Stories for October 2012

Wednesday, October 31

DreamWorks’ Katzenberg Finally to Take Salary

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg has renewed his contract with the company until 2017 and significantly changed his compensation mix, ending a longtime practice of taking his pay in the company’s stock and options.

Stocks Close Mixed

The New York Stock Exchange and other markets reopened today following an historic two-day shutdown due to Hurricane Sandy. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 11 points to 13,096. The Nasdaq dropped 11 points to 2,977. The S&P 500 was up less than 1 point to 1,412. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 135.

Stocks Rise as Wall Street Reopens

The New York Stock Exchange opened its market following the longest weather-related shutdown in more than a century. Brokers on the NYSE floor had limited Internet and mobile-phone connections but could still trade from the exchange, Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal report.

Post-Sandy Air Travel Will Take Days to Normalize

Superstorm Sandy grounded more than 18,000 flights, and it will take days before travel gets back to normal, the Associated Press reports.

American Apparel Offers 'Sandy Sale' for Hard-Hit States

Los Angeles clothier American Apparel is just the latest retailer extending a “Sandy Sale” for those caught in the path of the storm's relentless march through the East Coast, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Appeals Panel May Strike Down Digital Billboard Deal

A three-judge panel signaled that it may strike down a deal that allowed about 100 digital billboards to go up in Hollywood, Venice and other neighborhoods, according to participants in the case, the Los Angeles Times reports.

As Sales Fall, Allergan Seeks a Buyer for Lap-Band

Allergan is looking to divest itself of its Lap-Band weight-loss device after several years of falling sales, loss of market share and controversies about its safety and effectiveness, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times report.

Blue Shield Will Return $50 Million to Customers

Health insurer Blue Shield of California said it will return $50 million to customers by year-end as part of its pledge to limit its annual profit, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SpaceX to Stay in Hawthorne through 2022

Hawthorne will be able to hold onto its most prominent business for at least the next decade under a new deal with Space Exploration Technologies Corp, the Daily Breeze reports.

M.B.A.s Rethink Wall Street

Repeated cutbacks have dulled Wall Street's luster for some prospective business school grads in the latest reflection of the gloom overhanging the finance industry, the Wall Street Journal reports.

How CEOs Improvised in the Wake of Sandy

Forget the board room. This week, CEOs across the Northeast are managing their companies from the living room, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Putin Wages War on Vodka as Lifestyle Death Toll Mounts

Vladimir Putin is mounting a crackdown on tobacco and drink. Bloomberg News reports that alcohol and tobacco abuse costs the Russian economy at least $104 billion a year, or 5 percent of gross domestic product.

Stocks Volatile This Morning

The New York Stock Exchange and other markets reopened this morning following an historic two-day shutdown due to Hurricane Sandy. In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 6 points to 13,101. The Nasdaq dropped 15 points to 2,973. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,410. The LABJ Stock Index was down 1 point to 134.

Tuesday, October 30

Disney to Buy Lucasfilm for $4 Billion

Walt Disney Co. has agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas' Lucasfilm Ltd. for about $4.05 billion.

Franchise Sales Boosts DineEquity’s Quarter

DineEquity Inc. reported third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street forecasts, helped by gains on the sale of restaurants to franchisees.

Herbalife Raises Outlook on Strong Quarter

Herbalife Ltd. reported third quarter results that exceeded Wall Street expectations and raised its full-year guidance as demand for its weight-loss products grew in emerging markets.

Markets Closed for Second Day

Stock markets in the United States will be closed again on Tuesday for a second day as Lower Manhattan recovers from the storm crisis, the New York Times reports. Flight cancellations caused by Hurricane Sandy soared to nearly 14,000, leaving thousands of passengers from the East Coast to the Golden State stranded at airport terminals or hotels, the Los Angeles Times reports. Bloomberg News provides an extensive roundup of other storm news.

Shake-Up at Apple

Apple fired the executives in charge of the company’s mobile software efforts and retail stores in a management shake-up aimed at making the company’s divisions work more harmoniously together, the New York Times reports.

Lakers on Local TV? Still Uncertain

A carriage dispute could prevent untold numbers of L.A. fans from watching the Lakers. The Wrap reports that Los Angeles fans won't be able to watch Lakers games on CBS affiliate KCAL, Channel 9.

State to Review Licensing for HealthCare Partners

Following a patient lawsuit filed last month, California officials say they are reviewing whether HealthCare Partners and its medical groups are in compliance with state law, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ex-Wellpoint Chief Gives $25 Million to USC

Former WellPoint chief executive Leonard Schaeffer is giving $25 million toward a USC health policy research center he helped launch three years ago, university officials announced on Tuesday.

Trutanich: Layoffs Will Cost L.A. More Money

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich told an L.A. City Council committee that a budget plan to lay off 50 lawyers in his office could cost the city millions of dollars in adverse judgments, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The positions are among more than 200 city layoffs that budget adviser Miguel Santana argues are needed.

Hollywood's Magic Castle Getting Movie Treatment

A feature film based on the Magic Castle, the famed private Hollywood club, is being developed by producer Ted Field and his company, Radar Pictures, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

RealD Expands 3-D Business in China

RealD Inc., the Beverly Hills supplier of 3-D equipment to movie theaters, is expanding its business in China, signing an agreement to supply equipment for 100 screens in the Womei Theater chain, the Los Angeles Times reports.

UBS to Cut 10,000 Jobs in Major Overhaul

The Swiss bank UBS announced plans on Tuesday to eliminate up to 10,000 jobs and cut costs in a major overhaul that dragged down earnings, the New York Times reports.

Lowest Ratings for World Series

According to Nielsen, an average of about 12.7 million viewers watched the 2012 World Series, which makes it the least watched on record, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Monday, October 29

Mercury General Moves to Profit in Quarter

Mercury General Corp. reported a third quarter profit, reversing a year-ago loss, as the home and auto insurer benefited from revenue growth and lower catastrophe losses.

Hurricane Sandy Affecting Flights Across Southland

Ripple effects from Hurricane Sandy are extending all the way out to Los Angeles and across Southern California, Southern California Public Radio and the Associated Press report. More than 100 flights to and from the East Coast so far have already been canceled, stranding thousands away from home as the storm hits.

California Gas Drops by 26.3 Cents

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in California dropped by the biggest amount yet for a one-week period after the recent new record, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High Court Won't Allow Hurricane to Interfere with Copyright Showdown

Despite a hurricane that threatens much of the Northeast, the U.S. Supreme Court opened as usual Monday morning, the Hollywood Reporter says. On the docket: a case that has attracted interest in Hollywood in which the court will consider whether consumers have the right to resell copyrighted works such as movies, songs and books imported domestically.

How Retailers May Cope With 'A Billion Dollar Storm'

For investors, understanding how the weather (both actual and predicted) may affect sales and earnings provides key insights into how a business will “weather” an earnings period or same store sales expectation, CNBC reports.

Consumer Spending Rises, But Saving Slows

Consumer spending rose solidly in September as households stepped up purchases on automobiles and a range of other goods, but the increase came at the expense of savings, Reuters reports.

Advertising Relearned for Mobile

As more of us have access to the Internet and apps through cell phones and tablets, advertisers are looking for new ways to reach us there, the New York Times reports.

'Mad Men' Reflects Reality of Modern Life in China

The 1960s-driven TV drama 'Mad Men' seems to be resonating with ambitious young Chinese professionals in a country undergoing major societal changes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Junk Bonds Grow More Popular – and Riskier

Demand for junk bonds has touched record levels this year as investors reach for their rich yields, a stark contrast to the meager returns available on Treasury securities and money market accounts. But the voracious demand has allowed companies to easily raise money for things that may actually end up weakening them, the New York Times reports.

Going Under Overseas?

China’s unfamiliarity with building booms points to epic collapse that could hurt Southern California.

Jeff LoCastro believes a collapse in China could reverberate in Southern California.

CityGrid Lays Off Workers as Business Changes

INTERNET: Under new model, advertisers will pay for contact, not just clicks.

CityGrid is introducing an ad model in which it charges businesses for customer contacts instead of just clicks.

Playa Time

Silicon Beach tech wave rolling south

Playa Vista looks like it’s about to take off as the next big thing for L.A.’s tech community now that the Runway retail development is about to break ground.

Tease photo

Construction Companies Look Forward to Post-PLA Reality

Project labor agreements should fade away, and the results of the upcoming election could speed the process, writes Eric Christen.

How to Build Schools and Prisons

Charles Crumpley sees agreement: Public-private partnerships are good for both sides, and for Los Angeles, too.

Will the Music Stop After Sale of Palladium?

VENUE: Miami condo developer reaches deal for famed Hollywood site.

The owner of the Hollywood Palladium has reached a deal to sell the iconic music venue for $55 million, sources told the Business Journal.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Koreatown Bank Purchase May Be First in Series

Expansion: BBCN’s Seattle-area acquisition provides larger footprint.

Koreatown’s BBCN Bank announced a small acquisition last week, but that could be just the first step in a significant expansion.

Friends Tell Him They’re Amazed He Was Hired

Firms: Real estate law veteran Volpert, 77, starts work with Glaser Weil.

At 77 years old, real estate attorney Dick Volpert is past the age when most law firms would be expected to jockey for his services.

Is This Town Big Enough For Two Local News Sites?

Media: Rivals trading barbs over who can best cover West Hollywood.

Rival websites trade barbs over coverage of West Hollywood.

Surgeons Win Battle Over Plan To Raise Rates

TAX: Beverly Hills panel cancels proposed hike for Specialty Surgical Center.

Specialty Surgical Center wins appeal of planned increases by Beverly Hills.

Political Ad Spending Dialed Down for L.A. Media

Advertising: New law delays spots on local radio and TV – until now.

After sluggish start to the year, political ad spending is making a significant impact for TV and radio stations in Los Angeles.

Investors Take Notice of Cancer Drug Company

BIOTECHNOLOGY: Puma shares soar on stock issue after move to NYSE.

Puma stock roared to life when the cancer drug company sold new shares and starting trading on the NYSE.

Flying Films

TECHNOLOGY: Digiboo puts digital kiosks at airports so ‘the movie lover on the go’ can download for the trip.

Digiboo sets up kiosks at airports so travelers can download movies to watch while they’re high in the sky.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Long-Distance Kosher

Nir Weinblut, one of the premier local kosher chefs, recently returned from a trip to Dubai, where he cooked meals for some of the region’s pre-eminent dignitaries.

More Than Just Another Business Plan

Downey student wins national award for iPhone servicing.

A teen submitted a business plan to an entrepreneurship competition, but by the time he won, his company was already up and running.

Vegas Ride To Turn Up in Very Big Way

Pasadena design firm helps plan world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

A Pasadena firm got a turn at designing the world’s biggest Ferris wheel in Las Vegas.

Will Company LOL to Bank?

TECHNOLOGY: TextPlus has a hit with its smartphone app.

TextPlus may have found a way to LOL all the way to the bank with an app that lets cell phone subscribers save money on their messaging charges.

Samsung on Road to Build

CONSTRUCtiON: Firm to focus on public-private projects.

Samsung may be best known for its phones and TVs, but now it’s planning on building roads and bridges here, too, thanks to public-private partnerships.

City Serves Burger Stand Owner Big Order of Crackdown

REGULATIONS: Tam’s threatened with closure because of local crime.

L.A. City Hall is putting the heat on a South Los Angeles burger stand because it’s seen as a magnet for criminal types. But is the restaurant being punished for its location in a high-crime neighborhood?

Friday, October 26

Earnings Send, IPC in Opposite Directions

Shares of Inc. jumped 20 percent on Friday after the online postal services provider reported strong third-quarter results and raised its full-year guidance. But IPC the Hospitalist Co. Inc. saw its shares drop 17 percent after announcing results that were less than expected and providing a more pessimistic outlook.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week as the broader markets reacted to mixed earnings and economic reports.

Stocks Close Mixed

Stocks Close Mixed In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 3.5 points to 13,107. The Nasdaq rose nearly 2 points to 2.988. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,412. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 1 point to 135.

