Stories for November 2013

Friday, November 29

Immunocellular, CytRx Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

Nasdaq Rises, Other Markets Fall

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 11 points to 16,086. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 4,056. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,805. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 176.

Wal-Mart, Target Get Strong Holiday Traffic

Wal-Mart and Target reported strong Thanksgiving Day traffic in stores and online, as shoppers focused on big-ticket electronics, the Wall Street Journal reports.

'Frozen' Opens Strong, But 'Catching Fire’ Blazing

Disney's “Frozen” got off to a strong box office start at the Thanksgiving weekend, but “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” could be heading for an even better $100 million over the five-day holiday weekend, the Wrap reports. Also, the Wrap notes that Disney has crossed the $4 billion threshold for worldwide box office in 2013.

Parking Apps Emerge as Weapon in Mall Battle

Malls such as those in Santa Monica Place use smartphone apps to lure customers away from their computers and back to brick-and-mortar stores, the New York Times reports.

On Register’s Other Side, Little to Spend

In many stores around the country, it's the workers stocking the shelves and ringing up the gifts who are at the very heart of this season’s retail lament: many Americans are so financially strapped that projections for holiday sales have grown bleaker by the week, the New York Times reports.

Is 'Good' a New BlackBerry Killer?

Good Technology has been stealthily stealing Blackberry's enterprise clients with a simple pitch: Its secure platform lets employees access the corporate server on their personal device, be it an Apple iPhone or Android, NBC reports.

Five Concept Cars You Should Care About

The Los Angeles Times looks at some concept cars shown at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show that have a realistic chance of coming to market.

Faber: 'We Are in a Massive Speculative Bubble'

Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC this morning that he believes a "massive speculative bubble" has encroached on everything from stocks and bonds to Bitcoin and farmland.

Bangladesh Garments Factory Destroyed in Fire

A fire has ripped through a Bangladesh garment factory supplying major Western retailers such as Gap Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Reuters reports. No casualties were reported; arson is suspected.

UnitedHealthcare Cuts Docs from Medicare Network

UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest Medicare Advantage insurer, has been upsetting customers by eliminating large numbers of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network, USA Today reports.

Despite Outlaw Image, Hells Angels Sue Often

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has grown increasingly litigious, learning to employ the legal system to protect the recognizable symbols of their organization, the New York Times reports.

Markets Gain

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 61 points to 16,158. The Nasdaq rose 22 points to 4,067. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,813.

Wednesday, November 27

Yucaipa Completes Fresh & Easy Acquisition

Yucaipa Cos. has completed the acquisition of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market from Tesco PLC.

Nasdaq Warns Sport Chalet

Sport Chalet Inc. said it received communication from Nasdaq Stock Market LLC about the company’s non-compliance with the exchange’s rules, which could lead to delisting.

Dow, Nasdaq, S&P Rise, LABJ Falls

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 25 points to 16,097. The Nasdaq rose 27 points to 4,045. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,807. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 176.

Machinima Names President

The Hollywood company said late Tuesday that veteran Internet executive Stephen Semprevivo has assumed the role.

Judge Orders Sriracha Plant Partly Closed

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered a Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale be partially shut down in response to odor complaints from nearby residents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Storms Could Foil Thanksgiving Travel

A wintry blast of heavy rain, wind and snow across the eastern United States could disrupt plans on Wednesday for millions of people traveling ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Reuters reports.

Obama Calls Hollywood a 'Bright Spot' of Economy

President Barack Obama put the klieg light on Hollywood on Tuesday, calling the motion picture and television industry an engine of growth and a beacon in a recovering economy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

VFX Workers Protest During Obama Visit

Visual effects workers gathered Tuesday at a park in Glendale and marched about a mile to police lines outside DreamWorks Animation, where President Obama was speaking, to protest foreign subsidies that they say are driving visual effects works out of the United States, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Scrooge Comes Early to Homeless Event

Union Station Homeless Services will not be serving home-prepared dishes donated by Pasadena-area residents at its annual Thanksgiving meal this year. The Pasadena Health Department informed the agency that it could no longer serve food items that were not prepared in approved locations, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Blackstone Books Profit with Hilton Hotels

In six years, Blackstone Group has transformed Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. into the largest hotel company by rooms, more than doubling its $6 billion investment. The Wall Street Journal reports that the growth came not by expanding Hilton's empire of company-owned hotels, but by renting out Hilton's brand names such as Hilton Garden Inn and Doubletree to franchisees.

Oil Refiner Unveils Rail Terminal Plan

Phillips 66, which operates refineries across California, is moving forward with a plan to build a rail terminal in San Luis Obispo County that would send trains with up to 80 tank cars of crude oil through Southern California and the Bay Area, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Retailers Put Positive Spin on Thanksgiving Openings

Big chains are on a charm offensive to show they appreciate their employees and respect the holiday. But some people are calling for a store boycott on turkey day, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why Holiday Sales Could Ride on Lower Gas Prices

No one begs Santa Claus for cheaper gasoline. Yet falling gas prices are shaping up as an unexpected gift for drivers, and for people on their holiday shopping lists, the Associated Press reports.

Brighter View for Wealthy Boosts Consumer Sentiment

U.S. consumer sentiment rose in November as wealthier Americans' outlook on the economy improved, Reuters reports.

A New Boom in Small Biz Subprime Loans

Wall Street investors, private equity firms and hedge funds are buying up what would appear to be risky subprime loans from ever-smaller companies, the New York Times reports.

The Big Business of Thanksgiving Day Parades

Thanksgiving weekend is a banner one for American retailers, but Time reports that there’s another American business that thrives at this time of year: parades

Why Airlines Can't Just Increase Holiday Flights

Despite mergers in recent years and the retiring of older, less-efficient planes, carriers have nowhere to turn for a dozen planes the week before Thanksgiving. CNBC explains why.

Paranoia as a Key to Success

Adam Levie has successfully run a $1.2 billion company for eight years, and he's only 28 years old. The chief executive of cloud computing company Box, who was just named Inc. magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year, shares with Yahoo's Daily Ticker the top three secrets of his entrepreneurial success.

Markets Gain

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 24 points to 16,097. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 4,035. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,807.

Tuesday, November 26

Obama Visits DreamWorks Animation

President Barack Obama visited the campus of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. in Glendale on Tuesday, getting a first-hand look at how the studio makes its feature films.

AeroVironment’s Earnings Plunge

AeroVironment Inc. reported a drop in profit and revenue in its fiscal second quarter as orders for its unmanned drone aircraft and electric car battery chargers continued to slow.

Jacobs Makes OC Acquisition

Jacobs Engineering Group on Tuesday said that it has acquired the assets an Orange County company that provides pipeline engineering services to the utility and gas industries.

Markets Rise; Nasdaq Closes Above 4,000

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up less than 1 point to 16,073. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 4,018. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,803. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 176.

Judge Restricts Bullet Train's Funding

A Sacramento judge has ruled that state officials cannot pursue their plan to tap billions of dollars in voter-approved bond funding for construction of the $68-billion project, putting its future in doubt, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Storm Threatens Holiday Travel in East

Snow and ice are forecast for the northeast of the country as a deadly storm that started on the West Coast last week gathers steam Tuesday and powers toward the East in time for Thanksgiving, the Associated Press reports.

DreamWorks Animation Speech Spotlights a Top Obama Donor

When President Obama highlights the lift the entertainment industry has provided to the sluggish economy on Tuesday, he will single out one production studio with a personal visit, the Washington Post reports.

Experts Give Warnings on Obamacare's Impact

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, Fox News reports.

Convention Center Becomes Car Playground for Grown-Ups

Southern California's love affair with the automobile continues unabated at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Men's Wearhouse Bids for Jos. A. Bank

Men’s Wearhouse, which had rebuffed takeover efforts by Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, abruptly turned the tables on Tuesday and bid $55 a share in cash to acquire its one-time suitor, the New York Times reports.

Poll: Americans Worried About Work

In a dreary sign of economic doldrums, more than six in 10 workers worry that they will lose their jobs, according to a Washington Post-Miller Center poll — the highest level in more than a dozen surveys dating to the 1970s, CNBC reports.

FDA Warns Maker of Genetic-Testing Kit

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered 23andme, maker of a popular genetic-testing kit, to halt sales of its heavily marketed product, saying the mail-order tests haven’t been proven effective and could dangerously mislead people about their health, the Washington Post reports.

Early Openings May Limit Black Friday Chaos

While the Thursday evening hours and staggered openings may put a premature end to turkey day, early Thanksgiving sales may help prevent chaotic overcrowding and ease tensions at the registers, NBC News reports.

Inside the Breakup of the Pritzker Empire

A decadelong restructuring wrenched apart one of the wealthiest and most philanthropic families in the United States, a clan that built such iconic brands as Hyatt Hotels Corp. The Wall Street Journal reports that some family members have lingering reservations about how the unwinding was handled.

Nasdaq Passes 4,000 Again

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 30 points to 16,102. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 4,009. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,805.

Monday, November 25

Oaktree Announces China Joint Venture

Oaktree Capital Group on Monday announced a distressed-debt investment joint venture with Hong Kong’s China Cinda Asset Management Co.

New Name at USC: Roski School of Art and Design

The University of Southern California on Monday said that its USC Roski School of Fine Arts is changing its name to the USC Roski School of Art and Design to better reflect the school’s mission.

Aurora Capital Completes NTS Acquisition

Aurora Capital Group has completed its acquisition of Calabasas product engineering and testing company National Technical Systems Inc.

Dow, Nasdaq Rise, S&P, LABJ Fall

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 8 points to 16,072. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 3,994. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,802. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 176.

Nasdaq Tops 4,000 in Broad Rally

U.S. stocks kicked off a shortened holiday trading week slightly higher, with the Nasdaq Composite Index topping 4,000 for the first time in 13 years before dipping slightly below that mark Monday morning, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Is 'No Animals Harmed' Really True?

A Hollywood Reporter investigation has found numerous incidents of animal injury and death during some of Hollywood’s most prominent productions — including the near-drowning of the star tiger in Ang Lee’s "Life of Pi" — which call into question the American Humane Association's assertion that “No Animals Were Harmed” on productions it monitors.

Comcast, Charter Weigh Joint Bid for Time Warner Cable

Bloomberg News reports that Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. are considering a joint bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. and divide up its customers. The New York Times looks at John Malone's interest in gaining control of the cable giant for his Liberty Media, which has a stake in Charter.

Frank Gehry's Vision for Grand

After soliciting plans from other architects, Related Cos. has put architect Frank Gehry back in charge of the design team for a $650-million retail, hotel and residential complex along downtown L.A.'s Grand Avenue, the Los Angeles Times reports. The developer expected to submit its new proposal on Monday.

Wal-Mart CEO Steps Down; McMillon Is Successor

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has named the head of its international division, Doug McMillon, to replace Chief Executive Mike Duke, who will retire at the end of January, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Time Warner to Spin Off Magazine Publishing

Time Warner Inc. plans to spin off its Time Inc. division next year, Bloomberg News reports, turning the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and Time into the world’s largest publicly traded magazine company.

Companies Set to Pass On More Health Costs

Companies are bracing for an influx of participants in their insurance plans due to the health-care overhaul, adding to pressure to shift more of the cost of coverage to employees, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Signs of Change at Bloomberg in its News Mission

Bloomberg is facing newsroom layoffs, a shift in emphasis back to financial news and skepticism from its business side because investigative journalism could create problems for terminal sales, the New York Times reports.

