News from Around the Web


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.

Metro to Pay Additional $300M for 405 Widening

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will pay nearly $300 million more to Kiewit Corp., the contractor for the 405 widening project, after years of dispute over responsibility for cost overruns, the Los Angeles Times reports. The agreement will push the cost of the Sepulveda Pass project above $1.6 million, 55 percent higher than the original budget.

Beverly Hills Home Sells for $4M Over Asking

Jill Tavelman Collins, an ex-wife of musician Phil Collins, bought a house next door to her Beverly Hills home for nearly $4 million more than the asking price, The Wall Street Journal reports. A bidding war with about 17 offers sent the price up to $12.5 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points in early Tuesday trading to 19,077. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 5,364. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

ESPN Reports Loss of 2 Million Subscribers

Walt Disney Co. reported that its flagship cable network ESPN lost about 2 million subscribers in fiscal 2016, ended Oct. 1, The Hollywood Reporter reports. ESPN now has 90 million subscribers, down from 100 million five years ago. The slump in viewership has spooked investors and shares are down 18 percent this year to near $98.

Three Multifamily Properties Trade for $120M

Brentwood-based R. W. Selby & Co. has acquired three multifamily properties in Bel Air and West L.A., The Real Deal reports. The three properties, purchased by State Farm about 10 years ago, sold for $120.1 million, or about $639 per square foot.