PUC Launches Probe of San Onofre Outage

The California Public Utilities Commission has launched an investigation into the nine-month outage at the San Onofre nuclear plant, which could result in rates eventually being lowered or money refunded to utility customers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Redstone's Daughter Back in Succession Mix

After years of often-fractious relations, Sumner Redstone said his daughter, Shari Redstone, could end up succeeding him as the overseer of his controlling interests in Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. Conventional wisdom held that Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman was assured the role, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Study: Recession Brought Change in Californians' Health Coverage

About 1.2 million Californians lost employer health benefits during the recession while enrollment surged in government insurance programs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Consumers Boost Growth

Economic growth picked up in the third quarter as a late burst in consumer spending offset cutbacks in investment by cautious businesses, Reuters reports.

Credit Suisse Seeks to Run Exchange

Credit Suisse Group is quietly pushing to turn one of its trading venues into an exchange, an unusual bid that, if successful, would create the only U.S. stock exchange owned outright by a Wall Street bank, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Warner Bros. Relents on Redbox DVD Deal

Unable to get the rest of Hollywood behind its plan to make Redbox wait nearly two months after movies go on sale to rent them, Warner Bros. has compromised with the DVD kiosk giant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jeep, an Obama Favorite, Looks to Shift Production to China

In another potential blow for the president's Ohio reelection campaign, Jeep, the rugged brand President Obama once said symbolized American freedom, is considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China, the Washington Examiner reports.

Study: Flood of Money Leaving China

The Associated Press reports that Chinese investors evaded government controls to move more than $600 billion out of the country last year and the outflow is increasing, fueling economic and political risks as communist leaders prepare for a handover of power.

Taking Early Exits Off Wall Street

Disruption on Wall Street, resulting in image problems for the industry, smaller bonuses and less lavish perks, are spurring some midcareer bankers to reassess their careers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Where Do I Click, Again?

With the launch of Windows 8, buyers are about to discover a computing experience unlike anything they've seen before. The Associated Press' tech desk this morning provides a guide to getting past some of the hurdles.

Do the Rich Have a Moral Obligation to Pay Higher Taxes?

Gov. Jerry Brown thinks so, the Daily Ticker at Yahoo Finance reports. Under Prop 30, the two-time Democratic governor is calling for a 3-percent tax hike on the state's richest 1 percent to help pay for the cash-strapped state's education system.

Investors React to Economic Reports

U.S. stocks declined this morning, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on pace for a weekly decline, as investors attempted to digest mixed economic and earnings reports, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Down This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 6 points to 13,097. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 2.980. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,410. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 136.

Thursday, October 25

Lower Oxy Profit Still Better Than Expected

Lower oil and natural gas prices contributed to a 22 percent decline in Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s third-quarter profit, but the results were still better than Wall Street expected.

Teledyne Beats Wall Street Profit Expectations

Shares of Teledyne Technologies Inc. rose 6.5 percent on Thursday after the electronics company reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and raised its full-year guidance.

Reliance Steel Reports Better-Than-Expected Profit

Shares of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.'s rose 5 percent on Thursday after the operator of metals fabricating centers reported a 16 percent increase in third-quarter net income.

Stocks Up Slightly at Close

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 26 points to 13,104. The Nasdaq added 4 points to 2.986. The S&P 500 rose 4 point to 1,412. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 137.

Thousands Without Power

At least 13,000 customers were without electricity Wednesday night, some still into this morning, in neighborhoods stretching from South Pasadena and Montebello to Hollywood and Silver Lake, the Los Angeles Times and CBS News-Los Angeles report.

Home Foreclosures Continue Decline in State

California cities continue to see substantial year-over-year declines in foreclosure activity. San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego saw their foreclosures plummet, by 36, 29 and 26 percent, respectively. But as Southern California Public Radio reports, the foreclosure crisis hit California so hard that many other cities have a long way to go before the situation normalizes.

Airlines Give Up on World's Longest Flights

With fewer people willing to pay premium fares and fuel prices remaining stubbornly high, airlines are cutting back on the halfway-around-the-world nonstop flights, the Wall Street Journal reports. Singapore Airlines is eliminating the two longest flights in the world, between its home city and Newark, N.J., and Los Angeles.

Fed Pledges to Maintain Stimulus

The Federal Reserve said that it would continue its economic stimulus campaign, aimed at reducing unemployment, amid fresh evidence of a housing recovery that could help to bolster those efforts, the New York Times reports.

Suit Cites ‘Brazen’ Mortgage Fraud at Countrywide

The latest federal lawsuit over alleged mortgage fraud, filed by the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, underscores how Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide Financial in July 2008, just before the financial crisis, backfired severely, the Washington Post reports.

CEOs Call for Deficit Action

Chief executives of more than 80 big-name U.S. corporations, from Aetna Inc. to Weyerhaeuser Co. are banding together to pressure Congress to reduce the federal deficit with tax increases as well as spending cuts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Weekly Jobless Aid Applications Fall

The Associated Press reports that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment aid fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 369,000, a level consistent with modest hiring, the Labor Department said this morning.

Supply Boom Upends the Oil Market

Only a few months ago, traders and investors were fretting about whether tensions in the Middle East and production problems elsewhere would lead to a shortage of crude oil. Now, many are worried there may be too much, the Wall Street Journal reports. The New York Times looks at how some refiners are benefiting.

NY Times Misses Revenue Expectations

The New York Times Co. reported worse-than-expected results as advertisers cut spending on both print and digital outlets, sending its stock tumbling the most in more than three years, Reuters report.

Searching for Yield in Bond Exotica

Some hedge funds are leading investors into the debt market’s darker corners to boost returns, buying securities from collateralized loan obligations to bonds that seldom trade, Bloomberg News reports.

Stocks Up Slightly This Morning

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 5 points to 13,082. The Nasdaq added 3.5 points to 2.985. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,409. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 136.

Wednesday, October 24

Molina Sees Texas Turnaround in Quarter

Shares of Molina Healthcare Inc. jumped more the 13 percent Wednesday after the managed care provider reported a third quarter profit even though Wall Street had expected a loss. The company cited improved results in Texas, which generates about a fourth of the company’s revenue.

Avery Dennison’s Profit Rises 8 Percent

Shares of Avery Dennison Corp. gained more than 8 percent on Wednesday after the office products maker reported a better-than-expected third quarter and raised profit guidance.

Civic Leaders Lobby for L.A. Pension Reform

Nineteen local business and civic leaders have delivered a letter to L.A. City Hall urging the city council to pass Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s pension reform proposal.

Stocks Down Slightly at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 25 points to 13,077. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to 2.981. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,408. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 136.

Ordinance Blocking Big Retailers in Chinatown Fails

A proposal to ban major retailers from opening in the Chinatown area failed Tuesday on a vote of the Los Angeles City Council, Southern California Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times report.

Verizon to Invest in Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth

Verizon Communications Inc., already a partner in some of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care information superhighway ventures, has agreed to make an equity investment in NantHealth LLC, the Business Journal reports.

What to Expect From Fed Meeting

Today’s Federal Reserve statement is likely to be a low-key check-up on the U.S. economy, following last month’s prescription of more stimulus, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why Wall Street Doesn't Want Bernanke to Leave

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is a frequent whipping boy for Congressional Republicans and a lot of ordinary citizens fed up with a flaccid economy. But he remains very popular on Wall Street, where traders are starting to worry about who might succeed him, U.S. News & World Report says.

Amgen Raises Guidance After Solid Quarter

Amgen Inc. reported better-than-expected profit in the third quarter and raised its full-year guidance, the Business Journal reports.

New U.S. Home Sales Rise to Two-Year High

Purchases of new U.S. homes rose in September to the highest level in more than two years, as the industry that helped bring on the recession forged its way toward recovery, Reuters and Bloomberg News report.

Buffett: At Least U.S. Better Than Europe

Warren Buffett said results at the companies in his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate indicate "there is some slowing down going on" in the global economy, but the U.S. economy is doing better than Europe and Asia, the Wall Street Journal reports.

CVS Caremark Now a Frequent Subject of Government Probes

Besides recent investigations of its prescription-refill practices, CVS Caremark has paid $80 million to resolve allegations such as overbilling Medicaid, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Working In Your 80s?

A new study says that faced with scant retirement savings, an increasing number of middle-class Americans plan to start their golden years much, much later, according U.S. News & World Report.

Clark Kent Quits 'Daily Planet'

Apparently, even Clark Kent sees the writing on the wall when it comes to the future of the newspaper industry, says The Wrap. Kent – perhaps better known by his tights-clad alter-ego, Superman – will quit his longstanding job as a reporter for Metropolis newspaper the Daily Planet in the next issue of "Superman."

New Federal Rules for Debt Collectors Slated

Debt collection agencies, whose sometimes aggressive tactics have earned them scrutiny from consumer protection groups and state regulators, will come under federal supervision for the first time beginning Jan. 2, the New York Times reports. The Daily Ticker on Yahoo Finance looks at whether the new rules go far enough.

Stocks Mixed This Morning

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points to 13,134. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 2,989. The S&P 500 rose 1.5 points to 1,415. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 137.

Verizon Invests in Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth

Verizon Communications Inc., already a partner in some of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care information superhighway ventures, has agreed to make an equity investment in NantHealth LLC, the companies announced Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, October 23

Amgen Raises Guidance After Solid Quarter

Amgen Inc. late Tuesday reported better-than-expected profit in the third quarter and raised its full-year guidance, sending shares up slightly in after-hours trading.

BBCN to Buy Seattle Bank

BBCN Bancorp Inc., the Koreatown parent of BBCN Bank, said that it will acquire Pacific International Bancorp Inc., a small bank holding company in Seattle.

Costs, Weak Sales Hurt Jakks’ Quarter

Jakks-Pacific Inc. reported a 13 percent drop in third-quarter profit as the toymaker was hurt by a decline in sales and higher expenses from fighting off a take-over attempt.

OSI Systems Profit Up 33 Percent

OSI Systems Inc. said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 33 percent as it saw broad sales growth and improved margins for its security and medical scanners and optical component systems. The company also raised its guidance for the year.

Stocks Close Down

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 243 points, or 2 percent to 13,103. The Nasdaq dropped 26 points, or 1 percent, to 2.990. The S&P 500 fell 21 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,413. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 2 points, or 1 percent, to 136.

LAX's Controversial Full-Body Scanners To Go

At Los Angeles International Airport and other major airports, the Transportation Security Administration is replacing full-body scanners with a type of scanner that has not been condemned as harshly, the Los Angeles Times and ProPublica report. Separately, a congressman is proposing legislation that would give airports more power to hire private contractors for screening, Bloomberg News reports.

Gasoline Price Decline Accelerates

The Energy Department says California's average for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline fell 19.1 cents in the week to $4.432, compared with a drop of less than 4 cents the previous week, according to the Los Angeles Times, with a separate survey by AAA placing the state's average pump price at $4.427 a gallon, down 18.2 cents from a week earlier.

Weak Earnings Hammer Stocks

U.S. stocks fell sharply as investors reacted to disappointing earnings from blue-chip companies and worries that Spain's economy was worsening, the Associated Press and Reuters report.

Retailers Ramp Up Holiday Hiring

Major retailers throughout the Southland are ramping up their holiday hiring in hopes that this year’s Christmas shopping season will be brighter, Southern California Public Radio reports. Holiday sales nationwide are expected to rise about 4 percent to more than $586 billion.

Forecast: L.A. Home Prices to Keep Rising

Home prices in the Los Angeles area are set to rise moderately over the next year, real estate website predicts, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Noguez Arrest Drives Measure A Support

Suspicions about the dealings of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez led the County Board of Supervisors to unanimously support an advisory measure to take the assessor's position out of the hands of voters, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

GET-THIN Brothers in Fraud Inquiry

The brothers behind the 1-800-GET-THIN ad campaign are the subjects of a criminal investigation involving several federal and state law enforcement agencies, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: San Bernardino Drained Road Funds

San Bernardino, the bankrupt city facing an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission, masked its growing deficits by using money meant for sewers, roads and construction to cover current expenses, Bloomberg News reports.

Low Rates Pummel Banks

Superlow U.S. interest rates are squeezing bank profits, which the Wall Street Journal reports is complicating the industry's nascent recovery from the financial crisis.