Investors Flock to Music Streaming Services

Savvy investors are jumping into the stream, the Hollywood Reporter says. The worldwide digital music industry is expected to grow 7.5 percent annually over the next four years and become a $12.2 billion industry by 2016, overtaking physical music sales.

Weinstein Seeks Hits in TV Land

The Weinstein Co. is making a move into TV production that will test whether it can extend its success in film to the world of television, the New York Times reports.

Insurance Executive Peter Lewis Dies at 80

Peter Lewis, who helped build Progressive Corp. into one of the largest auto insurers in the country and later became the billionaire backer of marijuana legalization, died Saturday in Florida, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Markets Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 37 points to 16,101. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 3,998. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,807.

Solar Customers Left Out in Cold

ENERGY: Panels off as installers fight DWP over lease language.

Energy: Some solar panel customers have been left in the cold as installation companies and the L.A. DWP wrangle over lease language.

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Data Bank Calendar

Events Calendar

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Historic Building: Santa Monica real estate company MJW Investments has sold the landmark Sears Roebuck & Co. tower in Boyle Heights.

Downtown L.A. Center in Bed With Big Brands

Lease: Fig at 7th signs up shops for Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works.

Downtown Los Angeles will soon make way for lotion and lingerie.

Independent Streak Keeps Firm Alive

Imagine an industry where many decisions are minute to minute, and where 80 percent of most companies’ revenue is concentrated in fewer than 10 clients.

Petersen Maps New Marketing Drive

NON-PROFIT: Automotive museum taps former Fox executive to steer effort.

Non-Profit: Petersen Automotive Museum’s new chief marketing officer steers the institution into partnerships with car makers.

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Date Site Operator Finds Little Love on Wall Street

INTERNET: Majority shareholder’s sell-off plan fuels drop in Spark’s stock.

Internet: Investors are just not that into dating site operator Sparks after its largest shareholder plans sell-off

Future Focus

TV studios get jump on content for 4K sets

TV: Some studios are channeling their efforts into high-quality 4K visuals in hopes of future adoption of the format.

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Tech Connects To Downtown

REAL ESTATE: City core takes some shine from Silicon Beach.

Real Estate: Software firm Daqri’s lease is another sign downtown L.A. is clicking with tech companies.

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regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Taking Off: AeroVironment Inc., a Monrovia maker of small aircraft primarily used for reconnaissance, has been selected as the prime contractor by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node Program

Bank Grabs More Branch Space But Not Deposits

LENDING: Chase No. 1 in number of outposts but its market share declines.

JPMorgan Chase has branched out to have the most L.A. outposts, but still lags bank rivals on deposits

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In-Flight Service Takes Off

Internet: Global Eagle client Southwest makes ‘gate-to-gate’ connection.

Internet: Global Eagle shares take wing after Southwest Airlines expands its on-plane online service.

Surfers, Boarders Enter No-Spin Zone

ActiveReplay’s Trace tracks moves by outdoor athletes.

ActiveReplay’s Trace tracking device looks to take the spin out of bragged-about moves by surfers and skateboarders.

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Security Veteran A Quick Study

Zabi Kator launched firm to fill need for guard services on short-term basis.

Security: Zabi Kator launched Guardnow with short-term service as its brief

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming Conventions

Digital Agency Expands Presence in Real World

Zehner doubles up in Culver City, opens office in New York.

Digital agency Zehner Group has expanded. The Culver City firm more than doubled its local office space and opened an office in New York this month.

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Black Friday to Run Long

Retail: Disney Store to seek ‘Magical’ returns with week of seasonal sales.

Retail: Disney Store chain looks to light up registers with a weeklong “Black Friday” run

Hockey Team Plays It Cool

Los Angeles Kings ink deal with tattoo-graffiti artist to spice up merchandise.

Sports: Los Angeles Kings turn to tattoo-graffiti artist Mr. Cartoon to boost the puckish appeal of the team’s merchandise.

Site’s Original Landing Page Crossed ‘Boarder’ Line

INTERNET: LoveRoom’s creator dismisses critics of lodging-dating service.

A few weeks ago, a new lodging-and-dating service announced itself to the online world.

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Not-So-Close Shave

Call it a temporary return to his youth.

Caps Raised

MANUFACTURING: Industrial Dynamics brings in private equity firm to help fund expansion of its bottle inspection systems.

Bottle inspection company Industrial Dynamics aims to pull out all the stoppers as it moves into foreign markets

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Upbeat Outlook Causes Roaster’s Shares to Perk Up

Coffee: Upbeat analyst report helps light fire under Farmer Bros.’ stock.

Friday, November 22

Video Startup Chill to Shut Down

The L.A. site, an online distributor of videos from independent filmmakers, will shut down permanently on Dec. 15.

Nasty Gal Sues Alleged Copycat

The company filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging that the owner of is infringing on Nasty Gal's trademark.

L.A. Jobless Rate Falls

The Los Angeles County unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent last month, according to state figures released Friday.

Disney's Pixar Plans Cuts

Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar Animation Studio cut about 5 percent of its workforce following a delay in the release of the studio’s next film, according to a report Friday.

Warner Bros.'s Rights to Superman Upheld

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a lower court decision giving Warner Bros. Entertainment’s DC Comics the ownership of the Superman character.

Spark, Wilshire Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

S&P 500 Closes Above 1,800 for First Time; Other Markets Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 55 points to 16,065. The Nasdaq rose 22 points to 3,992. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,805. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 176.

Comcast Eyes Bid on Time Warner Cable

Comcast Corp is a potential bidder for Time Warner Cable Inc., CNBC said today, citing people familiar with the situation. Comcast shareholders are encouraging management to consider a Time Warner Cable deal, the sources said. Charter Communications is also considered a potential buyer.

Obama to Speak at DreamWorks Animation

On his visit to Los Angeles next week, President Obama will deliver remarks on the economy during a visit to DreamWorks Animation, and attend fundraisers hosted by Magic Johnson and Haim Saban, Variety reports.

Disney Ditches Publicis for Omnicom

Walt Disney this week quietly moved the massive media account of its studio and home entertainment businesses to Omnicom's OMD from Publicis Groupe's 4D, a shift that AdAdge reports raised more than a few eyebrows.

CPK Founders Have New Food Project in the Oven

Larry Flax and Richard Rosenfield, who sold their California Pizza Kitchen chain in 2011, plan to return to their culinary roots and launch a line of fast-casual pizza joints, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Won't Extend Health Plans

Spurning President Obama's call to let insurers extend canceled health policies, California won't allow 1 million policyholders to keep their health plan for another year, the Los Angeles Times reports. Meanwhile The New York Times reports that California enrollment is increasing.

Sony to Focus More on TV Programming

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony Corp.'s film studio will make a significant shift from motion pictures to higher margin television production and networks, Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton told investors Thursday.

Quake Fault Overlooked on Hollywood Project

Los Angeles officials missed signs in a geological report that suggest a $200-million residential and commercial development now under construction in Hollywood might be located above an earthquake fault, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Judge May Halt Sriracha Sauce Production

A judge is expected to decide today whether to grant Irwindale's request to temporarily halt operations at the Sriracha hot sauce plant to address odor complaints, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fallout From the Filibuster Rule Change

Senate majority leader Harry Reid on Thursday rendered the sober Senate more like the hyperpartisan House, which could affect everything from carbon regulations to the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill, Time reports.

Angelenos to Spend More on Holiday Shopping

Los Angeles residents will outspend fellow Americans this holiday season, shelling out $428 on average for gifts compared with the $421 national average, according to a Deloitte survey, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sale of Riverside Press-Enterprise Completed

The $27-million newspaper deal had appeared to be in jeopardy, but publishing entrepreneur Aaron Kushner, who controls the O.C. Register, obtained the financing to close the deal with A.H. Belo Corp., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney CEO Shares Approach to Leadership

Receiving the John Wooden Global Leadership Award at UCLA Thursday, Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger explained his style of leading Hollywood's biggest studio and marveled over the company's enduring success, 85 years after the birth of Mickey Mouse, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Apple Awarded $290 Million in Samsung Retrial

A U.S. jury awarded Apple Inc. about $290 million in a damages retrial against Samsung Electronics Co., restoring a large chunk of a historic verdict the iPhone maker won last year, Reuters reports.

Cellphones in Flight? 'I'd Rather Have Snakes on a Plane'

You might not be able to escape a co-passenger who won't shut up now that the government is considering allowing passenger to make cellphone calls while flying, CNBC reports.

Markets Gain

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 6 points to 16,016. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 3,983. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,799.

Thursday, November 21

Capricor and Nile Therapeutics Complete Merger

Cardiovascular therapy developer Capricor Inc. on Thursday announced that it had gone public and changed its name via an all-stock merger with San Mateo-based Nile Therapeutics Inc.

Aurora Capital Sells Holding

Aurora Capital Group on Thursday announced that it has completed the sale of Porex Corp., a maker of porous polymer materials, to Filtration Group of Chicago.

Lower Revenue, Wider Loss for Ceres

Energy crop company Ceres Inc. on Thursday reported a sharp decline in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter as it continues to struggle in the Brazilian market.

Dow Closes Above 16,000; Other Markets Gain

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 110 points to 16,010. The Nasdaq rose 48 points to 3,960. The S&P 500 rose 14 points to 1,796. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 175.

L.A. Times Parent Announces Restructuring

Tribune Co., the parent of the Los Angeles Times, has unveiled a restructuring plan that will slash nearly 700 jobs over the next year, the Times reports.

SLS Hotel Brand Eyes Downtown

The Hollywood Reporter says that SBE head Sam Nazarian is in talks to open another iteration of his SLS hotel, this time near Grand Avenue's Walt Disney Concert Hall and Eli Broad's under-construction museum.

Senate Committee Approves Yellen

The Senate Banking Committee this morning sent Janet Yellen’s nomination as Fed chairwoman to the full Senate with a 14-8 vote, the New York Times reports.

Senate Poised to Limit Filibusters

The Senate on Thursday opened a contentious debate about striking down the long-standing filibuster rules for most presidential nominations, with Democrats appearing poised to do so on a party-line vote that would alter nearly 225 years of precedent, the Washington Post reports.

Rising Prices Lift Some L.A. Homeowners from Negative Equity

Sharply higher home prices may spook first-time home buyers, but the swift increases earlier this year have been welcomed by those who bought before the market crashed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fed Mulls Easy-Money Endgame

Federal Reserve officials, mindful of a still-fragile economy, are laboring to devise a strategy to avoid another round of market turmoil when they pull back on one of their signature easy-money programs in the months ahead, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The ‘Great Rotation’ Gets into Gear

A 'Great Rotation' out of bonds into stocks is only just underway and is setting up to be one of the major investment themes of 2014, strategists tell CNBC.

Some Stores Still Proud of Closing on Thanksgiving

Nordstrom, T.J. Maxx and Home Depot are among national retailers that see advantages in not opening on the holiday, USA Today reports.

Early Black Friday Sales Let Shoppers Sleep In

Black Friday this year may be a day to sleep in, CNBC reports. Retailers increasingly have been pushing holiday promotions earlier — some as early as August — as a way to compete for sales and get consumers' attention before they have run through their limited budgets.

Does Social Media Help Firms Discriminate?

