled late Wednesday that transit officials followed environmental laws when choosing a route that will require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rubicon Greeted Warmly, But Marketers Remain Cool

Playa Vista's Rubicon Project received a warm reception from investors on Wednesday when it debuted as a public company, but the Wall Street Journal reports that marketers remain skeptical about automated ad buying systems in general. Rubicon shares, which rose by more than third yesterday, were up 4 percent in morning trading today.

State Labor Office Sides with Some Port Truck Drivers

Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach who want to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors have scored another victory, Southern California Public Radio reports. A California labor office ruled in favor of seven drivers for transport company Pacer International.

Court: Suit Alleging Hospital Froze Woman Alive Can Proceed

White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights is facing a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman relatives claim was frozen to death at the hospital in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jindal Proposes Alternative to Affordable Care Act

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, trying to distinguish himself from other potential presidential candidates, outlined a replacement for the Affordable Care Act that he said would expand health coverage to more Americans by making insurance more affordable, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Employment: Jobless Claims Edge Higher; Service Firms Boost Hiring

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to some strength in the labor market, Reuters reports. Service firms expanded more quickly last month as new orders rose and hiring increased, according to the Associated Press.

Dodger Fans Hit the Bars Amid SportsNet LA Dispute

Some bars and restaurants that subscribe to DirectTV, which has not reached an agreement to carry the Dodgers new channel, have added Time Warner Cable to draw more customers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Howard, Grazer to Launch Digital Studio with Discovery

Discovery Communications is teaming with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard to launch a digital studio called New Form, The Hollywood Reporter says. Discovery plans to unveil the venture at its upfront presentation today.

New Grocery Delivery Service Set to Open in L.A.

Starting today, Instacart customers in Los Angeles can order groceries and other items from Whole Foods Market and have them delivered in as little as an hour, the Los Angeles Times reports. Additional stores are scheduled to be added in the coming weeks, and shoppers will be able to combine items from multiple stores into one order.

Liberty Media Reduces Stake in Barnes & Noble

Liberty Media Corp. says it is cutting its stake in Barnes & Noble Corp., sending the bookseller's shares down sharply this morning, the Associated Press reports.

TV Academy President Lucy Hood Dies at 56

Lucy Hood, a well-regarded entertainment industry veteran and president and chief operating officer of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, died Wednesday of cancer, Variety reports.

Banks Warned About ATM Hacks

Regulators are warning bankers that hackers have succeeded in changing the controls on automated teller machines to allow thieves to make nearly unlimited withdrawals, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 6 points to 16,564. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 4,262. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,890.

Wednesday, April 2

Rubicon Project Goes Public

Shares of Rubicon Project Inc. on Wednesday rose more than a third in its New York Stock Exchange debut.

New CEO at ReachLocal

Internet advertising company ReachLocal Inc. has named Sharon Rowlands as its chief executive, the company announced Wednesday.

AwesomenessTV Buys Multi-Channel Network Big Frame

Los Angeles content maker and distributor AwesomenessTV has acquired Hollywood YouTube network Big Frame in a $15 million cash deal, marking yet another acquisition in the red-hot multichannel network market.

Platinum Equity Sells Tech Holding

Platinum Equity on Wednesday said that has sold Truesense Imaging to On Semiconductor Corp., a Phoenix maker of chips for electronic systems.

Stocks Gain

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 40 points to 16,573. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 4,276. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,890. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 193.

MannKind Shares Surge on Afrezza News

MannKind Corp.'s share price more than doubled this morning, a day after its inhaled diabetes treatment was backed by an FDA advisory panel, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. Shares at midday fell back slightly to $7.10, a 77 percent gain.

Report: L.A. Hasn't Had Positive Job Growth in 23 Years

The UCLA Anderson Forecast said in a report today that L.A. hasn't had positive job growth in the last 23 years and needs to make bigger strides in improving the education of its workers and business climate, Southern California Public Radio reports. The city has lost more net jobs than any large metropolitan area in the nation from 1990 to 2013.

High Court Strikes Down Campaign Contribution Limits

The Supreme Court today struck down aggregate limits on political contributions, saying such rules violate the First Amendment, the Wall Street Journal reports. The high court left in place limits on contributions to individual candidates and political committees.

Ryan Budget Plan Would Slash $5 Trillion in Next Decade

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Tuesday introduced a budget proposal that would cut more than $5 trillion in federal spending over the next decade, primarily by effectively repealing President Obama’s health-care reform and greatly reducing social program spending, the Washington Post reports.

Southland Not So Sprawling After All

It may not seem like it when you’re stuck in traffic on the 110 Freeway, but a new report says Southern California is home to some of the least-sprawling metro areas in the country, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CEO: GM Has 'Civic Responsibility' to Compensate Crash Victims

Facing a relentless congressional panel Tuesday, General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra lost some of that new-CEO smell, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Survey: Companies Added 191,000 Jobs in March

Payroll processer ADP said U.S. companies increased hiring at a healthy pace last month, suggesting that the jobs market is recovering from a brutal winter, the Associated Press reports.