Long Beach May Close Pot Shop

Long Beach officials want to revoke the business license of a property owner who is allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to operate without a permit, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Hedge Funds Hot for Ailing Greece's Debt

One of the hottest trades of the past few months has been the bonds of a country so shaken by economic and social turmoil that a neo-Nazi party is running third in the polls. That's right, the Wall Street Journal reports: hedge funds have been buying Greek.

Phone Hacking Claims Move Beyond News Corp.

Phone-hacking legal claims in the United Kingdom for the first time have moved beyond Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., with one claim targeting a tabloid during the time it was led by CNN host Piers Morgan, The Guardian and Hollywood Reporter report.

Stocks Open Down

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 230 points, or nearly 2 percent to 13,115. The Nasdaq lost 26 points, or 1 percent, to 2.986. The S&P 500 fell 20 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,411. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 2 points, or 1 percent, to 136.

Monday, October 22

Macerich Acquires New York Malls

Macerich Co. has agreed to buy two shopping malls in Long Island and Brooklyn for a total $1.25 billion in effort to expand its presence in the New York metro market

Wilshire Bancorp Sees Improved Quarter

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. said that its third quarter profit jumped 277 percent as the Koreatown bank holding company saw growth in new loans and a decline in older problem loans

Puma Maintains Value Following NYSE Debut

Shares of Puma Biotechnology Inc. largely maintained their value on Monday in their second day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, falling just 3 percent during a volatile day for the broader markets.

Stocks Up Slightly at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 2 points to 13,346. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 3,016. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,434. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 138.

Dish Network Pays $700 Million to Settle Disputes

Dish Networks will pay Cablevision and AMC Networks $700 million in a settlement announced Sunday that will restore AMC Networks to Dish and resolve a dispute over an indirect AMC subsidiary, The Wrap reports.

Cities Hope Ballot Measures Change Their Fortunes

The struggling town of Guadalupe has put on its ballot a measure to change its name to Guadalupe Beach in an effort to bring in tourists. Other cities, counties and school districts across California are finding themselves in the same financial pinch, but are relying on a less creative tactic: asking voters to pry open their wallets, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fresh Windows, but Where’s the Start Button?

Windows, which has more than a billion users around the world, is getting a radical makeover, a rare move for a product with such vast reach. But the New York Times reports that the new design is likely to cause some head-scratching for those who buy the latest machines when Windows 8 goes on sale this Friday.

Disney Struggles to Find Its Digital Footing

Trying to finally master the Internet the way it has theme parks or animated films, the Walt Disney Company has redesigned its Web site,, for the third time in five years, the New York Times reports. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal examines how Disney hopes to establish Disney Fairies as a multiformat franchise, much as it has with its Princess characters.

Portrayal of Beirut Prompts Lebanon to Consider Lawsuit

Lebanese authorities are unhappy with the way their country is portrayed in the TV series "Homeland" and are looking into what legal action they might be able to take against Showtime's Emmy-winning drama, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Armstrong Stripped of 7 Tour Titles

Forget the seven Tour de France victories. Forget the yellow jersey celebrations on the Champs Elysees. Forget the name that dominated the sport of cycling for so many years. As far as cycling's governing body is concerned, Lance Armstrong is out of the record books, the Associated Press reports.

SEC Probes Facebook IPO

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which began probing Facebook Inc.’s May 17 IPO after its stock price plummeted, so far hasn’t found evidence that the company withheld material information from investors, sources tell Bloomberg News.

Why Politics and Work Don’t Mix

Sex, religion and politics may be taboo topics for so-called polite conversation. But as the 2012 presidential election nears, a handful of CEOs apparently aren’t worried about workplace niceties. Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor argues how this can be deeply corrosive to an organization’s culture.

Weak Open on Wall Street

A weak forecast from heavy equipment maker Caterpillar and other poor earnings results weighed on the stock market in early trading, the Associated Press reports on Yahoo Finance.

Stocks Mixed This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 5 points to 13,337. The Nasdaq rose more than 4 points to 3,011. The S&P 500 fell 1.5 points to 1,431. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 points to 138.

TrueCar on Road Again After Overhaul

Automotive: Car pricing site makes big shift to appease dealers.

AUTOMOTIVE: Pressure from dealerships and regulators drive car-pricing site to back away from its focus on the absolute cheapest prices.

Casden Loses HQ Building

REAL ESTATE: Developer hit with three foreclosures.

Developer Alan Casden has lost three office buildings to foreclosure – including his headquarters.

Side Shows

Webisodes, games augment TV viewing experience

Technology: So-called transmedia firms such as Shadow Gang create supplemental online content for TV shows and video games.

Tease photo

Grabbing Wine Lovers By the Ears

Playboy looks to hit home with subscription delivery service.

SPIRITS: Playboy aims to pop wine drinkers’ corks with a delivery service.

Case Study In Luring Students

W Hotel hopes to book more UCLA Bruins with discount package.

HOSPITALITY: W Hotel in Westwood looks to hit the bookings with a discount deal for UCLA students.

Quit Whining About Gas Prices

Stop complaining about high gasoline prices, Charles Crumpley writes. Californians wanted it that way.

Coming Clean on AB32

Cap-and-trade auction will only add to costs of businesses that have paid to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

State’s cap-and-trade auction will raise the tab on some businesses that have invested in clean energy, according to David Slater.

Education Key to Getting Aerospace Off Ground

Debbie Holton offers the lowdown on how to retain the aviation industry’s high-paying jobs.

Businesses Split On Taxing Issue

Chambers: Boards have heated debates on initiatives.

Chambers: Business groups split on state measures to raise taxes and curb unions’ political contributions. (Sidebar – A range of levy measures go before city and county voters. Page 70.)

Businesses Seen as Easy Tax Targets: ‘They Don’t Vote’

Local businesses are once again in the crosshairs as 10 measures increasing taxes or fees they pay are going to voters next month in seven cities and Los Angeles County.

Condo Comeback?

Real Estate Quarterly: Some residential real estate developers are moving out of apartment projects and into condo buildings featuring smaller, less expensive units.

Condo builders, frozen during the recession, are starting to thaw out all across Los Angeles.

Apartment Builders Still Have Room for Renters

Real Estate Quarterly: Apartments

Condo construction finally appears to be on upswing and the housing market is showing signs of life, but apartments remain popular and some developers are still sticking with them for now.

Westside Gets Creative While Other Areas Struggle

Real Estate Quarterly: L.A. County

The Los Angeles County office market continues to improve, but the third quarter wasn’t exactly stellar.

Vacancy Rate Remains High Despite Pair of Blockbuster Leases

Real Estate Quarterly: Downtown

Call it a sign of the times. Two huge downtown L.A. office lease deals were signed during the third quarter, totaling more than 425,000 square feet and $150 million in value; both include building-top signage.

Santa Monica, West Hollywood Surrender Space but Rents on Rise

Real Estate Quarterly: Westside

Asking rents in the Westside office market are on the rise and nearly all of its submarkets absorbed space in the third quarter.

Leasers Might Turn Into Buyers As More Projects Come On Line

Real Estate Quarterly: Hollywood

By all measures, the Hollywood office market fared worse during the third quarter than the second, but landlords aren’t complaining.

Building Bid Boosts Miracle Mile But Park Mile Gives Back Space

Real Estate Quarterly: Wilshire Corridor

Last quarter, Miracle Mile scored the highest office property bid in Los Angeles County in the past eight years. But even that impressive endorsement couldn’t keep the greater Wilshire Corridor afloat.

Bracelets Aren’t Just for Charm at Rock Shows

TRACkING: Precision Dynamics expands from health care to concerts.

If you’ve ever worn one of Precision Dynamics Corp.’s identification bracelets, chances are you aren’t having too much fun.

Service Clears Path From Filmmakers to Audience

Sales: Pumit’s system aims to capitalize on trend of direct distribution of media.

Independent filmmakers have a bevy of licensing options to extend the revenue life of their films, such as Netflix.

Pasadena’s Negative Absorption Undercuts Gains by Sister Cities

Real Estate Quarterly: Tri-Cities

Vacancy rates dropped by more than a point in both Glendale and Burbank over the summer, but the Tri-Cities office market was held back by a lackluster quarter in Pasadena.

Traditional Office Space, Wellness Centers Provide Shot in Arm

Real Estate Quarterly: San Fernando Valley

Improving demand and a determination to close deals during the quarter fueled the San Fernando Valley office market, which is making a slow but steady recovery.

Renovation Follows Preservation Battle in Venice

Real Estate: Developer to begin massive rehab of Lincoln Place apartments.

REAL ESTATE: Preservationists saved Lincoln Place from the wrecking ball; now the huge complex is getting a $150 million renovation.

Class B Properties Work in Pinch as Industrial Market Squeezed

Real Estate Quarterly: San Gabriel Valley

An increase in commercial sales pushed up activity in the San Gabriel Valley industrial market, with third-party logistics firms particularly eager to buy at what they perceive is the market’s bottom.

Business of Suiting Up Stars Is Looking Less Sharp

Apparel: Carroll & Co.’s fashions still seen on the big screen even as styles change.

APPAREL: Carroll & Co. has dressed Hollywood’s leading men from Fred Astaire to Denzel Washington. But the business of selling pricey suits to stars is fading.

Net Loss?

Sports: Tennis tourney needs money – or may pack its rackets.

SPORTS: Organizers of money-losing tennis tournament at UCLA look to score a title sponsor or a buyer.

Pending Building Acquisitions Have Brokers Seeing Brighter Future

Real Estate Quarterly: Santa Clarita Valley

The Santa Clarita Valley office market had another sluggish quarter, but some brokers see a bright future.

L.A. Outpaces Nation in Venture Capital Draw

Finance: Local startups having most active year since dot-com bubble.

FINANCE: Los Angeles was a rare bright spot for venture capital investments in the last quarter thanks to interest in local e-commerce firms.

Small Users Help Turn El Segundo Into L.A.’s Hottest Office Market

Real Estate Quarterly: South Bay

Pop quiz: Which area has the healthiest office market in Los Angeles County? Here’s a hint: It’s not Santa Monica, Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, all recent contenders for the title.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Management Buy-Back: Analytic Investors LLC, a downtown L.A. provider of investment management services, has announced a management buy-back of the firm from Old Mutual Asset Management, a Boston investment services firm.

Down to Earth

When George Pla joined the board of the California Science Center 15 years ago, he never envisioned that it would one day lead to him walking in front of the space shuttle Endeavour along Crenshaw Boulevard.

Data Bank

Calendar of Events

Friday, October 19

Jobless Rate in L.A. County Falls

L.A. County’s jobs recovery picked up steam in September as the unemployment rate fell to 10.6 percent and 37,000 jobs were added to payrolls.

Puma Biotechnology Soars in NYSE Debut

Shares of Puma Biotechnology Inc. jumped more than 35 percent on Friday after the company priced an offering of 7.5 million new shares in conjunction with a move from the Over-the-Counter Bulletin to the New York Stock Exchange.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rebounded for the week, although gains were muted by a late-week selloff in the broader markets.

Stocks Plunge

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 205 points, or 1.5 percent, to 13,344. The Nasdaq dropped 67 points, or 2 percent, to 3,005. The S&P 500 fell 24 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 1,433. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1.5 percent, to 139.

California Jobless Rate Drops

California's unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in September from 10.6 percent in August, but just 8,500 net new jobs were created, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Dow Stumbles on Gray Friday

Stocks turned broadly lower this morning, as high-profile earnings disappointments from Dow components and European worries weighed on shares, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Creative Artists, Indian Talent Agency Form Joint Venture

Creative Artists Agency and one of the top talent agencies in India, Kwan Entertainment & Marketing Solutions, have formed a joint venture to represent Bollywood talent. The move underscores the importance of the growing Asian market to the entertainment industry, the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times report.

Mack Teams Up With Investor for Magic Johnson

John Mack, the former head of Morgan Stanley, is going into business with Joel Ehrenkranz, the 77-year-old tax lawyer who oversees more than $15 billion in investment assets for clients such as ex-basketball star Magic Johnson and the founding family of Estee Lauder Cos., Bloomberg News reports.

Home Resales Slip Amid Improvement Trend

Home resales retreated in September from a two-year high, a reminder that America’s housing sector is a long way from a full recovery despite recent signs of improvement, Reuters reports.