Many companies these days regularly look up job applicants online as part of the hiring process. A new study suggests they may also use what they find to discriminate, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Say Goodbye to the Classic Car Salesman

A car salesman used to spend long days on his feet. Now he's becoming like everyone else — stuck most days in a chair in front of a computer screen, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Rise

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 87 points to 15,999. The Nasdaq rose 32 points to 3,954. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,792.

Wednesday, November 20

No Investor Love for Spark Networks

Boston private equity firm Great Hill Partners, which is Spark's largest shareholder with 19.7 percent, gave notice that it intended to sell its shares Tuesday.

Air Lease Shareholders Plan Stock Sale

Three private equity backers of Air Lease Corp. are selling off part of their stakes in an underwritten public offering of more than 10.1 million shares announced late Wednesday.

'Magic Flute' Goes High Tech

The multimedia rendition, which comes from British theater group 1927, first premiered in Berlin last year. It will make its U.S. debut at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Nov. 23.

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Ziff Davis Buys

A unit of J2 Global Inc. has acquired, an aggregation site for low-cost deals on consumer electronic products.

Markets Fall

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average close down 66 points to 15,901. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 3,921. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,781. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 175.

Scoutfit Launches Online Shopping Tool

Scoutfit's technology scans hundreds of e-commerce sites for price changes and sales.

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Landmark Sears Building Is Sold

After more than six years of headaches and false starts, Santa Monica real estate company MJW Investments has finally sold the historic Sears Roebuck & Co. tower in Boyle Heights, the Business Journal reports.

Refunds Proposed from San Onofre Closure

Customers of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric are expected to get refunds as a result of the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, Southern California Public Radio reports. That's according to a proposed decision issued Tuesday by an administrative law judge.

Philanthropist Diane Disney Miller Dies

Diane Disney Miller, the only surviving child of Walt and Lillian Disney, died Tuesday at age 79 at her home in the Napa Valley. In the late 1990s, she fought L.A. officials to ensure that architect Frank Gehry's cutting-edge design for Disney Hall was realized, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Carl's Jr. Parent CKE to Be Sold

Carpinteria-based CKE Inc., known for the raunchy commercials and juicy burgers from its Carl's Jr. chain, will be sold to Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, owner of the decidedly G-rated brands Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Customers Frustrated by DWP's New Billing Software

A new $59-million computer software program that handles nearly every aspect of DWP business — including meter readings, billings and customer service — has produced delayed and inaccurate bills, prompting City Council members to demand an explanation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

J.P. Morgan Haunted by 2006 Decision

The biggest-ever settlement between the government and a U.S. company grew out of the Justice Department's discovery of a 2006 meeting in which executives for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. decided to continue selling shoddy mortgage securities, despite red flags that officials say should have prevented the offerings, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Who Has Greenlight Power in Hollywood?

So who decides what project gets made? With all the recent changes in studio executive suites, the Wrap asked a wide range of knowledgeable insiders across Hollywood and found that "greenlight" power is more diffused than ever before.

DWP Officials Cut Off Funding for Two Nonprofits

Frustrated by their struggle to learn how two nonprofit institutes spent more than $40 million of ratepayers' money, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power commissioners voted Tuesday to cut off the institutes' funding and asked the city controller to audit the accounts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High-Speed Rail Consultant Costs Near $600 Million

The latest accounting by the California High-Speed Rail Authority to state lawmakers indicates that the agency has spent almost $600 million on engineering and environmental consultants – all without turning a shovelful of dirt on construction, the Fresno Bee reports.

Regulator's Move to Kaiser Under Investigation

California authorities are investigating whether laws were broken when a government regulator went to work for healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente, a company she spent years investigating for the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ad Agencies Shift Into Consulting Role

As consultancies such as Accenture and Deloitte muscle onto advertising agency turf, shops are turning the tables with new practice groups that offer everything from product-portfolio-management advice to recommendations on corporate reorganizations, AdAge reports.

Simi Valley Costco Gets Flack After Bibles Labeled as Fiction

A Costco in Simi Valley found itself in a flap this week after a local pastor posted a photo on Twitter showing that Bibles at the big-box store had been labeled as fiction, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Markets Rebound

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points to 15,977. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 3,941. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,791.

Tuesday, November 19

Landmark Boyle Heights Sears Building Is Sold

After more than six years of headaches and false starts, Santa Monica real estate company MJW Investments finally sold the historic Sears Roebuck & Co. tower in Boyle Heights.

Herbalife Investor Raises Stake, Evokes Buyout

William Stiritz, the head of Midwest cereal giant Post Holdings, has increased his stake in Herbalife Ltd. to 6.4 percent, and not only wants to help grow the Los Angeles nutrition company but help defend it against hedge fund investor William Ackman.

Cherokee Gets Liz Lange Distribution Deal in India

Cherokee Inc., the apparel and accessories brand-licensing company, on Tuesday said that it signed a deal to have its Liz Lange Maternity Brand sold online and at retail stores in India.

Jacobs Shares Fall on Earnings Miss

Shares of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. fell nearly 6 percent on Tuesday after the Pasadena company reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that fell short of analyst forecasts.

Markets Decline

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 9 points to 15,967. The Nasdaq fell 17 points to 3,932. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,788. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 1 point to 175.

FreedomPop Expands Service

This is the first time FreedomPop will be available on phones other than the HTC.

Hollywood Studios Facing Upheaval at Highest Levels

Even as the movie awards season accelerates, studio chiefs and major producers have been fretting less about Oscars than about job security, the New York Times reports.

Some Port Truck Drivers on Strike

Port truck drivers from three Carson-based firms went on strike Monday, alleging unfair labor practices by their employers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

J.P. Morgan, U.S. Reach Settlement

J.P. Morgan and the Justice Department reached a $13 billion settlement that resolves several legal issues for the bank, and clears the way for an announcement as soon as today, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Cost of Port Terminal Project Under Scrutiny

The price tag for a major container terminal upgrade at the Port of Los Angeles has more than doubled over the last four years, caused in large part by major design changes approved without the approval of city elected officials, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sony Pictures Hiring Bain to Oversee Cuts

Sony Corp., which meets with investors this week about improving the company’s entertainment unit performance, reportedly has hired Bain & Co. to identify $100 million in cuts, Bloomberg News reports.

U.S. Safety Agency Opens Inquiry into Tesla Fires

The federal government announced on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into two recent battery fires in the Tesla Motors Model S sedan, the New York Times reports.

Middle East Carriers Sealed $100 Billion in Boeing Deals

The Wall Street Journal reports that Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways have joined forces to negotiate with Boeing Co. for almost $100 billion in orders for the new 777X passenger jet.

Disney Park Characters Aren’t Greeting Everyone by Name — Yet

Disney seems to be behind schedule with its MyMagic+ project to personalize its theme parks with RFID bracelets, AllThings D reports.

Daily News Parent to Begin Charging for Online Access

Los Angeles News Group, which includes the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram and Pasadena Star-News, will transition to paid digital subscriptions on Wednesday, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Belo Threatens Suit over Delayed Sale of Press-Enterprise

A planned sale of the Riverside Press-Enterprise to the owner of the Orange County Register had not closed three days after the deadline, the Los Angeles Times reports, and P-E owner A.H. Belo is considering suing OC’s Freedom Communications over the delay.

Regulators See Value in Bitcoin

The virtual currency Bitcoin took a big step toward the mainstream on Monday as federal authorities signaled their willingness to accept it as a legitimate payment alternative, the New York Times reports.

Reality Shows Accused of Cheating Writer-Producers

A survey by the Writers Guild of America, East suggests that reality TV production companies are using hiring loopholes to cheat writers and producers out of as much as $40 million in overtime and benefits, the Wrap reports.

Dropbox Said to Seek $250 Million

Online storage, once a backwater of the Silicon Valley tech scene, is suddenly a hot commodity. Sources tell the New York Times that Dropbox, a five-year-old San Francisco start-up, is seeking $250 million in funding in a round that would value it at more than $8 billion.

Screenwriting Guru Syd Field Dies

Syd Field, the writer who helped teach thousands of aspiring screenwriters, died on Sunday at his Beverly Hills home, the New York Times reports. He was 77.

Why 'Best Man' Beat Box-Office Estimates

The Best Man Holiday' supposedly over performed at the box office, but it's more likely the Malcolm Lee film was underestimated, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Auto Show Preview

A redesigned Cooper will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, the Los Angeles Times reports, adding that some hydrogen-powered cars set to debut at the show are an indicator that battery electric cars may soon become obsolete.

Stocks Dip

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 5 points to 15,971. The Nasdaq fell less than 1 point to 3,949. The S&P 500 fell less than 1 point to 1,791.

Monday, November 18

LoveRoom, Airbnb for 'Attractive People,' Goes Live

LoveRoom went live Nov. 15. It's now in beta and is accepting signups.

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Live Nation Partners to Grow Asian Sponsorships

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. said Monday it had formed a partnership with London’s Parallel Contemporary Music to build sponsorship opportunities in Asia for its performing artists.

City of Hope Opens Lancaster Facility

Duarte cancer treatment center City of Hope on Monday opened its full-service cancer center in Lancaster in partnership with Antelope Valley Hospital.

Dow Closes Shy of 16,000; Other Markets Fall

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points to 15,976. The Nasdaq fell 37 points to 3,949. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,791. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 177.

L.A. Tech Firms Top List of Fastest Growing Private Companies

Tablet manufacturer Fuhu Inc. topped the list with $118 million in revenue last year.

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Dow Tops 16,000

The Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 16,000 for the first time, extending a rally fueled by steady economic growth and central-bank stimulus, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wal-Mart Fears Insurance Costs May Hurt Customer Spending

Wal-Mart says it is watching to see if the insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act will dent its customers' disposable income and hurt its sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Homebuilder Sentiment Stabilizes

Homebuilder confidence stabilized in November after falling for two straight months, though steady home demand was tempered by worries about further fiscal battles in Washington, Reuters reports.

Mercury General Works to Keep Up with Expenses

Auto and homeowner insurance firm Mercury General is trying to raise premiums for its California customers to offset rising costs, primarily from automobile accidents involving its insured drivers, the Los Angeles Times reports in a company profile. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Is a Christmas Taper on Tap?

With the market nervously wondering whether the Fed will start to reduce its quantitative easing program, a few critical clues could come this week, CNBC reports.

'Made in America’ Comeback Aids SoCal Factories

Resurging interest in the 'Made in America’ logo on products is benefiting Southern California, where a number of artisan shops have been manufacturing American goods for decades, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

What American Girl Can Teach Silicon Valley

Mattel's two-story, 15,000-square-foot American Girl store concept is a reminder that there is still a hunger for real-world shopping experiences, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Activist Investors Get More Respect

There was a time when corporate executives immediately turned defensive when an activist investor demanded a management shakeup or stock buyback. But today, some executives are willing to break bread with their erstwhile Wall Street foes to see if there is a way to find common ground before girding for battle, Reuters reports.

Regulars Bidding Farewell to Proud Bird

Embroiled in a rent dispute with landlord Los Angeles World Airports, the Proud Bird restaurant — a Westchester icon since 1967 — is scheduled to sell its last meal on Thursday, the Daily Breeze reports.

