Los Angeles Business Journal

Transamerica to Close California Offices

Transamerica announced Thursday that it will be closing its offices in Los Angeles and Folsom and cut 345 jobs on the West Coast starting next year, the Los Angeles Times reports.The financial services and insurance company will no longer have operations in California, except for the Transamerica Pyramid it still owns in San Francisco, and will also be eliminating 800 additional positions nationwide.

Could New Movie Rental be Offered in the Future?

Some Hollywood studios are considering offering high-priced home rentals of new films shortly after they debut in theaters, Bloomberg reports. Rental prices would range from $25 to $50 per film and would be available on streaming platforms. The idea could trigger a fight with theater operators who previously enjoyed as much as six months of exclusive rights to new releases.

Bacerra Named California Attorney General

Rep. Xavier Bacerra, the head of the House Democratic Caucus and former state deputy attorney general, has been named California’s next attorney general by Gov. Jerry Brown, Politico reports. The office will be vacated in January when Kamala Harris is sworn in as a U.S. senator and a special election will be held for Bacerra’s congressional seat after his appointment.

Chargers May Move to L.A.

The San Diego Chargers may be moving to Los Angeles in 2017 after a ballot measure regarding a new $1.8 billion San Diego stadium failed to pass in November, ESPN reports. The Chargers were granted the option to relocate and have until the Jan. 15, 2017 NFL owners meeting to alert the league about their plans.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22 points in early Friday trading to 19,170. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,195. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 5,261. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 226.

Arrowhead Falls as Trials Halted

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. is firing 30 percent of its staff, halting all human trials, and going back to the lab after a seeing troubling safety concerns in a technology to cure liver disease, Bloomberg reports. Shares plunged 66 percent on Wednesday, and the once billion-dollar company’s market cap is now down to about $100 million.

Breitbart News Fights Back after Advertisers Flee

Some major advertisers at Breitbart News Network are leaving after Donald Trump’s victory, and Breitbart is fighting back, the Los Angeles Times reports. The site called some departures “un-American” and a war “against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House.”

DGA Begins Contract Negotiations Early

The Directors Guild of America will begin contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers more than six months before the current contract expires on June 30, Variety reports. Negotiations are expected to focus on an increase in contributions from the studios to health and pension plans and bringing residual fees for pay cable and basic cable reruns up to par with broadcast fees.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58 points in Thursday trading to 19,181. The S&P 500 stayed steady at 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 18 points to 5,308. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 226.

AES May Build Largest Battery Facility in the World

Power company AES Corp. is planning on building a 300-megawatt battery facility in Long Beach, the Daily News reports. If approved by state regulators, the storage facility would be the capable of storing more electrical power than any facility previously constructed.

Are California Refineries Manipulating Gas Prices?

Consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog alleges that California refineries are holding down gasoline production to inflate prices at the pump, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gas prices in the Los Angeles area are an average of 50 cents higher than the national average. The Western States Petroleum Association says higher prices in California are due to higher taxes and fees as well as requirements for a more environmentally friendly blend of gas.

Southern California Home Prices Rise

Southern California home prices rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier to $465,000 in October, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nationwide prices have surpassed prices during the bubble peak in 2006, though the Los Angeles metro region is now 7.8 percent below the bubble peak numbers.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in early Wednesday trading to 19,198. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 2,210. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 5,375. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

LAX Breaks Thanksgiving Record

An estimated 2.3 million travelers passed through LAX this Thanksgiving holiday period, an increase of 8.4 percent over last year’s record of 2.1 million, KPCC reports. The busiest day at the airport was Nov. 18, the first day of the 11-day traveling period.

SpaceX Expected to Release Report on Rocket Explosion

SpaceX is expected to give federal authorities a preliminary investigative report next month pinpointing fueling procedures as the most likely cause of the September explosion of its unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company intends to resume launches before the end of 2016 if government agencies sign off on its major findings and give approval for operational changes to prevent a repeat of the same accident.

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