Noguez Pleads Not Guilty to 24 Felony Charges

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez has pleaded not guilty to 24 felony charges, including accepting $185,000 in bribes to lower some of his campaign contributors’ property taxes, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Lawsuit Filed Over Clothing Store Investment

William Morris Endeavor superagent Ari Emanuel and his wife Sarah have sued the proprietors of a trendy L.A. clothing store over alleged misuse of their investment of more than $600,000, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Protests Grow Over Proposed Railyard on Long Beach Border

In the latest confrontation over a proposed railyard on Long Beach’s western border, more than 100 people rallied to oppose the project Thursday night, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

U.S. Investigates CVS Prescription Refills

The U.S. Justice Department's civil fraud division is investigating claims that CVS Caremark wrongly refilled prescriptions and billed insurers without the knowledge or the approval of its customers, particularly in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

SAG-AFTRA Offers New Health Mart Service

SAG-AFTRA is launching Health Mart, a website to make it easier for actors and agents who don't qualify for the union’s health insurance to shop for benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

India, a New Facebook Testing Ground

India is becoming a critical testing ground for Facebook as it strives to cash in on growth in emerging markets and better target mobile-phone users — two increasingly pressing goals for the social-networking firm, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Slide This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 129 points, or 1 percent, to 13,419. The Nasdaq was down 43 points, or more than 1 percent, to 3,029. The S&P 500 fell 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,441. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point, or 1 percent, to 139.

Thursday, October 18

City National’s Quarter Better Than Expected

City National Corp. late Thursday reported a 44 jump in third-quarter profit, as Los Angeles County’s largest local bank grew both loan balances and deposits.

Loan Growth Spurs East West’s Profit

Shares of East West Bancorp Inc. rose more than 6 percent on Thursday after the Pasadena bank holding company reported 14 percent higher third-quarter net income, boosted by growth in commercial loans.

MannKind Prices Stock Offering at a Discount

MannKind Corp.’s share price fell by nearly a quarter on Thursday after the biotech confirmed plans to sell up to 140 million shares of stock and warrants. Proceeds will help finance final studies of its experimental inhaled diabetes drug Afrezza and cancel some debt owed to its founder.

CytRx Prices Stock Offering

Shares of CytRx Corp. on Thursday fell nearly 20 percent after the cancer drug developer priced a public offering of 8 million common shares at a comparable discount.

Stocks Mostly Down at Close

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 8 points, to 13,548. The Nasdaq fell 31 points to 3,072. The S&P 500 fell nearly 4 points to 1,457. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 140.

L.A. County Assessor Arrested in Bribery Case

The arrest of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and two others is part of a yearlong inquiry into allegations of illegally reduced assessments, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and Wall Street Journal report.

Newsweek Ending Print Edition, Job Cuts Expected

Newsweek will publish its final print edition Dec. 31, the company announced this morning. It will launch a subscription product called Newsweek Global, some of whose content will be available on the Daily Beast, the New York Times reports. Industry blog Poynter MediaWire looks the technology changes behind the shift.

Labor's Focus on Prop. 32 May Hurt Prop. 30’s Chances

Unions are spending tens of millions of dollars to fight a ballot measure that could limit their political clout in California. But the Los Angeles Times reports that the spending could hurt ally Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike initiative, also on the ballot.

Jobless Claims Rise

Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months. The Associated Press reports that the increase marks a rebound from the previous week's sharp drop, but swings were largely due to technical factors.

More Advertisers Dump Armstrong

Commercial fallout from doping allegations against Lance Armstrong is expanding, as RadioShack Corp., Anheuser-Busch InBev and others join Nike Inc. in distancing themselves from the former cycling champ, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bloomberg News reports that Armstrong stands to lose $30 million as his sponsors flee.

Pimco: U.S. to Get Downgraded Amid Fiscal 'Theater'?

Bloomberg News reports that the sovereign credit rating of the United States may be cut as “fiscal theater” plays out in the world’s biggest economy, according to the managers of the world’s largest bond fund.

Small Firms Seek Pay-Per-Click Alternatives

As online advertising has become a standard channel for large companies, heightened competition has driven up prices for pay-per-click keywords and made it harder for small companies to be in the game, the New York Times reports.

Warner Wins Key Victory in Superman Battle

In a crucial legal victory for Warner Bros. of Burbank, a federal judge in Los Angeles has denied an effort by heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster to reclaim their 50 percent interest in the world’s most famous superhero, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney Interactive Loses Club Penguin Founder

Club Penguin founder Lane Merrifield is leaving Walt Disney Interactive two years after a reorganization put him in charge of the entertainment giant's online virtual worlds strategy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

University of Phoenix to Scale Back

The University of Phoenix will close 115 of the education company's locations, mostly smaller sites, following a disappointing earnings report, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. But the Los Angeles Daily News says that none of the closures is in Southern California.

Apple Loses Tablet Appeal Against Samsung

Apple has lost its appeal against a U.K. ruling that cleared rival Samsung of copying its registered designs for tablet computers. The decision could end the two firms' legal dispute on the subject across Europe, Reuters and Bloomberg News report.

Mixed Morning for Stocks

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points to 13,578. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 3,100. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,463. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 2 points, or 1 percent, to 141.

Wednesday, October 17

Improved Loan Quality Boost’s Cathay’s Profit

Shares of Cathay General Bancorp rose more than 11 percent on Wednesday after the bank holding company reported a nearly 20 percent increase in third-quarter profit.

KCET to Merge with Bay Area Public TV Group

Burbank’s KCET (Channel 28) announced that it will merge with LinkTV, a public television satellite network based in San Francisco.

Report Says L.A.’s Jobs Market Lagged County, State

The city of L.A.’s jobs market lagged the county and the state in 2011 as employment remained virtually flat through the year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

HCP to Pay $1.73 Billion for Senior Housing Portfolio

HCP Inc. has signed an agreement to buy 133 senior housing communities across the United States in a deal valued at $1.73 billion.

MannKind to Sell More Stock

Shares of MannKind Corp. fell nearly 13 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the Valencia biotech said in a regulatory filing that it soon plans to sell shares of its common stock and warrants.

Stock Up at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 5 points, to 13,557. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 3,104. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,461. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 2 points, or 1 percent, to 139.

Armstrong Dropped by Nike, Steps Down as Livestrong Chairman

Lance Armstrong has been dropped by Nike Inc. and stepped down as chairman of the cancer foundation he founded, one week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailed his alleged use of performance-enhancing substances, Bloomberg News reports. In its analysis, Forbes notes that it wasn’t so long ago that every red-blooded man and woman sported a yellow wristband with the word “Livestrong” in relief.

Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age

Microsoft is giving Windows its most radical overhaul since 1995 and even its most devoted users won't recognize the venerable computer operating system in this new incarnation, Windows 8, when it appears next week, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Housing Starts Surge 15 Percent

U.S. home building surged in September to the highest level in more than four years, the latest sign that housing is becoming an increasingly important boost to the troubled economy, the Associated Press reports.

ID Card Plan for Illegal Immigrants Moves Ahead

A plan to provide official photo identification cards for illegal immigrants moved easily through a Los Angeles City Council committee with an array of supporters lauding it as a practical way to incorporate into civic life the area's large undocumented population, the Los Angeles Times reports.

DreamWorks Founders Donate $90 Million to Nonprofit

DreamWorks SKG founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen are each donating $30 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, giving a major boost to the fundraising campaign for one of Hollywood's oldest charities, the Wall Street Journal and report.

What a Housing Recovery Might Look Like

The Washington Post reports that some blockbuster housing numbers released today by the Census Bureau mean it is finally time to start grappling with a happy possibility: What would a housing recovery look like in this economy, anyway?

State Probes CVS Refill Allegations

California pharmacy regulators have opened an investigation into reports that CVS Caremark Corp. refilled prescriptions and billed insurance companies without patients' consent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Murdoch Keeps Dual Role at News Corp.

News Corp. managed to avoid rowdy protests at its annual shareholders meeting Tuesday, but that didn't stop stockholders from voicing complaints about the grip on the company held by founder and CEO Rupert Murdoch and his family, the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press report.

Wall Street Mixed This Morning

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 10 points, to 13,541. The Nasdaq rose 4 points, to 3,106. The S&P 500 rose 4.5 points to 1,459. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point, or 1 percent, to 139.

Tuesday, October 16

ThinkNear Acquired for $22.5 Million

ThinkNear, a Los Angeles developer of mobile advertising technology, has been acquired by TeleNav, a Silicon Valley provider of mobile GPS systems.

Strong Quarter Boosts Mattel Shares

Shares of Mattel Inc. rose 5 percent on Tuesday after the toymaker said cost-cutting and higher revenue from a wide range of its lines increased third quarter net income by 22 percent, beating Wall Street expectations.

Wall Street Closes Strong

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 128 points, or 1 percent, to 13,552. The Nasdaq gained 37 points, or more than 1 percent, to 3,101. The S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,455. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1.5 points, or 1 percent, to 138.

Stocks Rise on Earnings, Spain News

U.S. stocks rose this morning as several major companies reported strong earnings and as reports of a possible bailout for Spain gained traction, MarketWatch reports.

Broad Sales Growth Boosts Mattel's Quarter

Mattel Inc. said this morning that cost-cutting and higher revenue from a broad variety of its toy lines helped send net income up 22 percent in the third quarter to beat Wall Street expectations, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Reuters report.

Citigroup CEO Unexpectedly Quits

Citigroup Inc.'s Vikram Pandit abruptly stepped down as chief executive this morning, following a clash with the board over strategy and operating performance, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times report. Longtime executive Michael Corbat has been named to replace him.

Activists on Edge as Council Revisits Digital Signs

Westside neighborhood leaders responded with fury five years ago after the Los Angeles City Council allowed dozens of digital billboards to go up on Santa Monica and Westwood boulevards and other major corridors. They now worry that a proposed deal would allow about 100 signs to remain and enable more to be erected, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CBS's Moonves Signs Contract Extension

Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of the CBS Corp., will remain in his position through 2017, the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter report. His new contract supersedes a previous deal that was set to expire in 2015.

Industrial Output Struggles, Gas Boosts Consumer Prices

U.S. industrial production increased only modestly in September, held back by weak growth in factory output, the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press report. In a separate report, higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices last month for the second straight month.

Grand Jury Probes El Segundo Tax Deal with Refinery

A Los Angeles County civil grand jury is looking into El Segundo's decision to negotiate tax deals with the Chevron oil refinery, including a 1994 pact over utility users' taxes that has come under scrutiny in recent months, the Daily Breeze reports.

Green Dot Turns Into Target

With new competition battering its stock, Green Dot Corp. – the largest U.S. seller of prepaid debit cards – is offering potential buyers the biggest bargain in one of the fastest-growing areas of consumer finance, Bloomberg News reports.

Fewer Homes for Sale Causing Buyer Frenzy

A shortage of houses for sale has caused an intense bidding war among Southern California homebuyers, who are eager to snap up prime properties, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Home Loans May Get Shield

Federal regulators reportedly are considering giving mortgage lenders protection from certain lawsuits, which the Wall Street Journal reports is a move designed to encourage lending to well-qualified borrowers.

Well-To-Do Find Ways to Keep Home Sales Secret

Madonna is selling her Beverly Hills estate, but you won't find the listing on any online marketplace. The Los Angeles Times reports that an increasing number of celebrities and other wealthy Angelenos are using word-of-mouth "pocket listings," trusts and other tactics in the pursuit of privacy.

NBCUniversal's Bridget Baker Waves Goodbye

Bridget Baker, president of TV network distribution for NBCUniversal and one of the company's longest serving and most colorful executives, is leaving after 24 years. The Los Angeles Times reports that her departure leaves just a handful of holdover NBCUniversal executives in the upper echelons of the Comcast regime.

Political Flier Business Emerges from 2010 Fire

The political fliers that fill your mailbox this time of year have been very good business for brothers Gary and Fred Thomas. The Las Angeles Daily News reports that on the second anniversary of a fire that nearly wiped them out, printers Aaron, Thomas & Associates in Chatsworth are still masters of direct mail messages for campaigns big and small.

Wall Street Rallies This Morning

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 115 points, or 1 percent, to 13,538. The Nasdaq rose 33 points, or 1 percent, to 3,096. The S&P 500 rose 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,454. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point, or 1 percent, to 138.