Paul's Kitchen Hangs on as City Market Chinatown Fades

Paul's Kitchen is throwback to a different era in cuisine — culturally Chinese but unapologetically American — and a lonely survivor of L.A.’s forgotten City Market Chinatown, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blackwater's Founder Blames U.S. for Woes

Blackwater founder Erik Prince has returned to the United States to write a new chapter of his life as a private-equity investor. But in his memoir he blames the government for troubles at the big security contractor, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Study: Airport Food Getting Healthier

The percentage of restaurants that offer healthy entrees at the nation's busiest airports has increased, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Markets Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 52 points to 16,013. The Nasdaq rose 1 point to 3,987. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,800.

Seeking Some Heat

APPAREL: Fera International looks beyond ski wear as snow sports fade.

Apparel: Fera International looks to take its new clothing line beyond the slopes as interest in skiing goes downhill.

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Openx - No. 6

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Advertising technology

Lender Brings In ‘Suspicious Activity’ Consultant

Rugulation: Hire by 1st Century to review money-laundering policies.

Century City’s 1st Century Bank is taking a hard look at its money-laundering policies after federal bank regulators ordered a review.

Pipeline Penalties Could Leave California in Hole


Bradford Cornell warns that shockingly high fines in the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. case could burn Californiay.

Jet Contract Looks Like a Long Shot for Long Beach

Labor: Long Beach kicks in lobbying effort for Boeing production, but without much hope.

Cities Sticking Noses in Irwindale’s Chili Odor Case

FOOD: Officials put out welcome mat for relocation of Huy Fong’s facility.

Food: Cities outside California smell an opportunity as Irwindale residents complain about odor from Huy Fong’s chili plant.

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Modern Everyday Inc. - No. 10

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Household appliance e-commerce

Miracle Mile’s Moving Media

REAL ESTATE: Area’s older buildings lose pull with sector.

Real Estate: Miracle Mile landlords may need to go to greater lengths to hold on to their media company tenants.

Regulators Allege Huge Fund Fraud

Investment: SEC charges Velocity, owner in Ponzi scheme.

Investment SEC pursues Velocity Investment Group for alleged Ponzi scheme that could be one of L.A.’s largest.

Data Bank Calendar

Events Calendar

Sharing the Wealth

OP-ED: Direct Public Offerings tap investors without risk of JOBS Act’s crowdfunding exemption rules.

Jenny Kassan touts the mass appeal of Direct Public Offerings as a crowdfunding option.

New Hat for Prague Pride

Stephan Roth usually is behind the scenes, reaching out to journalists as a principal at OutThink Partners in Beverly Hills, a PR firm specializing in the gay and lesbian market.

Ad-Tech Firm Grows in Fast-Moving Specialty

Advertising: OpenX clicks as a revenue growth heavyweight courtesy of its automated digital ad exchange.

Scandigital - No. 8

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Photo scanning

Human Healthy Vending - No. 7

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Snack food vending

TNH Pharmacy II - No. 5

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Specialty pharmacy

Winery’s Vintage Float to Make Rose Parade Debut

BEVERAGE: Sponsorship by alcohol firm is first in event’s 125-year history.

San Antonio Winery gets ready to promote its Stella Rosa brand with a Rose Parade float.

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Healthy Quarter Drives Car Parts Company’s Stock

Automotive: Debt deal also provides lift for shares of Motorcar Parts.

Automotive: Strong quarter and debt refinancing revs up investor interest in stock of Motorcar Parts of America

Eatery Owner Sinks Teeth Into Digital Currency

Dining: Petit Jardin offers seat at table to Bitcoin-bearing customers.

One West L.A. restaurant has been bitten by the Bitcoin bug.

Eastern Ad Execs Ride High-Tech Wave

ADVERTISING: Big names move west to work with Silicon Beach.

New-media businesses in Silicon Beach spur wave of migration from East Coast agencies to the West.

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Mystery of the Pyramid


Charles Crumpley wants an answer: Is Herbalife a pyramid scheme or not?

Fuhu: All Grown Up

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Fuhu gets its hands on the top spot of L.A.’s fastest growing private companies thanks to its kids’ tablets.

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Adcolony - No. 4

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Mobile video advertising

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Protest: Dozens of people were arrested near the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in L.A.’s Chinatown during a protest to demand that Wal-Mart pay workers better wages.

Coasting Into New Shop

Steve Watts opens Venice beachfront storefront to sell handplanes.

Retail: Steve Watts looks to shore up sales of Slyde Handboards with his new beachfront shop in Venice.

Journalist, Editor Mark Lacter Dies

Obituary: Mark Lacter, former Business Journal editor, died at 59

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Fresh Spaces: Skirball Cultural Center museum and educational facility in Brentwood has announced it has completed the build-out of its 15-acre campus with the opening of two adjoining event spaces, Herscher Hall and Guerin Pavilion.

I.T. Source Corp. - No. 2

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

Information technology support for businesses

Heavyweights in Final Rounds of Herbalife Fight

Big-name investor battle over weight-loss product purveyor Herbalife could be nearing a close.

Film, TV Show Distributor Slips Discs Into Business

Entertainment: Gaiam pickup boosts Cinedigm’s streaming offerings.

Film: Movie streaming-focused Cinedigm gets physical with its acquisition of DVD distributor Gaiam Vivendi.

TrueCar’s True Story of Surviving and Thriving

INTERNET: Auto-shopping site TrueCar displays its drive by appearing on the list four years in a row

City of Industry Tailor Fit for Apparel Company

REAL ESTATE: Michael Kors expands, takes bulk of Gateway Pointe facility.

New York fashion company Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., whose namesake designer creates and sells high-end women’s and men’s apparel and accessories, has expanded in the City of Industry. - No. 3

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies

E-commerce for baby-related merchandise.

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline - No. 9

SPECIAL SECTION: Fastest Growing Private Companies


Friday, November 15

Port Traffic Falls in L.A., Rises in Long Beach

Cargo volume at the Port of Los Angeles slipped in October and Long Beach traffic was up in October compared with last year, the two ports announced Friday.

Lancaster and La Mirada Named County's Most Business-Friendly Cities

Lancaster and La Mirada were named the most business-friendly cities in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Fight Over James Bond Rights Ends

Beverly Hills studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Santa Monica production company Danjaq on Friday said they have completed the acquisition of all rights to the character of James Bond held by the estate and family of the late Kevin McClory.

Motorcar Parts, NetSol Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

Markets Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 85 points to 15,962. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 3,986. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,798. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to177.

Pipe Company Loses Government Fraud Case

A federal jury in Los Angeles on Thursday found Century City pipe manufacturer JM Eagle liable for defrauding government purchasers, Forbes reports. The company plans to appeal.

Munger Drops Plan to Redevelop Brentwood Landmark

After years of wrestling with Brentwood activists, billionaire investor Charlie Munger has pulled the plug on plans to redevelop the San Vicente Boulevard site that was the longtime location of Dutton's bookstore, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CRA Land Sales Planned

Land controlled by the now-shuttered Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency will soon be coming on the market, including one high-profile Bunker Hill plot, the Los Angeles Downtown News reports.

China to Ease One-Child Policy

China's leaders agreed to loosen the nation's one-child policy and to give market forces a greater role in the world's No. 2 economy, according to a new blueprint for reform released today, the Wall Street Journal reports.

State's Jobless Benefits Fund Mired in Debt

The Employment Development Department insurance fund that pays state jobless benefits owes nearly $10 billion to the federal government, and the problem won't be solved even if disbursements fall to pre-recession levels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Meeting Planned on Obamacare Fix

President Barack Obama will meet with insurance industry executives today to discuss his plan to help those seeing their current health plans canceled because of his signature healthcare law, Reuters reports.

American Apparel Blames Rough Quarter on Site Transition

Downtown L.A.'s American Apparel said transitioning to a new distribution center in La Mirada caused disappointing third-quarter earnings, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lockheed Martin to Shrink California Operations

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin on Thursday said it would cut 4,000 positions and close several facilities, including some in Northern California, due to reduced government defense spending, the Los Angeles Times reports.

MGM Reports Third-Quarter Profit

MGM Holdings Inc., the privately held parent of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., reported third-quarter net income of $16.6 million, buoyed by the strong performance of "Skyfall" and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" on home entertainment platforms, the Los Angeles Times reports.

How to Rescue Your Retirement at 55

Studies warn that the typical American household in the 55-64 age range has not saved up enough money to retire, and CNBC talks to experts about steps to take to make substantial additions to your savings.

Markets Rise

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 51 points to 15,927. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 3,978. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,794.

Thursday, November 14

Cornerstone Launches Startup Investment Fund and Incubator

Talent management software firm Cornerstone OnDemand has launched a fund and incubator program to work with cloud technology startups.

Former Business Journal Editor Mark Lacter Dies

Mark Lacter, a veteran business journalist who was a former editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal, died after suffering a stroke on Wednesday. He was 59.

Markets Gain

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 55 points to 15,876. The Nasdaq rose 7 points to 3,973. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,791. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 177.

Insurers to Be Allowed to Continue Canceled Health Plans

The White House on Thursday is to announce a plan for allowing insurance companies to continue offering existing individual insurance policies even if they fall short of the coverage standards set by the federal health-care reform law, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Yellen Stands by Fed's Low Interest Rate Policies

Fed chief nominee Janet Yellen on Thursday said that the U.S. economy has regained ground lost to Great Recession, but still needs the Federal Reserve's support because unemployment remains too high, the Associated Press reports.

Assemblyman's Father Killed in Home Invasion Robbery

The 78-year-old father of California State Assemblyman Mike Gatto was shot and killed during an apparent home invasion robbery in Silver Lake, possibly on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The slaying was Silver Lake’s first homicide this year.

Live Nation Wants Madonna and U2 Under New Management

Live Nation Entertainment, which already handles concert promotion and other business for the music icons, is in talks to buy the companies behind U2's manager Paul McGuinness and Madonna’s Guy Oseary, and thus solidify Live Nation’s hold on two of its most profitable artists, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Whitey Gets Two Life Terms

Convicted mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger will spend the rest of his life in prison after a U.S. judge on Thursday sentenced him to serve two life terms plus five years for crimes he committed, including 11 murders, Reuters reports.

HSN Partners with Univision

Home shopping network HSN has turned its sights toward Hispanic consumers with the announcement of an e-commerce partnership with Univision Communications that launches Thursday, the New York Times reports.

Tutor Fights Back on Runway Claims

In response to allegations of faulty workmanship, Tutor-Saliba Corp. blames poor maintenance by LAX workers, the Los Angeles Times reports. A city agency sued the company and four other contractors last month.

Watchdog Says TSA Screening Ineffective

The Government Accountability Office says that the Transportation Security Administration’s program to screen airline passengers for suspicious behavior has not proven effective, Time reports.

Trade Deficit Widens

The U.S. trade deficit grew in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped, the Associated Press reports.

'Anchorman 2' Inspires Underwear Marketing Partnership

Jockey's tie-in with Paramount Pictures' upcoming comedy 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' marks the first time since 1950 that the company has sold undergarments inspired by a movie, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Crooks Launch 'Customer Service' Site

Here's a first: Crooks who understand the importance of customer service. The criminal gang behind CryptoLocker — malware that locks up all of the victim's personal files and backup files with state-of-the-art encryption — have created a site for people who need help making their required extortion payments, CNBC reports.