Long Beach to Be Host Town for Special Olympics

Long Beach is the first city in Southern California to be named a host town for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, when more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries descend on Southern California in July for a three-day program, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Overdraft Fees at Banks Hit a High, Despite Curbs

Nearly four years after regulators tried to curb overdraft fees, banks are lifting them to new heights, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Pressure Rises on Bill Gross

Investors pulled another $3.1 billion from Pimco's flagship fund in March, the 11th straight month of outflows, and its performance lagged 95 percent of its peers due to a spate of wrong calls by long-time manager Bill Gross, Reuters reports.

S&L Figure Charles Keating Dies at 90

Charles H. Keating Jr., who went to prison and came to symbolize the $150 billion savings-and-loan crisis a generation ago after fleecing thousands of depositors with regulatory help from a group of United States senators known as the Keating Five, has died, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Up

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 28 points to 16,561. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 4,276. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,890.

Tuesday, April 1

FDA Panel Recommends Approval of MannKind's Afrezza

MannKind Corp.'s share price more than doubled in after-hours trading Tuesday, following news that an FDA advisory panel had finally recommended approval of the Valencia company's Afrezza insulin inhaler.

L.A. Council Passes Trash Franchise Program

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a controversial program to turn commercial trash hauling in the city into an exclusive franchise system.

PacWest Acquisition Gets Final OK

The Federal Reserve board on Tuesday approved a deal that will create the fourth biggest local bank: Century City’s PacWest Bancorp’s acquisition of downtown L.A. CapitalSource Inc.

Gamblit Gaming Raises $12 Million

Gamblit Gaming in Glendale has raised $12 million in financing that will be used to prepare for launching its online gambling software this year, the company said Tuesday.

Mobile Video Game Studio Gets $5 Million From Accel

Pasadena mobile game maker Industrial Toys announced Tuesday that it has secured $5 million in Series A funding from Accel Ventures, according to a statement.

Former Turner Animation Marketing Exec Joins DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. on Tuesday said Brenda Freeman, a former marketing executive at Turner Animation, will be become its head of television marketing.

Stocks Rise

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 75 points to 16,533. The Nasdaq rose 69 points, or 1 percent, to 4,268. The S&P 500 rose 13 points, or 1 percent, to 1,886. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 193.

Milken May Be Buyer of Record-Price L.A. Mansion

The Los Angeles Times says millionaire investor and philanthropist Michael Milken may be the buyer of a Westside mansion, often described as a French palace, for $102 million in the most expensive residential sale ever recorded in Southern California.

Motown Records Coming to L.A.

Universal Music Group is reorganizing its Island Def Jam Motown group into three standalone labels, the Hollywood Reporter says. Def Jam, Island and Motown Records will function as standalone labels with the latter moving to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Poised to OK Sweeping Overhaul of Trash Collection

The City Council today is scheduled to consider a controversial transformation of garbage collection for businesses and apartment buildings, the Los Angeles Times reports. Read the Business Journal’s earlier article.

City Could Clash With County on Transit Tax

A half-cent sales tax increase being weighed for Los Angeles for the November ballot could endanger a countywide measure being studied for 2016, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Raul Gonzalez Jumps to Telemundo

Spanish-language television personality Raul Gonzalez, who recently left Univision, has joined Telemundo, where he plans to develop and host a weekly prime-time variety show to launch this fall, the Los Angeles Times reports.

FBI Investigates High-Speed Traders

The FBI has launched a wide-ranging investigation into high-speed trading, with an eye on whether some firms are acting on fast-moving market information that isn't available to other traders, the Wall Street Journal reports.

FCC to Free Airwaves for Wi-Fi and Wireless Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission approved measures on Monday that will free up more airwaves for Wi-Fi and wireless broadband, the New York Times reports.

New FCC Rules Crack Down on Local TV Partnerships

The FCC on Monday passed a rule that prevents many TV stations from jointly negotiating retransmission consent payments for their signals from cable and satellite operators, Variety reports.

Investors Sue 12 Banks, Allege Conspiracy to Rig Forex Markets

A dozen large investors filed a joint lawsuit against 12 of the world's largest banks, including Bank of America, Barclays and J.P. Morgan Chase, for allegedly conspiring to rig global foreign-exchange prices, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hollywood 'Spec' Scripts Making a Comeback

Million-dollar screenplay sales in recent months by independent producer Lawrence Grey for 'Section 6' and 'Winter's Knight' show the market is improving after several years in decline, the Los Angeles Times reports.

StyleHaul Taps Paramount Exec as Content Chief

StyleHaul, a venture-backed multichannel network focused on fashion and beauty, has hired Mia Goldwyn, Paramount Pictures’ vice president of digital business development, Variety reports. In the newly created position of chief content officer, Goldwyn will oversee the company’s original programming strategy.

New Complex Rises Near Cerritos Towne Center

Aria, a $74 million, 198-unit apartment complex under construction across from the Cerritos Towne Center mall, is the first new large multifamily project built in Cerritos in more than 40 years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Is That a Discount Coupon on Your Wrist?

AdAge reports that the not-too-distant future of advertising may work like this: You order a movie ticket on your phone, then decide to stop at a convenience store to buy snacks. As you stand in the aisle, your wrist vibrates. The company whose candy you were eyeing just sent you a discount.

Zuckerberg Drops Salary

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has joined the prestigious $1-a-year CEO club, Yahoo's Daily Ticker reports.

Stocks Gain

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 63 points to 16,521. The Nasdaq rose 49 points, or 1 percent, to 4,249. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,880.