Monday, October 15

Soon-Shiong Acquires Stake in Jakks

An investment company controlled by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has taken a roughly 9 percent stake in Jakks Pacific Inc., which recently formed a joint venture with another Soon-Shiong company.

Port Traffic Mixed

For September, the Port of Los Angeles has posted its best monthly numbers in two years. But neighboring Long Beach port reported a small decline in cargo traffic.

Gores Group to Buy Johnson & Johnson Unit

The Gores Group said that it has agreed to acquire the maker of a medical device that’s used to treat blood cancer from a unit of New Jersey health care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson.

Stocks Up at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 95 points, or 1 percent, to 13,424. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to 3,064. The S&P 500 rose 12 points, or 1 percent, to 1,440. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 137.

UCLA Professor Among Nobel Economics Prizewinners

A longtime professor at UCLA and an economist at Harvard were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics Monday for their work in matching theory and its practical applications in markets, such as how job seekers are matched with employers and how patients find donors of human organs, the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News report.

Local Bumble Bee Plant to Reopen in Wake of Worker's Death

A Bumble Bee seafood plant in Santa Fe Springs is expected to resume operations Monday amid a continuing Cal-OSHA investigation into the death of an employee who ended up in an oven last week, City News Service reports.

Skateboarders, Police Clash at Hollywood Premiere

The mob of skateboarders and skate fans who vandalized businesses and ran amok through Hollywood on Saturday night was captured on a YouTube video by a driver caught in the middle of the mayhem. It garnered national attention just as it attracted a swift crackdown by riot police, NBC4 Los Angeles and the Hollywood Reporter report.

Softbank to Buy Sprint Nextel for About $20 Billion

Japan's Softbank Corp. said Monday it will buy a 70 percent stake in U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. for about $20 billion in the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm, the Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal report.

Should Airlines Allow Cell Calls During Flight?

A new report from the Federal Aviation Administration found no problems — with either flight safety or noise complaints — in talking or texting in the air on foreign airlines, USA Today reports. The report is raising new questions about whether the U.S. ban on cellphone use is out of date.

Buyers Back After Foreclosure

After a long period of consumer retrenchment, U.S. families have cut their once-out-of-control debt loads down to pre-recession levels, largely removing one major obstacle to a faster economic recovery, Bloomberg News reports. The Wall Street Journal reports that so-called “boomerang” home seekers are become eligible for mortgages and are hitting the market again.

U.S. Retail Sales Jump 1.1 Percent

Americans stepped up their spending at retail businesses in September, reflecting higher consumer confidence, the Associated Press reports.

Visa Adds Partners for Digital-Wallet Service

Visa Inc. is expanding availability of its new "electronic wallet" through partnerships announced Monday with PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Inc., The Wall Street Journal reports.

Downtown L.A. Target Opening Draws Crowd

The grand opening of a Target store in downtown Los Angeles — and the prospect of freebies for the first shoppers — dragged a crowd of locals out of bed Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Google Climbs, but Questions Hover

Google Inc.'s market capitalization recently pulled even with Microsoft Corp. for the first time, fueled by news about Google's online-ad business and missteps from its top competitors. But the Wall Street Journal reports that as the Internet giant holds its annual partners meeting and reports quarterly earnings this week, several questions hang over the company.

Travelers Hit with Fees Every Step of the Trip

Airlines aren't the only ones in the travel industry that are charging fees for services and products that once were free, USA Today reports. Hotels, rental car firms and cruise ships are joining in.

Stocks Up in Morning Trading

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points to 13,368. The Nasdaq rose 5 points to 3,049. The S&P 500 rose 3.5 points to 1,432. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 136.

Insurer Drives Industry Reform Measure _ Again

Mercury’s chairman puts $16 million behind Proposition 33.

Mercury Chairman George Joseph has spent $16 million to drive passage of Proposition 33

Survey Business Desires Poll Position in Europe

USamp sees downturn overseas as ripe time for expansion.

Online survey company uSamp believes overseas markets are the answer to boosting sales.

Who’ll Pocket Jeans Maker?

APPAREL: True Religion forms panel to consider sale.

Investors put their faith in True Religion as the jeans maker pursues strategic options including sale.

Bank Now Feels Heat in Democratic Treasurer Case

Former clients say First California aided Kinde Durkee’s scheme.

Former clients of Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee accuse First California Bank of abetting her alleged crimes.

Squeezing Into Motherhood

Belly Bandit wastes no time in helping moms cover up baby weight.

Lori Caden’s girdlelike Belly Bandit helps new moms keep their baby weight under wraps.

Investors Dig Deep Into Forensic Software Maker

Analyst sees government clients boosting

Stock of forensic analysis software firm Guidance proves a positive discovery for investors.

Drinking It All In In Pasadena

Chamber whips up local contest to crown city’s best cocktail.

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce toasts the city’s mix masters in its competition for the best cocktail.

Capital Idea

When Mike Zhang was a teenager, he never made it to Washington, D.C., to visit the White House and the national monuments as many students do.

Regional Reports

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Making Tracks

Anschutz company rolls vintage rail cars into downtown L.A.

Philip Anschutz’s American Railway Express makes tracks to L.A. to line up party rentals for its three vintage cars.

Legal Addition May Hint at Firm’s Public Plan

OpenX hires incubator veteran with IPO expertise.

Pasadena’s OpenX Technologies Inc. has added Douglas McPherson as its chief legal officer, another big step for a rapidly growing company that might be heading toward an initial public offering.

In Stitches

Leather upholsterer hopes to sew up used-car market

Leather upholsterer seeks to get more skin in the game by expanding from new- to used-car market.

Tease photo

Video Game Developer Makes Play for Men on Facebook

ONLINE: Wedge Buster turns to sports titles to grow social market.

Wedge Buster hopes its sports-focused social video games will score more male players.

Balance Shift In Debit Cards

American Express’ addition to the prepaid debit card business subtracts from Green Dot’s share value.

Data Bank

Calendar of Events and Conventions

Debit Card Deduction

Prepaid debit cards have moved so far into the mainstream that Charles Crumpley wonders if the industry will move out of Los Angeles.

Blockbuster Deal Takes Shape in Golden Triangle

Four-story Beverly Hills office building is sold for $80 million.

An office building in Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle traded hands for $80 million this month, the highest price for any one Westside office building since 2010.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Discount Store on Rodeo Drive? Now That’s Rich

High rent raises doubts about plan to move in by 99 Cents Only.

In the haute couture boutiques that line Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, shoppers would be hard pressed to find much priced below $100, much less $10 or even $1.

Railroad Operator Chugs Away on Port Project

BNSF still seeks public approval of 2005 yard proposal.

In 2005, when BNSF Railway Co. started planning a rail yard a few miles north of the Port of Los Angeles, the railroad operator hoped the new facility would open by this year.

Station Has Everybody’s Ear After Rise in Ratings

Retuned MyFM ties for first place in wake of format, DJ shuffle.

MyFM format tune-up yields the station its first No. 1 finish in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Friday, October 12

Roski's Majestic Interested in San Pedro’s Ports O’Call

The Port of Los Angeles has released the names of eight developers that have expressed interested in redeveloping San Pedro’s Ports O’Call Village, a restaurant and retail development owned by the Port of Los Angeles. Ed Roski's Majestic Realty Co., which hopes to lure an NFL franchise to City of Industry, is on the list.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week.

Stocks Close Mixed

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 2.5 points to 13,329. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 3,044. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,429. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 1 point to 135.

Billionaire Rick Caruso Not Running for L.A. Mayor

Shopping center developer Rick Caruso won’t enter next year’s race for Los Angeles mayor, the Business Journal and Los Angeles Daily News report. Caruso said it was not the “appropriate time” for him to step aside from his company.

Report: Ellison Eyes AEG Empire

Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison, known for his taste for the finer things in life, is now intrigued by a multibillion-dollar AEG sports and entertainment empire, sources tell Reuters.

Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Rises to Pre-Recession High

Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly jumped in October to the highest level since before the recession began five years ago, raising the odds that retailers will see sales improve, Reuters and Bloomberg News report.

Disney Adopts Paper Policy After Protest

A year after it was targeted by environmental protesters, Walt Disney Co. is implementing a policy to use less paper from environmentally threatened areas, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warner Goes After Attorney in ‘Superman’ Litigation

Warner Bros.’s DC Comics unit has filed a series of explosive allegations against its longtime legal nemesis as a key decision looms that could affect its ownership of Superman, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Panetta: Cyberattacks Could Become as Destructive as 9/11

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Pentagon and American intelligence agencies are seeing an increase in cyber threats that could become devastating if they aren’t stopped, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Mobile Use Up Worldwide

A report from the International Telecommunications Union found that 6 billion people had a cellphone subscription at the end of 2011. The Los Angeles Times reports that means 6 in 7 people have a cellphone – but 1 billion do not.

Riordan Pushes for Ballot Measure on Pensions

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan plans to submit language today for a May 2013 ballot measure that would eliminate government pensions for newly hired workers at City Hall, replacing them with 401(k)-style retirement benefits, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News report.

Viewership Drops for Fall TV Season

One of the early hits of the fall television season, NBC's “Revolution,” tells a story of a world that suddenly goes dark. The Wall Street Journal reports that these days the series is starting to look a lot like a metaphor for the broader world of TV.

Understudies Offer a First-Rate Performance

If Americans wanted to know what a real debate sounds like, they got one last night, courtesy of the two men who are supposed to be taking second billing in the U.S. presidential race, writes Gerald Seib in the Wall Street Journal.

Why the 'Smart Money' Is Underperforming the Market

Hedge funds are having one of their worst performing years in over a decade, reports the Daily Ticker on Yahoo Finance. Both hedge funds and private equity funds have lagged the past few years but not to this extent.

Stocks Down This Morning

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 21 points to 13,306. The Nasdaq fell 8 points to 3,041. The S&P 500 fell 6.5 points to 1,426. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 136.

Thursday, October 11

Caruso Won't Run for Mayor

After months of speculation, developer Rick Caruso announced that he will not run for Los Angeles mayor.

Kythera Opens Strong in IPO

While the broader markets closed down for the day, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. was among four companies that saw resounding success in their initial public offering on Thursday, each closing above 20 percent from the opening price.

Workers Stage One-Day Strike at Holiday Inn LAX

Workers at the Holiday Inn-Los Angeles International Airport, which last week filed a class action lawsuit against the hotel’s owners, staged a one-day walk out on Thursday to protest what the firing of two activist employees. Acquisition Delayed Again

Online jewelry auction company Inc. on Thursday said that it had given the company hoping to take it private more time to close the deal.

Stocks Close Down Again

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 19 points to 13,326. The Nasdaq dropped 2 points to 3,049. The S&P 500 fell less than 1 point to 1,433. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 136.

L.A. Council Panel Approves Village at USC Project

A $1-billion project at USC that would bring thousands of new student beds, a multi-use retail complex and needed academic facilities to its south Los Angeles campus, won approval from a key city committee Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Variety Pay Wall Exits, Print Product Stays

New Variety owner Jay Penske won kudos from his new employees at Variety by promising to take down the paper's online paywall, continue the industry trade's presence in print and invest in its newsroom, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney Seeks Reversal of ‘Millionaire’ Loss

Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network and Buena Vista Television units have asked a federal appeals court in Pasadena to overturn a $319 million judgment won two years ago by the U.K. creators of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” Bloomberg News reports.

California Leads U.S. Out of Housing Bust

California, the state that led the United States into the housing boom and bust with some of the most reckless subprime mortgage lending, is now leading the way out, Bloomberg News reports, with a plunge in new defaults in the state helping push the U.S. foreclosure filings to the lowest level in almost five years.

Softbank in Advanced Talks With Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel confirmed this morning that it was in talks with Softbank of Japan over a “potential substantial investment.” A deal would give the struggling American cell phone service provider a deep-pocketed backer to help finance its turnaround effort, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times report.

Kythera, Realogy Open Strong in IPO Pack

Among a string of IPOs launching this morning is Calabasas biotech Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., whose shares opened 16 percent higher than the $16 offer price, the Wall Street Journal reports. And in a sign of the real estate market's recovery, Realogy Holdings Corp., which franchises Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and other brand names, also got off to a strong start. The New Jersey company opened 22 percent above its $27 offer price. Both stocks continued to gain in morning trading.