Retail 'Shrink' Cost $112 Billion Last Year

The latest Global Retail Theft Barometer estimates that retail theft, or "shrink" — a loss of inventory from shoplifting; employee or supplier fraud and organized retail crime — cost retailers more than $112 billion worldwide last year, CNBC reports.

Markets Mixed

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 41 points to 15,863. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 3,962. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,787.

Wednesday, November 13

FlightCar Expands Car Sharing to LAX

FlightCar already services San Francisco International Airport and Boston's Logan International Airport.

Jakks to Launch DreamPlay Shopping App

Jakks Pacific Inc. on Wednesday announced a collaboration with five national retailers for a new DreamPlay app that enables kids to create virtual shopping environments.

Cheesecake Factory Signs Harry & David Deal

Cheesecake Factory Inc. has signed its first deal to its desserts through a third-party online retailer, reaching an agreement wih the owners Harry & David catalog and online gift service.

Earnings Roundup: Tetra Tech, Marcus & Millichap

Tetra Tech Inc. on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that was better that Wall Street expected. Marcus & Millichap Inc. reported growth in profit and revenue in its first earnings report since going public last month.

Markets Gain

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 71 points to 15,822. The Nasdaq rose 46 points to 3,966. The S&P 500 rose 14 points to 1,782. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 175.

Restaurant Tech Firm Rebrands

EMN8, a Century City startup that provides ordering technology to restaurants, has rebranded as Tillster.

TV Pitchman Trudeau Convicted of Lying in Diet Ads

TV infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau could face a long prison term following his conviction for criminal contempt of court for lying about the contents of his weight-loss book, USA Today reports. Trudeau is also being pursued by federal regulators for not paying a $37 million fine imposed by regulators.

Ex-Fed Official: 'I'm Sorry for QE'

There's a real question as to whether the benefits of monetary easing, also known as quantitative easing, are worth the cost, former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huzar tells CNBC.

Bill Clinton Calls for Fixes to Health Law

Former President Bill Clinton in an interview released Tuesday said President Barack Obama’s health law needs to be changed to help consumers whose current policies are being canceled, a comment that comes amid growing pressure on the White House over that portion of the new insurance system, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Mega-Airline Merger Cleared for Takeoff

The U.S. government has ended its effort to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, clearing the way for a $17 billion deal that will create the world's largest carrier, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Dish Nears Pact to Avert Blackout with Disney

Dish Network Corp is closer to reaching a large-scale programming deal with Disney that would help the satellite TV provider avoid a possible blackout of popular networks such as ABC and ESPN, Reuters reports.

Pressure Rising Against Calderon

With pressure against him mounting, state Sen. Ron Calderon on Tuesday denied wrongdoing for the first time since an FBI affidavit alleging he accepted $88,000 in bribes became public last month, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Hollywood Conference Targets Incentives

At the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's second State of the Entertainment Industry Conference Tuesday, the main focus may have been on growing local film and television production, but the ongoing corruption investigation of state Senator Ron Calderon was a distraction, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Investors Pitch for Fannie and Freddie

A group of hedge funds and private equity companies is preparing a proposal to take over large parts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in an attempt to end a bitter dispute with the Treasury, which has controlled the housing finance agencies for five years, the Financial Times reports.

Starbucks Fined $2.8 Billion in Grocery Dispute

An arbitrator handed Starbucks Corp. a bitter defeat in its three-year fight with Kraft Foods, saying the coffee giant must pay nearly $2.8 billion for ending a failed partnership, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As Philippines Rebuilds, Remittances Will Play Key Role

The Filipino economy is already heavily dependent on money that family members living abroad send home, and some experts expect those payments — called remittances — will play an even bigger role as the nation recovers from the typhoon, CNBC reports.

AIDS Foundation Changes Tactics

Under fire for seeking the creation of a costly city health department, AIDS Healthcare Foundation now is urging the Los Angeles City Council to create a citizens' panel to oversee health services that the city receives from the county, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Westside Pet Hospital Caters to High-End Clients

The VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital offers bone-marrow transplants for dogs as well as radiation therapy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy. Revenue of parent firm VCA Antech is up despite declining U.S. pet ownership, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Microsoft to End 'Stack Ranking' of Employees

Microsoft Corp. is abandoning major elements of its controversial "stack ranking" employee-review and compensation system, the latest blow against a once-popular management technique, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Dan Loeb Reveals Stake in FedEx, Discusses Herbalife

Hedge fund manager Dan Loeb revealed a stake in FedEx at an investor conference Tuesday, adding that he likes the stock and the management of the company, CNNMoney reports. The activist investor also discussed Third Point’s brief foray into shares of L.A.'s Herbalife.

Netflix Unveils New TV-Viewing Experience

Netflix has already changed the way many people think about watching television. Now the company wants to change the way people watch Netflix on their TV sets, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Dow, S&P Down; Nasdaq Up

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 60 points to 15,691. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 3,922. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,766.

Tuesday, November 12

Owners of Glendale Post-Production House Plead Guilty

The owners of Glendale post-production businesses Sunset Post Inc., Sunset Digital Studios Inc., and Sunset Teleproduction Center pleaded guilty on Tuesday to embezzling from their employees' retirement plan and failing to pay taxes.

Earnings Roundup: Motorcar Parts, Aecom, RealD

Shares of Motorcar Parts of America Inc. jumped more than 25 percent on Tuesday after the maker and distributor of aftermarket automobile parts reported a fiscal second-quarter profit. Aecom Technology Corp. shares fell more than 7 percent after the construction management company gave an outlook for next year that missed Wall Street projections.

Dow, S&P, LABJ Fall, Nasdaq Rises

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 32 points to 15,751. The Nasdaq rose less than 1 point to 3,920. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,768. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to173.

Anthem Second Insurer to Delay Obamacare Cancellations

A second major California health insurer will delay cancellation of individual coverage for policyholders who want to keep the coverage, following in the footsteps of a Blue Shield of California unit last week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shakeup Hits Disney Interactive

Disney has reorganized its interactive division by merging the unit's games and media operating groups and installing co-president Jimmy Pitaro as its head while co-president John Pleasants will remain as a consultant for an unspecified amount of time, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Keating Urges GOP to Support Immigration Bill

Frank Keating, the banking industry's top lobbyist, has urged GOP lawmakers in an op-ed piece, to support the bipartisan Senate immigration reform legislation as essential for business and the "most Republican of causes," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lawmakers Brace for Backlash Over Film Tax Credit

With more film tax credits under consideration, entertainment groups worry the investigation of State Sen. Ron Calderon will doom future legislation, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Debit Cards End Two-Decade Streak of Gains

Debit-card spending lost market share to credit cards in the United States, reversing a trend of more than 20 years, Bloomberg News reports.

Honda, Subaru Announce Auto Show Previews

Honda released a sketch of its new fuel cell concept vehicle that will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, the Los Angeles Times reports. Subaru also confirmed that it will debut the all-new WRX at the show.

Finke vs. Deadline: Whose Brand Will Be Stronger?

What happens when a news blog loses its signature writer? That has happened to Deadline with the departure of Nikki Finke, and study of media consumption suggests Deadline will have a tough time without her, the Wrap reports.

Angst Over Those New Twitter Millionaires

Twitter's 1,600 employees became paper millionaires with the company's blockbuster IPO, prompting a heated debate in San Francisco about whether this newfound wealth should be cheered or feared, the Los Angeles Times reports.

McD's Eyes the Supermarket Coffee Aisle

When McDonald's Chief Executive Don Thompson speaks during the company's investor meeting this week, he's likely to talk about coffee -- and not just what the fast food chain is serving in restaurants, Ad Age reports.

Cable Operators Broaden Access to Filipino Channel

U.S. cable television operators, including Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications, are allowing more customers access to the Filipino Channel in the wake of last week's devastating typhoon, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Who Is Backing Mobli?

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim thinks he knows something about photo-sharing apps that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t, Bloomberg News reports. Slim’s America Movil unit was among investors in Mobli, an application that lets users decorate pictures and videos with colorful filters similar to Instagram.

It's Official: World Trade Center Is USA's Tallest Building

A ruling by the Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat -- the final arbiter of building heights around the world -- means that 1 World Trade Center Tower in Manhattan can claim its full 1,776-foot height, USA Today reports.

Markets Slip

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 22 points to 15,761. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 3,916. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,769.

Monday, November 11

Burbank Won’t Appeal Ruling Blocking Wal-Mart

Burbank has decided not to appeal a ruling that blocked the opening of a new Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet at the city’s Empire Center, but Wal-mart intends to continue the legal battle.

RadNet Shares Fall on Lowered Outlook

Shares of RadNet Inc. fell more than 13 percent Monday after the operator of medical diagnostic imaging centers said it moved from a profit to a loss in the third quarter and lowered its full-year forecast.

Sport Chalet Moves to Loss

Sport Chalet Inc. reported a quarterly loss Monday driven by declining sales figures and the closure of three underperforming stores.

IPO-related Charges Increase Rexford Industrial’s Loss

Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. on Monday reported a smaller-than-expected adjusted third quarter profit and announced an acquisition in North Orange County.

Markets Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high, up 21 points to 15,783. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 3,920. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,772. The LABJ Stock Index was unchanged at 174.

Maker Snags Yahoo Executive

The Culver City online video network announced Erin McPherson will be joining the company in a position that sees her reporting directly to company Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz.

Honest Co. Raises Round for International Expansion

The round, announced Monday, was led by Institutional Venture Partners and included investments from Iconiq Capital and existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners.

Ninja Metrics Raises $2.8 Million

The funding coincides with the release of Ninja's analytics platform, the Katana engine, which analyzes the actions of video gamers to determine which player is the most influential in driving friends to spend money on a game.

USPS to Make Sunday Deliveries for Amazon

The cash-short U.S. Postal Service has struck a deal with the online retailer to deliver the company’s packages on Sundays — a first for both and with obvious advantages for each, the New York Times reports. The service launches first in Los Angeles and New York.

Will Typhoon Haiyan Derail Philippines' Economy?

The human toll is calamitous, with up to 10,000 people killed and whole towns and villages destroyed, but the damage to the Philippines' burgeoning economy may be limited to the area hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan, NBC News reports. Residents and aid workers began burying their dead in mass graves on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Desert Hot Springs Weighs Bankruptcy

Desert Hot Springs, the resort town near Palm Springs, may become the first city since Detroit to seek bankruptcy protection from creditors after a sharp drop in revenue, Bloomberg News reports. If it does declare Chapter 9, it would be the fourth California city since June last year to do so.

Glendale Galleria Debuts Sleek New Look

Glendale Galleria has completed a major renovation, designed to echo the local Hollywood glamour, and celebrated this weekend with a grand re-opening, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Tribune Reports Profit Despite Revenue Drop

Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV parent Tribune Co. on Monday reported improved third-quarter earnings as lower expenses more than offset a revenue decline. But Chief Executive Peter Liguori said the results did not meet his team's expectations, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Sriracha Maker Adds Heat to Irwindale Clash

The creator of Huy Fong Foods' Sriracha hot sauce says that his company might have gone bankrupt if the city of Irwindale had successfully stopped production at the facility in response to odor complaints from some nearby residents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Online Shopping Marathon Takes Off

Chinese consumers were taking to the Internet in record numbers on Monday for an annual 24-hour online sale that has ballooned into the world’s biggest e-commerce event, the New York Times reports.

