Los Angeles Business Journal

Oil Prices on Track for Best Monthly Gain Since 2009

Crude oil prices are poised for the biggest monthly gain since 2009, CNBC reports. U.S. crude oil was set to end February with its first monthly rise in eight months.

Teachers, Threatening to Strike, Rally in Downtown Los Angeles

Thousands of teachers and their supporters rallied downtown yesterday demanding higher salaries and smaller classes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

American Express Aims to Return Focus to Affluent

American Express has failed to renew key partnerships with Costco and JetBlue and may be facing a court case, but the company hopes a renewed focus on wealthy clients will help turn things around, the New York Times reports.

Economic Outlook is Favorable Despite Slow Fourth-Quarter Growth

While U.S. economic growth slowed during the fourth quarter, thanks to a wider trade deficit and a slow stock pace, there is still good news, Reuters reports.

State issues 110,000 Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

California has issued 110,000 driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in the seven weeks since the enactment of a new law, AB 60, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ports Prepare for Homeland Security Shutdown

In the event of a shutdown by the Department of Homeland Security, officials say both the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports are prepared with contingency plans, City News Service reports.

Sony Pictures Digital Chief is Out

Sony Pictures Digital President Bob Osher has been fired, Variety reports, part of an ongoing restructuring at Culver City's Sony Pictures Entertainment.

CIT Group and OneWest Bank Officials say Merger Good for Poor Neighbors

At a hearing with federal regulators in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, the chief executives of CIT Group and OneWest Bank say their proposed combined bank, which would be the largest in Los Angeles County, would benefit poor neighborhoods and increase small business lending, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chemical-Laden Waste Water Being Dumped into Pits in Kern County

Oil producers in Kern County are dumpling contaminated wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits currently operating without the proper permits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23 points in Friday morning trading to 18,191. The S&P 500 was down two points to 2,109. The Nasdaq was down six points to 4,982. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 225.

Net Neutrality Up for Vote Today

The new net neutrality rules are set for a vote today and are expected to be approved by a three-to-two vote along partisan lines, CNBC reports. Those in favor of net neutrality say it would ensure Internet providers are not able to interfere with access to the Web. Opponents say it’ll stifle innovation.

Paramount Pictures Film Group President Leaving

Adam Goodman, Paramount Pictures’ film group president, is expected to leave the studio, the Los Angeles Times reports. He has more than a year left in his contract. Paramount Pictures is not yet commenting.

Latino Leaders Seek a Senate Candidate to Replace Villaraigosa

Local Latino leaders are now scrambling to find another Senate candidate to replace former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who bowed out of the race to replace Barbara Boxer yesterday. Members of the Legislative Latino Caucus discussed possible candidates at their retreat in Napa, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After Posting Loss, Sears Announces Split

After posting a $159 million loss over the holidays as its sales plunged, Sears said today in a letter accompanying the company’ earnings report that it would split off up to 300 of its best stores into a separate company by June, advancing the dismantling of the struggling retailer by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Truck Driver in Metrolink Derailment in Court

The driver of the pick-up truck hit by a Metrolink train earlier this week, causing a derailment in Oxnard that injured dozens of people, will make a court appearance today, the Los Angeles Times reports. The driver faces possible felony hit-and-run charges.