Trade Deficit Widens; Jobless Claims Fall on Quirk in Data

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters report that the U.S. trade deficit widened in August, as exports of agricultural and industrial goods fell. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. workers filing applications for jobless benefits fell last week.

Renewable-Energy Plans May Hinge on Presidential Race

Players big and small in California's rapidly growing industry worry a Romney win will strip them of federal subsidies they say are key to clean energy's future, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wal-Mart Starts Hiring for L.A. Chinatown Store

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is opening a hiring center for its Neighborhood Market under construction in Chinatown, the Los Angeles Times reports. The market, set to open early next year at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues, is one of 21 new Wal-Mart grocery stores announced in California.

PC Sales Go Into Tailspin

The personal-computer business has entered a tailspin, the Wall Street Journal reports, with research firms stating that cannibalization by tablet computers, sluggish economic conditions and slowing PC sales in emerging countries are among the driving forces.

Stocks on Rebound This Morning

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 31points to 13,376. The Nasdaq gained nearly 8 points to 3,059. The S&P 500 was up 6 points to 1,438. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 137.

Wednesday, October 10

Federal Grant to Boost L.A.’s Cleantech Corridor

A Commerce Department agency has awarded the city of Los Angeles more than $2.1 million toward constructing and equipping the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown’s Clean Tech Corridor and Arts District.

Cohn, Reznick Complete Merger

J.H. Cohn LLP and Reznick Group P.C., two national accounting firms with three Los Angeles-area offices, have completed their merger and are now known as CohnReznick LLP.

Stocks Close Down

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 129 points, or 1 percent, to 13,345. The Nasdaq fell 13 points to 3,052. The S&P 500 dropped 9 points to 1,433. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 136.

Gas Prices Ease Overnight

The worst-ever one-week spike for California gasoline may be over for now, the Los Angeles Times reports. Prices dropped by an average of 0.5 cents a gallon overnight, to the still astounding level of $4.666. Even so, Reuters reports that Chevron Corp.’s central crude oil refining unit at its Richmond refinery now is expected to remain shut for the rest of the year due to the major fire in August. The San Jose Mercury News looks at why there's no easy answer for fixing the state's gas pricing instability.

True Religion to Explore Sale

Shares of True Religion Apparel Inc. surged the most in more than three years Wednesday after the Vernon designer denim maker said it will explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

BAE Systems, EADS End Merger Talks

Aerospace and defense giants BAE Systems PLC and European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. today called off their planned merger after the United Kingdom, France and Germany failed to agree on how much influence they should have over the combined entity, Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal report.

U.S. Sues Wells Fargo in Mortgage Probe

U.S. prosecutors have sued Wells Fargo, accusing it of lying about the quality of the mortgages it handled under a federal housing program, the Wall Street Journal reports. It's the latest in a series of lawsuits related to banks’ lending practices during the housing boom, the New York Times notes.

High Fee to Film at Grand Avenue Park Draws Protests

If you want to film at the Grand Avenue Park, it will cost you – $20,000 a day, in fact. The Los Angeles Times reports that critics in the film industry noted that the fee is well above what Los Angeles County charges at most other local parks for filming, which is typically $450 a day.

Toyota Recalls 7.4 Million Vehicles Worldwide

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 7.43 million vehicles in the United States, Japan, Europe and elsewhere around the world for a faulty power-window switch – the latest, massive quality woes for Japan's top automaker, the Associated Press reports.

Widening Scrutiny of Google’s Smartphone Patents

For more than a year, the Federal Trade Commission has been conducting a broad antitrust investigation into the way Google runs its Internet search and search advertising businesses. It recently added another investigation into Google’s competitive behavior, the New York Times reports.

CEO Sees Microsoft Becoming More Like Apple

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has signaled a new direction for the world's largest software company, pointing to hardware and online services as its future, taking a page from long-time rival Apple Inc., Reuters reports.

Survey: 75 Percent of Employed Are Job Seekers

Seventy-five percent of working-age Americans are "job seekers" — they're currently looking for or open to a new job — according to an online survey of more than 2,100 people released this week by hiring software company Jobvite, the Huffington Post reports.

Jack Welch: I Was Right About That Strange Jobs Report

The economy would need to be growing at breakneck speed for unemployment to drop to 7.8 percent from 8.3 percent in the course of two months, retired General Electric Chief Executive Jack Welch argues in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning.

Stocks Continue Decline

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 67 points, to 13,406. The Nasdaq was down 4 points to 3,060. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,437. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 137.

Tuesday, October 9

Microsoft Picks Boingo Wi-Fi for Promotion

Boingo Wireless Inc. will help Microsoft Corp. promote its new Windows 8 operating platform from now through the end of the year by offering free sponsored Wi-Fi access at subway stations and other high-traffic areas in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York.

Revolution Capital Buys Florida Newspaper

Revolution Capital Group has purchased the Tampa Tribune and its affiliated print and online publications for $9.5 million.

Kaiser Federal Bank to Change Its Name

Kaiser Federal Bank announced plans to change its name to Simplicity Bank.

99 Cents on Rodeo Drive?

Deep discount retailer 99 Cents Only Stores said that it’s looking for space to open a store on famed Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Not likely, chic street's committee says.

Stocks Close Down Again

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 110 points, or 1 percent, to 13,494. The Nasdaq fell 47 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,067. The S&P 500 was down 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,444. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 2 percent, to 138.

Penske Media Buys Variety

The Hollywood trade paper Variety has been acquired by Deadline owner Penske Media Corp. along with its financial backer, hedge fund Third Point, for about $25 million, the Los Angeles Times reports this morning. The Wrap describes the deal as a digital age story of a blog buying Hollywood's oldest trade paper in a bid to reverse the print publication's declining fortunes.

Gas Price Record Perhaps the Last for a While

For the fourth straight day, California has another record for gasoline prices, but the rise has apparently lost its momentum, the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press report. The average price for regular gas in the state this morning was just over $4.67 a gallon, according to the AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The Wall Street Journal looks at why there is so little transparency in determining whether we are paying a fair price for gas at any one time.

AEG Auction Starts

Sources told Reuters today that billionaire Phil Anschutz has kicked off the auction of his Anschutz Entertainment Group, with an expectation that the sports and entertainment giant should draw bids in the $10 billion range – higher than previously believed.

Katzenberg Tightens Control at DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg is officially top dog at the Glendale studio – with 61 percent of voting control – after David Geffen converted all of his super-voting Class B stock into less powerful Class A shares, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety report.

Global Recession Risk Rises

The global economy risks skidding toward recession just three years after pulling out of the previous one, the International Monetary Fund warned, adding that fighting a renewed world-wide downturn will be much more complex than it was in 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Joseph Continues to Prop Up Prop. 33

Mercury Insurance Chairman George Joseph has poured another $8 million into the insurance billionaire's self-funded campaign to pass Proposition 33, a change in California insurance law he's been trying to get for a dozen years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Boeing Makes Final Douglas Park Land Sale

Boeing Realty Corp. has sold the last parcel of the Douglas Park development by the Long Beach Airport, once a center of aircraft manufacturing, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. The purchase by Irvine real estate company Sares Regis Group includes a 52-acre parcel on the site of the former Boeing 717 hangar.

Paramount Theme Park Planned in Britain

A group of British developers has signed a licensing deal with Paramount Pictures for a planned theme park outside of London, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Companies Feast on Cheap Money

Companies are taking advantage of investors' appetite for yield — and fear of riskier bets — by issuing more long-term bonds, aiming to reduce their refinancing needs in coming years, when interest rates are likely to be higher, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Forecast: Inland Empire's Economy Will Brighten Slowly

The Inland Empire has made some big job gains during the last year, but forecasters from Claremont McKenna College and UCLA expect it will lag behind the broader California recovery, with an unemployment rate in the double digits through 2014, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Continue to Decline

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 90 points to 13,494. The Nasdaq fell 45 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,067. The S&P 500 was down 12 points, or nearly 1 percent, to 1,444. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 139.

Monday, October 8

Green Dot Plunges on American Express-Wal-Mart Deal

Shares of prepaid debit card issuer Green Dot Corp. nosedived Monday after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced a partnership with American Express Co. to launch a competing prepaid product.

Response Genetics Regains Nasdaq Compliance

Response Genetics Inc. said that it has regained compliance with the Nasdaq Capital Market listing requirements.

OpenGate to Buy Belgian Window Maker

OpenGate Capital LLC has agreed to acquire Profialis, a Belgian supplier of windows and doors to Europe’s building and construction industry.

Stocks Close Down

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 27 points to 13,583. The Nasdaq was down 25 points to 3,112. The S&P 500 dropped 7 points to 1,454. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 139.

Gas Prices Up Again

Even as Gov. Jerry Brown took emergency measures to push down the record cost of gasoline over the weekend, the average high of $4.66 a gallon on Monday means that California surpasses Hawaii as the state with the highest gas prices in the nation, USA Today reports. The Los Angeles Times reports that police are dealing with thieves who steal fuel. The Huffington Post said Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for a federal investigation into gas prices in the state because she doesn't think they are related to supply and demand.

SpaceX Rocket Blasts Off for Space Station

An unmanned, privately owned Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday on a mission to restore a U.S. supply line to the International Space Station after the retirement of the space shuttle, Reuters and the Los Angeles Times report.

El Royale Tower Sells for Record Price

The El Royale apartment tower in Hancock Park, a magnet for celebrity tenants since the Jazz Age, has sold for nearly $30 million in what may be the largest price-per-unit sale in Los Angeles history, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Green Dot Shares Drop as AmEx and Wal-Mart Sell Competing Card

Green Dot Corp., the Monrovia prepaid-card firm that derives most of its revenue from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., fell the most in two months after the world’s biggest retailer said it would expand sales of a competing product from American Express Co., Bloomberg News and the Associated Press report.

Are We Better Off Privatizing Water?

More and more communities have shifted control of public water utilities to private companies in recent decades, the Wall Street Journal reports. A combination of forces is at work: shrinking public revenue, looming costs for long-overdue capital improvements, and a widening perception that private operators run systems more efficiently.

Business People Are Pulling Out of France as Tax-Hit Looms

AFP reports that a flood of top-end properties are hitting the market as business people seek to leave France before stiff tax hikes hit.

Law Firms Wring Costs From Back-Office Tasks

Big law firms saddled with pricey rents and high labor costs are increasingly hunting for savings in the back office, the Wall Street Journal reports.

New Vending Machines Will Show Calories

As criticism over sugary sodas intensifies, Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are rolling out new vending machines that display just how many calories are in their drinks, the Associated Press reports.

The Patent, Used as a Sword

Alongside the impressive technology advances of the last two decades, many see a destructive use of software patents corrupting the marketplace for ideas, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Down This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 39 points to 13,574. The Nasdaq was down 25 points to 3,112. The S&P 500 dropped 7 points to 1,454. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 1 point to 139.

Contractor Seeks Shot in Arm From Medical Work

EXPANSION: Premio sees healthy growth making parts for variety of equipment.

For most of its 22-year history, Premio Inc. has assembled custom computers and built screens into machines – like Redbox movie rental kiosks.

Larger Scale

Fatburger sees future as overseas heavyweight

Fatburger chain fills up on steady diet of overseas expansion.

Tease photo

Hitting the Pavement

Photo Essay

Sky-High Bid Reflects Building Interest in Offices

ACQUISITION: Tishman’s $423 million offer is L.A.’s biggest in eight years.

In what would be Los Angeles County’s largest office sale in eight years, the Wilshire Courtyard complex, home to E! Entertainment, Oprah Winfrey Network and the Business Journal, is close to trading hands.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

A Case Where Justice Was Blind

Whew, that was close.

In the Bag

QTrade’s Manik Jayakumar saw his future in tea leaves despite his parents encouraging him to be a doctor.

Tea importer Manik Jayakumar applies some heat to Americans’ love for the iced variety.

True Costs of Puppy Love

Proposed city of L.A. restrictions on retail sale of pets should help stem animal deaths at shelters.

RETAIL – Victoria Thomas is happy to see the city of L.A. hound shop owners over the sale of pets.