SOAPnet Headed for the Drain

Walt Disney Co. will end programming for soap opera channel SOAPnet at the end of the year in favor of Disney Junior, its channel for toddlers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Supreme Court to Consider Challenges to Union Practices

Labor leaders and businesses are closely watching a Supreme Court case to be argued this Wednesday that involves neutrality agreements, a popular strategy used by unions to successfully organize hundreds of thousands of workers, the New York Times reports.

TV's 'Cool' Factor Overtakes Movies

For decades, entertainment professionals used television as a steppingstone to the glamour of motion pictures. Now TV's money, opportunity and cultural heft are drawing talent in the other direction, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Banks May Block Traders from Chat Rooms

Big banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse Group are considering blocking employees from computer chat rooms that have become pervasive tools of the modern trading floor, but face mounting scrutiny from regulators, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Big Law Mergers Fuel Skepticism

A wave of legal tie-ups has created a fleet of supersize law firms with offices around the world, and more are in the works this fall. But law firms with the urge to merge might check with their clients first, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Starz Shuffle Targets Key Demos

Premium TV company Starz is shuffling the lineup of its eight Encore channels and adding new programming to "super-serve" key demographic groups, including African-Americans, Hispanics and baby boomers, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Cloud Seeding No Longer Magical Thinking

As California concludes a second drought year and water managers hope eagerly to avoid a third, utilities armed with cloud-seeding tools are poised for that first mass of pillowy gray clouds to drift ashore from the Pacific Ocean, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Lululemon Co-Founder Criticizes Customers

The once pristine reputation of high-end exercise gear retailer Lululemon has taken a beating this year. Co-founder Chip Wilson has been doing damage control in response to customer complaints, and suffice it to say it's not going well, Yahoo's Breakout blog reports.

Dow Up; S&P and Nasdaq Slip

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 12 points to 15,774. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 3,906. The S&P 500 fell less than point to 1,770.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Walt Disney Co. will provide Netflix Inc. programming based on four characters from Disney’s Marvel unit. Netflix has committed to at least four series and a miniseries to be shown exclusively on its streaming video service.

Marshaling Workforce

OP-ED: Military veterans tap their unique experiences to boost businesses and America.

Employment: James Bogle salutes military veterans who have adapted their skill sets to boost domestic businesses.

Foundation’s Donation to Build African Bridges

HEALTHCARE & BIOTECH: Chan Soon-Shiong’s $4 million to fund health programs.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s latest philanthropic endeavor serves as an expression of gratitude to an African-born mentor who helped the biotech billionaire get his start in Los Angeles.

Ad Maker Turns To Crowdsourcing

ADVERTISING: Tongal takes on traditional agency model.

Some industry veterans question the mass appeal of Tongal’s crowdsourced approach to video ads.

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More Trouble

Chemicals: Oxy faces new

Chemicals: Occidental Petroleum faces new health claims from Love Canal in New York state, 20 years after the company settled lawsuits over the site.

Video App Maker Opts For New Name and Focus

INTERNET: Viddy’s now Supernova as it works to regain firm’s early heat.

Internet: Maker of video app Viddy looks to change its focus and image with new name and products.

Online Drive

Dodgers seek big score from Wi-Fi

Sports: Dodgers to add Wi-Fi and other stadium upgrades as the team looks to run up its sponsorship and revenue opportunities.

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Interactive Ad Maker Dives Into Streaming Video

ADVERTISING: Newly named TrueX makes play for YouTube content.

Newly rechristened TrueX wades into streaming video with its interactive ads.

New Firm Turns Into Active Suitor After Union

LAW: Norton brings in David Ben-Meir to grow IP practice.

When London’s Norton Rose and Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski merged in June to form Norton Rose Fulbright, the new firm’s downtown L.A. office was hit with significant exits. It quickly lost one-fifth of its attorneys, including the heads of its local health care, and labor and employment groups, to rival firms

Shedding Flower Business Helps Stock Price Bloom

INTERNET: United Online completes FTD spinoff, says ISP cancellations slow.

Internet: United Online shares bloom with the completion of its spinoff of flower business FTD.

New Fashioned

APPAREL: The paper-preferring clothing industry may prove a tough fit for NuOrder’s digital ordering and inventory system

It’s hard to find a pen or paper at NuOrder Inc.’s West Hollywood offices. Its co-founders don’t want its biggest competitor hanging around.

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Hotel Deal Checks In With Record Per-Room Price

Acquistion: 200-room London West Hollywood sold for $195 million.

The 200-room London West Holly-wood hotel was sold last month to New York investment firm Northwood Investors for $195 million, according to CoStar Group Inc., the highest price-per-room rate ever paid for a California hotel.

Suits Make Strong Case With Investors

Law: Litigation funding firms say

Law: Litigation finance firms court investors to fund commercial cases with potentially hefty rates of return.

Follow the Bouncing Ball

Last spring, Bao Ngo wanted to get a basketball competition going. Her company, Santa Monica online genealogy mapper Geni, had a team and they challenged the team at her former employer, ScoreBig Inc.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Shoots, Scores: Ticketmaster, the West Hollywood ticket subsidiary of Beverly Hills concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc., has extended its ticketing services agreement with New York-based National Hockey League.

Port of Los Angeles Makes Waves With Rebates

Shipping: Program to attract alliances may start price war with Long Beach.

Shipping: Port of Los Angeles hopes to make waves by offering rebates to cargo companies.

Chipping Away At Snack Sector

Guarantee 3’s training device aims to score points with basketball players

Food: Ips All Natural hopes to take a bite of the snack market with its high-protein product.

Hard Knocks For Homebuilder

Construction: Stock of Ryland falls after tough feedback from analysts

Construction: Investors move out of Ryland stock after the homebuilder’s revenue fails to meet expectations.

Shot in Arm For Hoopsters?

Guarantee 3’s training device aims to score points with basketball players.

Sports: Dave Felkel promises net gains to basketball players who use his training harness.

Radio Network Enters New Stage With Concert Venue

Music: Clear Channel opens Burbank space for album promotion parties.

Lions Gate announced last week that it’s licensing the “Twilight” films and past releases including “The Princess Bride” and “Dirty Dancing” to the state-run streaming entertainment website

Data Bank Conventions

Conventions Schedule

Data Bank Calendar

Calendar of events

Friday, November 8

United Online, NetSol Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week, with most of the biggest movers tied to quarterly earnings.

Markets Rise

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 168 points, or 1 percent, to 15,762. The Nasdaq rose 62 points, or 1 percent, to 3,919. The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 1 percent, to 1,771. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 174.

Valet Parking App Debuts

Mar Vista's Just Scan It, an app maker specializing in mobile scanning, has rolled out a self-named iOS app that aims to loop valet services and drivers into a single network.

Myspace Lays Off 5 Percent of Staff

Myspace, acquired by Irvine’s Specific Media in 2011 for $35 million, has laid off 5 percent of its staff, according to a source familiar with the company.

ShoeDazzle Could Face Layoffs

The e-commerce startup filed a notice with the State of California that it planned to eliminate 52 mostly customer service positions, roughly 10 percent of its overall staff, by the end of the year.

Dozens Arrested at L.A. Wal-Mart Protest

Dozens of people were arrested during a downtown L.A. protest to demand that Wal-Mart pay workers better wages, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Another Fire Raises Questions for Tesla

For the third time in six weeks, a Tesla Model S was destroyed by a fire after its battery was damaged, prompting new questions over the design of its advanced lithium-ion batteries, the New York Times reports.

Obama Apologizes for Insurance Cancellations

President Barack Obama said he was sorry that thousands of Americans were losing their health insurance, expressing regret for the first time that the Affordable Care Act hadn't lived up to his promise that people who liked their coverage could keep it, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NBC Lays Off 3.5 Percent of Ad Sales Staff

NBC’s ad sales division has laid off ad sales employees as part of its recent reorganization, the Wrap reports.

Boeing: Seattle Could Lose 777X

Boeing Co said on Friday it was ready to look for another location to build its newest jet if assembly workers and local politicians do not ratify plans to build it in its traditional manufacturing base of Seattle, Reuters reports.

Hollywood Ready to Cast Hillary Clinton in Top Role

Conversations with a range of Hollywood figures suggest that there is widespread support for Hillary Clinton should she decide to run for president in 2016, the New York Times reports.

Calderon Scandal Puts Film Credit in Spotlight

Perhaps the highest-profile production claiming California’s relatively young TV and motion picture tax-credit program was “Argo,” a film about a government agent posing as a movie producer. Now the film has a role in a Capitol bribery scandal involving an FBI agent posing as a studio owner, the Sacramento Bee reports.

California Loses Another Round Over Ammunition Rules

An appeals court has affirmed a permanent injunction against a 2009 state law that would have required Californians who buy handgun ammunition to supply their thumbprint, photo ID and other information, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trans Fat Ruling Could Spur Reformulations, Lawsuits

Packaged food marketers and fast-food companies began aggressively dumping trans fat in the wake of a 2006 labeling requirement. But the FDA's latest action on Thursday could cause the holdouts to reformulate, while also spurring class-action lawsuits, Ad Age reports.

Now Comes the Hard Part for Twitter

Twitter's stock closed up more than 70 percent in its first day of trading. The seven-year-old company that's never turned a profit and has just a fraction of Facebook's user base must now prove to investors that it's worth the money, the Associated Press reports.

Tax Refund ID Theft a Growing 'Epidemic'

More Americans' identities were stolen in tax refund crimes in the first six months of 2013 than in all of 2012, according to a U.S. Internal Revenue Service watchdog who described the problem as "a growing epidemic," Reuters reports.

Analog Catalogs Still Drive Digital Sales

Holidays bring out the traditionalist in all of us, and old-fashioned page views — the glossy paper kind — will be big for retailers this season. In spite of Web stores, shopping tools, and apps, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Stocks Rebound

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 84 points to 15,678. The Nasdaq rose 43 points to 3,901. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 1,760.

Thursday, November 7

Strong Quarter at Disney

Walt Disney Co. reported strong fourth quarter earnings on Thursday, with its once struggling interactive division showing the greatest improvement.

Garcetti Names Deputy for Economic Development

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday named Kelli Bernard as deputy mayor for economic development.

American Homes Fall Short of Forecasts

American Homes 4 Rent on Thursday said that its revenue skyrocketed in the third quarter on strong leasing activity, but the company still missed Wall Street estimates for its funds from operations.

Earnings Roundup: Health Net, Air Lease, Colony Financial

Health Net Inc. on Thursday posted higher third quarter earnings, boosted by a favorable reimbursement adjustment from the state of California. Air Lease Corp. and Colony Financial Inc. also exceeded Wall Street forecasts.

Stocks Sink

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 153 points, or 1 percent, to 15,594. The Nasdaq fell 75 points, or 2 percent, to 3,857. The S&P 500 fell 23 points, or 1 percent, to 1,747. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points, or 1 percent, to 172.

Boingo Beats Guidance

The company lowered its guidance for the full year, estimating a net loss of up to 6 cents per share and revenue between $106 million and $108 million.

Demand Reports Losses, Declining Revenue

The Santa Monica media company announced Thursday a third-quarter net loss of $10.4 million (-12 cents per share), compared with a net income of $3.2 million (4 cents) in the same period last year.

Twitter Skyrockets on IPO

Twitter stock opened at $45.10, or 73 percent above its IPO price, then climbed above $50 in early trading, the Associated Press reports.