Moving LAX Runway Just Plain Wrong

AVIATION – Denny Schneider looks to run off proponents of moving LAX’s north runway.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Talk Radio Network Speaks Up for Axed Channels

TV: CRN drafts range of supporters to return service to Time Warner Cable.

Already this year, DirecTV Inc. has feuded with Tribune Co. and Viacom Inc. over fees paid to carry their programming.

Miracle Mile Firm Scores With Pac-12 Networks

SPORTS: WorldLink to sell ads for national and regional college sports programming.

Advertising sales firm WorldLink LLC will sell all direct-response ads for the new Pac-12 Networks, a group of national and regional college sports TV networks covering the Pac-12 Conference.

Money-Laundering Issue Comes Out in the Wash

REGULATION: U.S., state officials send consent order to Banamex on compliance.

State and federal regulators have called out Banamex USA over concerns about the Century City bank’s compliance with money-laundering laws.

Label Maker Still Adheres To Plan to Sell Off Division

MANUFACTURING: Avery seeks consumer products suitor after 3M deal flops.

Label maker Avery Dennison is sticking to its plan to sell its office products business.

Library Purchaser Looks To Turn Up Deal Volume

ENTERTAINMENT: RLJ sees Image as part of its platform for black artists.

New owner of Image library looks to book deals with a focus on African-American market.

Coast Almost Clear for Former IndyMac Chief

BANKING: Michael Perry settles several lawsuits but still faces $600 million case.

Former head of failed lender IndyMac has whittled down his lawsuit load but a large case looms.

Production House Hoping to Extend Stars’ Shine

ADVERTISING: Inter/Media opens division to line up celebrities for smaller clients.

Inter/Media’s new division looks to get stars to shine as spokespeople for smaller clients and products.

Virtual Call Center Drops Dimes for Democrats

INTERNET: CallFire adds party to list of clients for its mass-calling services.

CallFire’s virtual call center service has got a direct line to Democratic campaigns.

Supplement Maker Thrives After Critic Stays Silent

INVESTMENT: Questions by fund manager dinged Herbalife’s stock in May.

Stock of supplement maker Herbalife takes a healthy bounce after company critic holds his tongue.

Touchy Subject

MANUFACTURING: Fuhu takes on titan Toys R Us in fight for tykes’ tablet market. A victory could be short-lived.

Maker of kids’ tablet squares off in court against Toys R Us and its rival device.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Mustang Detour

When KJ Jones scooped up a 1991 Ford Mustang for just $1,000 earlier this year, he figured he was merely getting a daily commuter car to take him from the San Fernando Valley to El Segundo, where he works as a technical editor at a magazine for enthusiasts, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords. But he got far more than that from his cheap ride.

Beverly Hills Now Worth A Visit?

City’s visitor center moves across town to new $7.5 million home.

Beverly Hills welcomes new visitor center to promote the city.

Cemetery Digs ‘Green’ Approach

Hillside thinks outside box with burials that can forego caskets.

Jewish cemetery looks to bury the competition by offering eco-conscious burials.

Business Model Out of Fashion?

INTERNET: ShoeDazzle sales slow after cutting subscriptions.

Online retailer Shoedazzle looks to fashion a recovery in the wake of shakeups to its business model and management.

Street Vendors Cook Up Challenge to Sidewalk Sales Ban

FOOD: Legalization effort turns up heat on Los Angeles City Council.

Street vendors hope to stick a fork in the city of L.A’s ban on sidewalk sales. (Photo Essay – Pavement peddlers push limits of law. Page 32)

Eatery Hungers For New Funds

Hospitality: Slump has Giggles N’ Hugs frowning.

Lack of funding has starved growth plans for high-end kids eatery Giggles N’ Hugs.

Friday, October 5

PricewaterhouseCoopers Moves Offices Downtown

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is moving its L.A. offices into new downtown digs.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up slightly for the week, as the broader markets reacted to a decline in the national unemployment rate.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 35 points to 13,610. The Nasdaq fell 13 points to 3,136. The S&P 500 dropped less than 1 point to 1,461. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 140.

Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.8 Percent

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 3½ years last month as the economy continued to add jobs, a potential boost for President Barack Obama's campaign to win a second term, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNN provides a graphic look at where the economy stood when he took office and what's changed since.

Spike in Gas Prices Blindsides Californians

Increases at the gas pump of about 30 cents a gallon are blamed on trouble at refineries and pipelines, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Associated Press looks at how prices jumped again overnight around the state.

Stop Asking What Steve Jobs Would Do

Legendary Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs died one year ago today. In order to keep its title as the epitome of excellence and style, Apple needs to let go of the past and start creating the future again, says the Breakout blog on Yahoo Finance.

Shake Up Continues at J.P. Morgan

Barry Zubrow, a trusted lieutenant of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon, is expected to give up his job as regulatory affairs chief in what would be the latest reshuffling to follow a multibillion-dollar trading blunder, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

More Toys Head to Big Screen

Hasbro, the company behind the hits "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" and the flop "Battleship," has signed a deal with independent production and finance company Emmett/Furla Films to make movies based on the board games Hungry Hungry Hippos and Monopoly and the toy Action Man, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Female Advisers Now Manage More Money Than Men

Reuters reports that while older men may be the stereotypical U.S. wealth managers, they are getting a run for the money from their younger and female counterparts, according to a new survey.

South L.A. Shuttle Boosters Feel Slighted

Residents' excitement turns to anger as officials clamp down on security and significantly reduce public access to the route Endeavour will take from LAX to the California Science Center, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Political Fight Over PBS Has Long History

When Mitt Romney vowed to cut government funding for the Public Broadcasting Service during Wednesday night’s presidential debate, network chief Paula Kerger says she “just about fell off the sofa” out of shock, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Winners and Losers in the New TV Landscape

Technology and fragmentation have drastically changed our television viewing habits. Time looks at which genres are adapting and which are being left by the wayside.

Markets Continue to Gain

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 56 points to 13,632. The Nasdaq gained 8 points to 3,158. The S&P 500 added 6 points to 1,467. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 141.

Thursday, October 4

LAX Hotel Employees File Suit for Unpaid Wages

Workers at the Holiday Inn Los Angeles International Airport filed a class action lawsuit demanding millions of dollars in alleged unpaid wages.

Disney Reaches Deal with Cablevision

Walt Disney Co. and Cablevision Systems Corp. announced a multiyear carriage deal for ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel.

Fed Lifts Restrictions on Wilshire Bancorp

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. has announced that the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has lifted an informal enforcement action on the Koreatown bank holding company.

Stocks Gain at Close

Stocks Gain at Close In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 81 points to 13,575. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 3,149. The S&P 500 added 10 points to 1,461. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 140.

Gas Stations Begin to Shut Pumps in L.A.

Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. are beginning to shut pumps because of supply shortages that have driven wholesale fuel prices to record highs, Bloomberg News reports. The AAA Daily Fuel Report tracks the rise.

A Clash of Philosophies Seen in Debate

Somewhere in the wonky blizzard of facts, statistics and studies thrown out on stage at last night's presidential debate was a fundamental philosophical choice about the future of America, quite possibly the starkest in nearly three decades, the New York Times reports. The Wall Street Journal looks at how the Intrade online prediction market saw the debate, which instant polls widely gave to Romney.

Report: Sprint Considers Rival Bid for MetroPCS

Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, is in the early stages of evaluating whether it should make a counter offer for MetroPCS Communications Inc. Deutsche Telekom AG has bid roughly $1.5 billion bid to combine MetroPCS with T-Mobile USA, sources tell Bloomberg News.

Edison Seeks to Restart San Onofre Unit

Edison International has proposed restarting Unit 2 at its San Onofre nuclear power plant and running it at 70 percent of capacity to avoid shaking damaged pipes, Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times report.

Jobless Claims Point to Steady Labor Market

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose only slightly last week after a big drop the week before, keeping in place a trend that has suggested a mild improvement in the labor market, Reuters reports.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Co-CEO Steps Down

Movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which is weighing an initial public offering, said Roger Birnbaum stepped down as co-chairman and co-chief executive officer, leaving Gary Barber, his longtime business partner, as sole chairman and CEO, Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times report.

Facebook Tops 1 Billion Active Users

Facebook has topped 1 billion active users, meaning those who visited the site within a month. The New York Times reports that a few companies have claimed to have had more than a billion customers, but Facebook is the first social network to hit this many active users. Bloomberg BusinessWeek talks with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg about what’s next for his company as it resurfaces from a wave of negative news.

Trump Objects to Settlement in Tijuana Project

Investors who lost millions of dollars when a Donald Trump condominium project in Baja California failed during the economic meltdown are going to get some of their money back — over the objections of Trump, who licensed his name to the project but did not actively manage it, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Van Nuys Manufacturer to Plead Guilty to Hiring Illegals

The owner of Van Nuys manufacturing company Wazana Brothers International Inc. -- also known as Micro Solutions Enterprises -- is scheduled to plead guilty today to federal charges of hiring undocumented workers and attempting to cover up the fraud, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

The Woman Who Took the Fall for JPMorgan Chase

New York Times Magazine describes how a $6 billion mistake took down the most powerful woman on Wall Street: Ina Drew, former chief investment officer of JPMorgan Chase.

Multinational Crackdown on Computer Con Artists

Schemes to defraud consumers often make claims that are too good to be true. But the New York Times reports that a recent one, cited by regulators around the world, depended on a pitch that many people found completely believable: e-mail claims that Microsoft knows your computer has been infected and the problem can be repaired.

Starbucks to Allow 'Digital Tipping'

Want to leave your barista a tip? Starbucks is making an app for that – which also will include the ability to pay for your latte with your smartphone, the Seattle Times and Associated Press report.

Stocks Continue Rise This Morning

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 91 points to 13,586. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 3,143. The S&P 500 added 10 points to 1,460. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 139.

Wednesday, October 3

Avery Dennison and 3M Give Up on Sale of Avery Unit

In the face of anti-trust opposition, 3M Co. and Avery-Dennison Corp. said that they had terminated an agreement for 3M to buy Avery-Dennison's office and consumer products business.

Report: Housing Still Too Expensive for Many Angelenos

Despite several years of falling home prices, housing still remains out of reach for many middle income residents in Los Angeles, threatening the region’s economic competitiveness, according to a report to be released Thursday by the Los Angeles Business Council.

City Controller to Probe Billing Practices

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel said that she will launch an investigation of billing practices at the city’s Department of Building and Safety after an audit by her office found overcharging as well as undercharging.

Reliance Steel Makes Texas Acquisition

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has acquired oil and gas industry supplier Sunbelt Steel Texas LLC for an undisclosed amount.

Stocks Up at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 12 points to 13,494. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 3,135. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,451. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 139.

T-Mobile USA to Merge with MetroPCS

Struggling cellphone companies T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications are set to merge, in a deal that the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal report will create an operator with more than 40 million subscribers.

Soon-Shiong Teams with Insurer for Personalized Medicine

Los Angeles billionaire and health care entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong has reached an agreement with insurer Blue Shield of California aimed at helping medical breakthroughs flow through faster to doctors and patients, Reuters and the Los Angeles Times report.

Behind L.A.'s Repeal of Pot Shop Ban

Tuesday's 11-2 vote to rescind a pot shop ban approved in July leaves Los Angeles with no law regulating an estimated 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries. The Los Angeles Times reports that the decision shows the political savvy of the increasingly organized and well-funded network of marijuana activists.

Baby Bust Continues

The Associated Press reports that U.S. births fell for the fourth year in a row, according to government data, with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children.

Freddie's Foreclosure Plan Hits Roadblock

Freddie Mac is engaged in a tug of war with both its regulator and Wall Street over a plan to provide loans to investors who buy homes in foreclosure to rent out, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Auto Sales Are Highest in Four Years

Unemployment is still high and the so-called fiscal cliff is looming, but those worries didn’t slow down the nation’s car and truck buyers last month, the New York Times reports.

Long Beach Official Blocks Port Dispute Probe

The Press-Telegram reports that Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon has quashed a request by two councilmen to investigate accusations made by a Long Beach Harbor commissioner, saying the inquiry cannot legally proceed.

Councilman Richard Alarcon and Wife to Stand Trial

L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife will face trial on 23 felony counts of perjury and voter fraud after a judge found "more than substantial" evidence that the couple lied about where they were living so he could run for office, the Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times report.