Disney Makes Superhero Deal With Netflix

The Walt Disney Co. will provide Netflix with live action programs featuring Marvel comic book characters Daredevil and others. Netflix has committed to at least four series beginning in 2015 in what both companies call an unprecedented deal, Deadline reports.

Toll Bros. to Purchase Shapell

Building giant Toll Bros. has agreed to purchase the home-building business of Porter Ranch developer Shapell Industries, the Beverly Hills firm behind tens of thousands of houses across California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blockbuster Video-Rental Chain to Shut Remaining U.S. Stores

Blockbuster, the video-rental company owned by Dish Network Corp., will close its remaining 300 U.S. stores, ending an era for a chain that was once a ubiquitous part of American shopping centers, Bloomberg News reports.

Construction on El Segundo Shopping Complex Underway

Work is underway on an $80-million shopping and dining complex in El Segundo that its owners hope will become a meeting place for South Bay families and workers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Outlet Mall Planned North of the Grapevine

The $90-million Outlets at Tejon Ranch, now under construction where Interstate 5 and Highway 99 meet, is expected to bring more than 70 stores to a site where millions already stop to eat or gas up each year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Officials to Review Street Vending

Los Angeles City Councilmen José Huizar and Curren Price have called for a review of street vending legislation, saying it would create a safer environment for consumers and a more profitable system for the local economy, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Boeing’s Plan to Build Jetliner in Washington a Blow to Southland

Boeing’s tentative agreement with a machinists union to build the new 777X airliner in the Seattle area instead of other possible sites, such as Long Beach, is the latest of several recent setbacks for the Southern California aerospace industry, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Wal-Mart Online Glitch Sparked Buying Frenzy

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is telling online shoppers who bought erroneously low-priced merchandise that the orders are being canceled, but they will get a $10 e-gift cards within five days for future purchases, Bloomberg News reports.

FDA Rules Trans-Fats Unsafe in Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday ruled that trans-fats aren't safe in food, a sharp policy shift that could lead to banning trans-fats in baked goods and other foods, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Health-Fee Proposal Knocked

The Obama administration is planning to exempt some labor unions and businesses from paying part of a contentious reinsurance fee under the health-overhaul law, but unions and businesses said the move wouldn't go far enough, the Wall Street Journal reports.

140,000 Pounds of California Walnuts Stolen

Authorities in the small Central Valley town of Escalon are trying to crack the latest case of a California walnut crop pillaged by thieves, this time robbing a farmer of $400,000 in profits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Riot Games to Move HQ

Video game maker Riot Games Inc. announced Thursday that it will move its headquarters from Santa Monica to West Los Angeles in spring 2015, the Business Journal reports.

Who Won CBS’s Fight With Time Warner Cable? DirecTV

Earnings reports reveal an unexpected victor in corporate standoff between CBS and Time Warner Cable earlier this year, the Wrap reports.

Mystery Google Barge Will House 'Interactive Space'

Google has finally broken its silence on the mysterious structure atop a barge floating in the San Francisco Bay, ComputerWorld reports.

Markets Drop

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 79 points to 15,667. The Nasdaq fell 54 points to 3,877. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 1,756.

Riot Games to Move Headquarters

After coming close to a deal for 300,000 square feet in Playa Vista earlier this year, the growing tech company switched gears and has signed a 15-year lease for 284,000 square feet at Element LA, a project by West L.A. real estate company Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. at Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive.

Wednesday, November 6

Lions Gate Signs VOD Deal for China

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on Wednesday said that it signed a multiyear licensing deal with Jiaflix Enterprises to add films from the Lions Gate and Summit libraries to a steaming media service in China.

Activision Raises Outlook

The "Call of Duty" publisher reported third quarter net income of $56 million (5 cents per share), down from $226 million (20 cents) during the same period last year.

Earnings Roundup: PennyMac, Signature

PennyMac Financial Services reported disappointing third quarter earnings due to a decrease in loan origination.

Dow, S&P Gain; Nasdaq, LABJ Decline

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 129 points to 15,747. The Nasdaq fell 8 points to 3,932. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,770. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 175.

SocialVibe Becomes TrueX

SocialVibe has been renamed TrueX Media and the company's interactive advertisement service is now called TrueAttention.

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Beats Electronics Names COO

Beats also announced Wednesday that President Luke Wood has been appointed to the board, which includes co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and three unnamed independent directors.

Millennium Hollywood Towers Are Postponed

In a surprise move, developers of the hard-fought Millennium Hollywood towers next to the Capitol Records building said they won't seek building permits until two lawsuits against them are resolved, a process that could take years, LA Weekly reports.

Nikki Finke Exits Deadline Hollywood

Nikki Finke has severed ties with Deadline Hollywood, the website that she built into a must-read for the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Santa Monica Is Bracing For a Growth Spurt

For all Santa Monica has changed over the last 30 years, its skyline has remained largely the same: a few aging towers overlooking the city’s coastal bluffs. But that skyline is now poised to be dramatically altered, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Los Angeles Moves Forward With Proposal for Free WiFi

Los Angeles has been knocking about the idea of free citywide WiFi for several months, but now those thoughts have coalesced into something more concrete, reports Engadget.

Funding for L.A. Unified's iPad Program Uncertain After Three Years

A $1-billion plan to put an iPad into the hands of every Los Angeles student and teacher could prove difficult to financially sustain after about three years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Exit Interview: Port of L.A.'s Executive Director

This is the last week on the job for Geraldine Knatz, who was brought on in 2006 by former Mayor Villaraigosa as the first woman executive director of the Port of Los Angeles – and who was not asked back by Mayor Garcetti, reports LA Observed.

Sale of Riverside Newspaper in Danger?

A deal to sell the Riverside Press-Enterprise to the owner of the Orange County Register may be in jeopardy less than a month after it was announced, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tesla Motors Stock Slides

Tesla Motors announced Tuesday that it ramped up production and deliveries of its luxury, all-electric Model S sedan in its third quarter. But its stock got hammered on Wall Street, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Starbucks to Hire 10,000 Veterans and Military Spouses

Starbucks is the latest big company to announce an aggressive push to hire veterans returning to the civilian work force, CNN reports.

Microsoft Narrows CEO Shortlist

Microsoft Corp. has narrowed its list of external candidates to replace Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to about five people, including Ford Motor Co.’s chief Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, Reuters reports.

Elite Grads in Business Flock to Tech

Elite business-school graduates are increasingly heading to work in technology instead of finance as the lingering aftereffects of the financial crisis — along with Wall Street’s long hours and scaled-back pay — sends newly minted M.B.A.s elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Dow, S&P Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 67 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,685. The Nasdaq dropped 16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,923. The S&P 500 ticked up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,765.

Tuesday, November 5

J2 Profits Miss, Revenue Grows

Revenue for the quarter was up 37 percent to $128 million.

Jacobs Invests in China, Brazil Expansion

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. on Tuesday announced two acquisition-related deals in China and Brazil to build its overseas operations.

Caruso Foundation to Support Watts Educational Initiative

The family foundation of billionaire Los Angeles retail developer Rick Caruso and his wife Tina on Wednesday will announce a multi-million commitment to an educational program in the Watts section of Los Angeles.

PS Business Parks Prices Offering

PS Business Parks Inc. announced on Tuesday the pricing of its public offering, which it expects will gross about $103 million before underwriting discounts and offering expenses.

Saehan Shareholders Approve Merger with Wilshire

Saehan Bancorp on Tuesday said that its shareholders had approved a merger with Wilshire Bancorp.

Earnings Roundup: Hudson Pacific, Kennedy-Wilson, Live Nation

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. reported wider losses after markets closed Monday, though the publicly traded real estate trust beat Wall Street expectations.

Nasdaq Rises; Dow, S&P and LABJ Fall

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 21 points to 15,618. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 3,940. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,763. The LABJ Stock Index fell more than 1 point to 175.

Demand Unveils Name of Domain Business

The domain business will be called Rightside Group Ltd. and will be led by Taryn Naidu, who is currently executive vice president of domain services for the Santa Monica media company.

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DirecTV Profit Rises on More Subscribers

DirecTV on Tuesday said that its third-quarter profit grew 24 percent as the satellite-television provider continued to increase subscribers in the United States and Latin America, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Chairman of Los Angeles Daily News Parent to Retire

William Dean Singleton, the 62-year-old founder and chairman of the company that owns the Daily News of Los Angeles and the Daily Breeze, announced Monday he will retire in the coming weeks, citing health concerns, the Business Journal reports.

Twitter’s Feuding Founders Put 'Social Network’ to Shame

The twists, turns and double-crosses in “Hatching Twitter,” Nick Bilton’s new book about the social network about to go public, echo the well-known story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s founding, Bloomberg News reports.

Anthem Sued over Policy Cancellations

Two L.A. County residents are suing insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross, alleging they were misled into giving up previous coverage that had been grandfathered in with respect to Obamacare, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Billionaire Brothers Turn from Feuding to Deals

Anthony and Jay Robert Pritzker, who inherited at least $2.7 billion after helping break up a storied dynasty a decade ago, are now investing in private-equity and venture-capital deals, Bloomberg News reports.

U.S. Takes Aim at 'Forced' Insurance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will bar mortgage companies from accepting lucrative payments to arrange a controversial form of homeowners' insurance, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Lawmakers to Examine State Jobless Benefit Delays

A report detailing problems with the Employment Development Department's rollout of a $110-million software upgrade will be at the heart of an Assembly hearing on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lego, Marvel Team Up on Online Series

Lego and Marvel are teaming up on the 10-episode online series Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload, the Hollywood Reporter says. Marvel will launch all 10 of the episodes today exclusively on, Disney’s YouTube channel and across Disney's Roku- and Xbox-connected TV apps.

Will You Pay for Wi-Fi?

The airline industry was quick to praise new federal rules allowing passengers to keep most digital gadgets powered-on during takeoffs and landings. Less certain is how much the decision may spur use of in-flight Wi-Fi — a service that, until now, has been far more hyped by airlines than embraced by the traveling public, Bloomberg News reports.

Producer Nicky Weinstock Joins Lionsgate

Lionsgate TV and Debmar-Mercury have recruited producer Nicky Weinstock to oversee creative development of comedies produced using an innovative “10/90" deal template, Variety reports.

Claims of Victory Justified on Both Sides of SAC Settlement

The United States and SAC can each plausibly declare victory in the $1.2 billion criminal settlement — even if neither side got everything it wanted, the New York Times reports.

Tesco's In-Store Ads Know You Need Coffee

While waiting in line at a gas station checkout, you notice a video monitor next to the cashier advertising a special on coffee. When you reach the front of the line, though, an ad for soft drinks suddenly appears on the screen. If the station is owned by British retailer Tesco, the change was probably no coincidence, Bloomberg News reports.

Markets Sink

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 37 points to 15,602. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 3,932. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,763.

Monday, November 4

Los Angeles News Group Chief Singleton to Retire

William Dean Singleton, the 62-year-old founder and chairman of the company that owns the Daily News of Los Angeles and the Daily Breeze, announced Monday he will retire in the coming weeks, citing health concerns.

BYD Fights Back on Labor Charges

BYD Co. Ltd. on Monday defended itself from charges that the electric-vehicle manufacturer did not comply with minimum wage laws for engineers working at its Lancaster plant and North American headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

CBRE Makes Two Acquisitions

CBRE Group Inc. on Monday said that it had purchased an affiliated brokerage in South Carolina and a residential development consultancy in London.

Rexford Makes Orange County Buy

Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. has acquired an industrial property in Yorba Linda at auction for $12.7 million.

Markets Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 24 points to 15,639. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 3,937. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,768. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 177

Viddy Debuts New Apps, Corporate Profile

Supernova, as the Venice company will be called henceforth, is no longer a maker of one product, but a producer of a handful of multimedia apps, all with a focus on social sharing.

Cornerstone Reports Revenue Growth

Third quarter revenue was up 57 percent to $48.3 million.

Machinima to Distribute on Twitch

The partnership began Monday, the same day it was announced, with a seven-day marathon of "Call of Duty: Ghosts."

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LAX Shooting Sparks Debate on Security

LAX police and the federal Transportation Security Administration are reviewing protocols in the wake of the shooting Friday that left a TSA agent dead and several other people wounded, the Los Angeles Times reports.

BlackBerry Abandons Sale Process, CEO Out

Thorsten Heins, the chief executive of BlackBerry, will leave after the collapse of a tentative takeover offer from BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, the New York Times reports.

SAC to Plead Guilty in Insider-Trading Settlement

Federal prosecutors on Monday released a plea agreement with SAC Capital Advisors LP in which the hedge-fund group agreed to plead guilty to every count of an insider-trading indictment and pay $1.8 billion in penalties, which the Wall Street Journal reports is the largest amount ever for insider trading.

Disney and Dish Wrangle Over the Future of TV

While two sides agreed about the money a while ago, Walt Disney Co. and Dish Network continue to argue over something more abstract: digital rights — or to put it another way, control of the future, the New York Times reports.

Machinima's CEO Steps Down

Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise is stepping down as chief executive of the West Hollywood YouTube network as he searches for a professional manager to elevate the company to the next level, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Business Journal's earlier coverage.

Poll: Twitter IPO Not Worth all the Hype

A new CNBC AP poll shows that 49 percent do not think Twitter would be a good investment. Young people in particular, see it as a bad move.

Ceres Looks to Cash in on 16 Years of R&D

Ceres Inc., the Thousand Oaks biotech that uses advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to make better seeds for biofuels, is working to commercialize its products, the Los Angeles Times reports in a company profile.

L.A.’s Water Future Remains Challenged

The semiarid Southland imports more than half its water from hundreds of miles away through some of the modern world’s largest aqueducts. But water officials now say that in the decades ahead more must be done to conserve and develop more water supplies here at home, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

U.S. Wants Broad Divestitures from AMR, US Airways

Antitrust authorities want to see a broad package of divestitures from AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. as part of any deal to settle the government's challenge to their merger plan, the Wall Street Journal reports.

TRI Pointe to Merge with Weyerhaeuser Unit

TRI Pointe Homes Inc., the Irvine home builder controlled by Starwood Capital Group, has clinched a $2.7 billion deal to merge with timber conglomerate Weyerhaeuser Co.'s home-building division, the Wall Street Journal reports.

7 Things to Know About the New FCC Chairman

Tom Wheeler takes office as one of the most experienced commission heads in history and has close ties to President Obama. Still, rumors swirl in D.C. about his closed-door meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Markets Mixed

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 2 points to 15,613. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 3,924. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,764.

Getting Back On Track

New team takes wheel at raceway

Racing: New management team looks to revive Irwindale auto track after it had been driven into the ground.

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Message App Company Still Connects With Venice

Internet: Snapchat will remain in neighborhood but pursues more space.

Internet: Maker of temporary-message app Snapchat looks like it will remain in Venice for the long haul with a move to bigger offices

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Treatment for Sickle Cell Pain

SPECIAL REPORT: Health Care & Hospitals

LA BioMed Profile: Dr. Yutaka Niihara has devoted nearly a quarter-century to developing drug therapy that will relieve the pain of millions of sickle cell anemia patients around the globe.

Looking to Draw Crowd

OP-ED: New SEC rules on investing could spread dollars beyond high-tech private companies.

Investment: Victoria Silchenko thinks new SEC rules permitting “crowdinvesting” could boost the mass appeal of non-high-tech companies.

Leaving the Lab

SPECIAL REPORT: Health Care & Hospitals

LA BioMed isn’t just a research institute, it’s become a thriving business incubator.

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Paper Chased

Publishing: Long Beach Record looks to break into Press-Telegram’s market.

Publishing: New paper brings a duel to Long Beach’s doorsteps as the Register challenges the Press-Telegram.

Shares of Insurer Prove Too Risky for Wall Street

Insurance: Mercury stock tumbles on weak quarter, rate restrictions.

Insurance: Mercury shares fall as judge puts the brakes on rate hikes

Burger Chain Flips to New Interior, Menu Items

Dining: Counter points to customer feedback in ditching industrial look.

Dining: Burger chain the Counter looks to turn up the heat with menu additions and an interior design revamp.

Shipping Firm Rides Hay All the Way to China

Exporting: Country’s need to feed dairy cows milked by Green Pasture.

Exporting: Green Pasture International’s hay shipments are giving Chinese businesses something to chew on

Maker of Electric Buses Brings Lawyers on Board

Manufacturing: BYD hires Paul Hastings to help with abuse allegations.

Manufacturing: Electric bus maker BYD hires L.A. law firm to handle accusations of workplace abuse.

Firm Looks to Pull Off Triple Play Across Platforms

Media: PK4 system aims to assist clients with online, mobile and tablet ads.

Digital media company PK4 Media in El Segundo this week will launch a system to help advertising agencies and brands buy display and video ads for online, mobile and tablet platforms in a single purchase.

Expansion Roadmap Leads to New L.A. Office

Logistics: Del Rey will serve as local operating base for Load Delivered.

When Load Delivered Logistics, a Chicago firm specializing in delivery systems for the food and beverage industries, decided nine months ago to establish its presence on the West Coast, it chose Los Angeles as the place to be.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Under Fire: A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has denied the city of Irwindale’s request for a temporary restraining order against Huy Fong Foods, maker of the popular “Rooster” brand of Sriracha hot sauce.

Data Bank Conventions


Data Bank Calendar

Calendar of Events


INTERVIEW" Neil Clark Warren didn’t let his age stop him from retaking the reins at dating site eHarmony.

Interview: Neil Clark Warren saw himself as a perfect match to return and revive eHarmony as chief executive

Spinoff With Aesthetic Lift

SPECIAL REPORT: Health Care & Hospitals

LA BioMed Profile: Amgen Inc. veteran Keith Leonard noticed that something was missing in the aesthetic medicine industry: scientific research to back up claims of beauty enhancement.

Probing for Heart Trouble

SPECIAL REPORT: Health Care & Hospitals

LA BioMed Profile: UCLA pediatric cardiologist and LA BioMed researcher Dr. Ruey-Kan Chang leads a medical device startup, QT Medical, that has a full pipeline.

Faster Track for Drug Testing

SPECIAL REPORT: Health Care & Hospitals

LA BioMed Profile: Agi Hirshberg is rare among medical research company chief executives.

More Than a Shot in Arm

SPECIAL REPORT: Health Care & Hospitals

LA BioMed Profile: At NovaDigm Therapeutic Inc., scientists believe they are on to something.

Developer Money Crosses the Lines?

Real Estate: Projects draw ‘low-income’ maps to tap EB-5.

Critics say developers have mapped out a means to tap a program that was meant to boost low-employment areas.

Beverly Hills Retail Properties Rich With Appeal

REAL ESTATE: RREEF pays $35.5 million for pair of North Beverly buildings.

Rodeo Drive might be the toniest shopping district in Beverly Hills, but lately it’s nearby North Beverly Drive that has investors and tenants clamoring for space.

Payday Lenders Could Cost Bank

Banking: Federal fraud review may hold up sale by parent.

Banking: Federal review of payday-lender payment processing by National Bank of California may slow its sale.

Aquifer Operator Sinks Money Into Train

Water: Attraction could help Cadiz avoid review of pipeline.

Water: Cadiz plans railroad tie-in that could help the aquifer owner avoid full review of a pipeline project.

Green Means Go

Hollywood Bowl bathroom adds company’s lighting system for stall occupancy.

Technolgy: Tooshlights is flush with success after the Hollywood Bowl adds the company’s bathroom stall-occupancy light system.

Meet Broker and Crime Fighter

At the end of a long work week, broker Carter Magnin doesn’t unwind with his fellow real estate buddies by going to the latest hot restaurant or bar.

Sweet On Sugar Free

Sisters put accent on health with shop serving up Italian icy beverage granita.

Beverages: Sisters look to treat health-conscious customers to sweet and icy Italian drink called granitas.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Medical Boost: The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, a non-profit co-founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, actress Michele Chan, has given $4 million to the University of California Global Health Institute to support new cross-campus and interdisciplinary education and research programs.

Friday, November 1

Murdock Completes Dole Acquisition

David Murdock on Friday completed his acquisition of Dole Food Co. and has taken the Westlake Village agribusiness company private.

Oaktree Earnings Jump

Oaktree Capital Group on Friday said its per-share profit rose 33 percent in the third-quarter as the distressed debt investor earned more in fees from its clients for exceeding performance targets.

United Online Completes FTD Spinoff

United Online Inc. on Friday said that it has completed the separation of FTD Companies Inc. from United Online through a tax-free dividend of shares to its shareholders.

Flamemaster, Ducommun Among Week’s Biggest Movers

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

Markets Rise

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 70 points to 15,616. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to 3,922. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,762. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 177.

Hyperloop Company Forms

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. has launched to develop a prototype of the high-speed transportation system that would take travelers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes.

Santa Monica Officials Sue FAA

In the wake of September's deadly jet crash, Santa Monica officials sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday to gain control of the city's embattled airport, which local groups want to turn into a park, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Calderon Also Accused in Hospital Bribery Case

California Sen. Ron Calderon and his brother, a former state assemblyman, are accused of accepting more than $1 million in bribes from a hospital executive, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. Also, the Sacramento Bee reports that Senate leader Darrell Steinberg has taken steps to remove Sen. Calderon from the Film Commission amid accusations of bribery related to his actions there.

Online Holiday Deals Come Early

Facing the shortest holiday season in years, U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart are preparing to assail customers with deals and promotions this week, before they have even digested their Halloween candy, Reuters reports.

New Mattel Campaign is 'Toy Feliz'

To get ready for the holiday season, Mattel is adding some informal Spanish language to a marketing campaign meant to reach Latina mothers, the New York Times reports.

IRS Eases Rules on Health Care FSAs

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service changed the use-it-or-lose-it rule for flexible spending arrangements, or FSAs, to allow account holders to carry over as much as $500 from one year to the next without penalty, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Banks Looking to Dump Commodities Units

Facing lingering questions about the oversight and profitability of their businesses, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase have taken steps to sell their commodity divisions, CNBC reports.

Manufacturing Activity Grows

The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in 2½ years last month, an industry report showed Friday, but the pace of hiring slowed from September, Reuters reports.

State Water Action Plan Created

California officials on Thursday released a five-year “Water Action Plan” intended to avoid a statewide water supply crisis stemming from drought, population growth and climate change, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Twitter 101 for Investors

Twitter has evolved into a powerful tool for investors, but getting started on the platform can be tricky for new users. CNBC compiled some tips to help investors get market-moving information from the site.