Biggest Banks Earn $63 Billion

Even as U.S. unemployment has remained above 8 percent for 43 months, the country’s biggest banks are making almost as much as they ever have. But as Bloomberg News reports, Wall Street isn’t enjoying the good fortune.

U.S. Service Sector Grows

The pace of growth in the vast U.S. services sector picked up in September as new orders accelerated, even though employment cooled, Reuters reports.

The Mungers Haunt Jerry Brown

The children of financier Charles Munger Sr. have become Gov. Jerry Brown's worst nightmare, Reuters reports. Molly Munger, for example, has spent nearly $30 million on a referendum to raise taxes to fund public schools, and Charles Munger Jr. has contributed more than $5 million toward measures that include labor-unfriendly campaign finance reform.

Baldness Can Be a Business Advantage

Up for a promotion? The Wall Street Journal reports that men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair, according a study from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Miami Condo Market Shows Way to Solving Inventory Glut

Don’t look now, America, but Miami might actually be setting a positive example for the rest us, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Stocks Open Up

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 6 points to 13,489. The Nasdaq rose 4.5 points to 3,125. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,446. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 139.

Tuesday, October 2

L.A. City Council Repeals Pot Shop Ban

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted to repeal a ban on medical marijuana storefront dispensaries.

Most Filming Activity in L.A. Continues Decline

Fewer days were spent filming movies and TV projects on the streets of Los Angeles during the third quarter, compared with the same period a year ago.

Cadiz Gets Key Approval in San Bernardino County

Cadiz Inc., the Los Angeles company trying to pump and sell groundwater out of a remote Mojave Desert aquifer, has cleared another hurdle as San Bernardino County officials approved its plan.

Stocks Mixed at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 33 points to 13,482. The Nasdaq rose 6.5 points to 3,120. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,446. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 138.

Pot Shop Ordinance Up for Final L.A. Vote

The Los Angeles City Council will decide today whether to repeal its ban on storefront medical marijuana dispensaries or to have voters decide whether to squash the law, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

American Airlines Hit by Labor Strife, Maintenance Issues

American Airlines, the bankrupt airline that is attempting to cut labor costs, faced sharp questioning from a federal appeals court over its effort to block an employee group’s union vote, Bloomberg News reports. The Dallas Morning News looks at the union tension apparently behind an increased numbers of sick days and maintenance reports. In addition, the Associated Press reports that federal inspectors are examining two incidents in which passenger seats came loose midflight on American planes in the last three days.

When You Think 'Fiscal Cliff', Think $2,000

The Washington Post and Associated Press report that a typical middle-income family making $40,000 to $64,000 a year could see its taxes go up by $2,000 next year if lawmakers fail to renew a lengthy roster of tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year, according to a new study.

Brown Uses Vetoes to Press for Prop. 30

The Los Angeles Times reports that in veto after veto this legislative session, Gov. Jerry Brown cast himself as the stern parent upbraiding a spendthrift child. In addition, Brown is proving not to be a yes man – even to unions that spent millions to elect him, the Sacramento Bee notes in its analysis.

Report: Millionaires Pocketing Unemployment Benefits

Almost 2,400 people who received unemployment insurance in 2009 lived in households with annual incomes of $1 million or more, according to the Congressional Research Service, Bloomberg News reports.

TV Show's Ads Are Bitter Pill for Hospital

They aren't laughing at Children's Hospital Los Angeles over the clown billboards and bus stop ads around town advertising "Childrens Hospital," a TV show on the Adult Swim cable channel, the Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times report.

Behind Tyler Perry's Deal with Oprah's OWN

Tyler Perry's new exclusive deal to create programming for Oprah Winfrey's OWN means he is shelving his ambitions to launch his own cable network, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Facebook Sells More Access to Members

Facebook Inc. is experimenting with new ways to leverage its greatest asset – personal data on about 900 million people – reigniting concerns about privacy, the Wall Street Journal reports.

American Express Says It Will Refund $85 Million

American Express will reimburse $85 million to about 250,000 customers to resolve accusations that the company violated federal law in its marketing, billing and debt collection practices, the New York Times reports.

Hollywood Sign Gets Face Lift

The Hollywood sign is set to undergo its most extensive refurbishing in nearly 35 years starting today, when crews will begin repainting the iconic white letters overlooking Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Mixed This Morning

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 62 points to 13,453. The Nasdaq rose 1 points to 3,115. The S&P 500 fell 1 points to 1,443. The LABJ Stock Index is unchanged at 138.

Monday, October 1

Former IndyMac CEO Settles SEC Fraud Case

Michael Perry, former head of failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bank, has reached a settlement in a civil fraud case related to the thrift’s collapse.

IPC Acquires New York State Practice Group

IPC The Hospitalist Co., a manager of mostly hospital-based physician practices, has acquired Elder Medical Services in Upstate New York.

Carson Cable Manufacturer Acquired by British Private-Equity Firm

A London private equity firm said it has acquired Coast Wire & Plastic Tech Inc., a Carson company that manufactures custom cables and wires.

Stocks Close Mixed

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 78 points, or 1 percent, to 13,515.

Carmageddon II Ends Well

A section of 405 Freeway that was closed over the weekend opened to traffic about 10 p.m. Sunday, seven hours ahead of deadline, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News report. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared the weekend "a resounding success."

State Film Tax Credit Extension Applauded

A broad coalition of unions representing the entertainment industry hailed Governor Jerry Brown's decision to sign into law a two-year extension of California's film and television tax credit, the Los Angeles Times and Southern California Public Radio report.

Manufacturing Grows in U.S., Struggles in Europe

U.S. manufacturing grew for the first time in four months, buoyed by a jump in new orders. The increase was a hopeful sign that the economy is improving, the Associated Press reports. But Reuters reports that euro zone factories sustained their worst quarter since early 2009, suggesting the region may struggle to avoid recession.

U.S. Builders Boost Housing Spending

U.S. builders spent more to construct homes in August, further evidence of a housing rebound. Still, the Associated Press reports, the increase couldn't offset cuts in public projects and commercial real estate.

Payroll Tax Cut Unlikely to Survive Into Next Year

Regardless of who wins the presidential election in November or what compromises Congress strikes in the lame-duck session to keep the economy from automatic tax increases and spending cuts, 160 million American wage earners will probably see their tax bills jump after Jan. 1, the New York Times reports.

Movie Mogul's Starring Role in Obama Campaign

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the famously aggressive chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, has made himself indispensable to the Obama campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Google Passes Microsoft’s Market Value

Google Inc. has surpassed Microsoft Corp. to become the world’s second-largest technology company, which Bloomberg News reports is another sign of the expanding ability of the Internet to facilitate computing tasks once completed on desktop machines.

Cable Networks Are TV's Biggest Stars

Technology and competitive advantages have been game-changers for premium-tier outfits such as HBO and Showtime and basic-cable's FX and AMC, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Is Malibu Turning Into the Larry Ellison Beach Club?

The membership roll in Malibu's unofficial Billionaire's Beach club appears to be shrinking, the Los Angeles Times reports. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who already has eight other houses along Carbon Beach, has bought former Yahoo chief Terry Semel's Malibu compound for $36.9 million.

SEC Slow to Respond to High-Frequency Trading

More than two years ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago was pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to get serious about the dangers of superfast computer-driven trading. Reuters reports that only now is the SEC getting around to taking a closer look at some of those issues.

Start-Up Skirts Cellphone Data Plans

A start-up backed by a founder of Skype is set to launch a wireless data service that promises to save customers hundreds of dollars a year, at a time when cell phone bills are chewing up a growing share of the household budget, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Eurozone Unemployment Hits Record High

Eurozone unemployment has hit a record high, providing further evidence of a two-speed Europe with increasing numbers of young people in Spain, Greece and Italy desperately seeking work while Germany's jobless rate falls, The Telegraph in the United Kingdom reports.

Reality TV the Invisible Front in Hollywood's Labor Wars

Reality TV is the invisible front in Hollywood's labor wars, The Wrap reports. Though reality TV workers once made it as far as the bargaining table, most are as far as ever from winning union representation.

Stocks on Rise This Morning

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 151 points, or 1 percent, to 13,588. The Nasdaq rose 19 points, or nearly 1 percent, to 3,136. The S&P 500 added 13 points, or 1 percent, to 1,454. The LABJ Stock Index rose nearly 1 point to 139.

Cellphone Networks Put Wi-Fi Firm on Speed Dial

INTERNET: Boingo stock rises after signing deal to handle ‘offloaded’ data.

Investors load up on Boingo after the Wi-Fi firm reaches “offloading” deal with cellphone services.

Paper Hopes to Clean Up After Loss of Sex Ad Site

PUBLISHING: New parent of LA Weekly looks to put focus back on journalism.

New parent of LA Weekly wants to rewrite paper’s reputation after breaking with adult ad-oriented

Investment Website Puts Stock in Social Approach

INTERNET: Stockr hopes network draws experts willing to share advice. looks to offer a social and hopefully insightful approach to stock talk.

Car Review Website Hopes To Have Readers’ Number

AUTOMOTIVE: Total Car Score uses system similar to Rotten Tomatoes.

Total Car Score hopes its aggregated review website adds up to revenue.

TV Company Looks to Channel Success of 1990s

ENTERTAINMENT: Saban re-enlists ‘Power Rangers,’ ‘Digimon’ to fill schedules.

Saban picks up “Digimon” cartoon series with a focus on reviving company’s TV fortunes.

Fashion Company Proves Good Fit for Investors

CLOTHING: Renovation of stores, improved inventory boosts American Apparel.

American Apparel shares hit 52-week high as CEO Dov Charney fashions a comeback.

Beefed Up

DINING: Yoshinoya dishes higher-quality ingredients at new Chipotle-style, Asiana Grill restaurants.

Yoshinoya sees its new fast-casual Asiana Grill as a way to beef up sales.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

LAX Can’t Get Off the Ground

Neighbors’ resistance to much

Christopher Thornberg and Dustin Schrader fear a NIMBY attitude is keeping LAX from taking wing.

Addressing Downtown L.A.’s Shortage of Schools

Downtown L.A. architect Simon Ha never expected taking his 4-year-old daughter to a local playground would turn into one of the biggest challenges he’s ever faced: trying to open a charter school.

Giving Back To Givers

Non-profit celebrates local businesses for pro bono philanthropy.

National non-profit will honor some local businesses for their hands-on pro bono work.

Looking for Commercial Returns

L.A. businesses star in promotional campaign for Bank of America.

Some local businesses take a starring role in commercials for Bank of America.

Cracks Appear in Anti-Fracking Arguments

Dennis Luna wants a break from fracking opponents’ risk speculation.

Lingerie Maker Looks to Cover Expensive Tastes

EXPANSION: Frederick’s to launch higher-price line under Harriett brand.

Lingerie company Frederick’s of Hollywood Inc. wants to show off its finer attributes.

Another Movie Festival Setting Sail for San Pedro

CINEMA: ‘Spiff’ event to showcase films that have garnered buzz on circuit.

San Pedro and the Port of Los Angeles are already frequent filming locations for TV shows such as “NCIS” and “Dexter”; now, the harbor area is trying to become a bigger fixture on the film festival circuit.

Giving City Pride A Voice

‘Welcome Me Home’ wins West Hollywood theme song contest.

West Hollywood looks to tune up with a theme song celebrating the city.

Double Trouble For Real Estate?

taxes: City of L.A. looks to up levy 100% on property sales.

Real estate groups are building opposition to a city of L.A. plan to double the transaction levy on property sales.

A Moving Experience

Charles Crumpley is moved by a new report that says U-Hauls full of Californians are relocating to other states.

Truckers Want Break on Audits

SHIPPING: Companies say Teamsters driving reviews.

Port trucking companies suspect labor sympathies are driving recent state and federal audits of businesses.

City Club to Break With Bunker Hill Mentality

LEASE: Private meeting place for business people

The City Club on Bunker Hill is moving west to the financial core of downtown Los Angeles.

Tattoo Removal Business Fleshes Out Expansion Plan

HEALTH CARE: Dr. Tattoff chain aims to ink deals for more clinics.

Tattoo removal business Dr. Tattoff looks to put more skin in the game by setting up new clinics.