Stories for July 2015

Friday, July 31

L.A. Launch List: August 1

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: July 31

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Nova Lifestyle, Skechers Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 4 percent to close at 246, with gainers outpacing losers 95 to 55. Six companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 56 points in Friday trading to close at 17,690. The S&P 500 fell five points to 2,104. The Nasdaq fell one point to 5,128. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 246.

Friday Rundown: What to Watch this Weekend

For the business professional looking for the perfect movie to watch this weekend, here’s our summary of some latest releases, focusing on the business aspects of each plot.

St. Joseph, Operator of L.A. Hospitals, in Talks to Merge

St. Joseph Health System and Providence Health & Services, which has extensive operations in Los Angeles County, have announced they are planning an affiliation to create a single health care entity. Terms of the pending agreement are still being shaped.

Water Woes

Even though statewide water usage was cut by 27 percent in June, officials are concerned Californians may become less worried about saving water in anticipation of El Niño, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Plot Thickens at Relativity

Ryan Kavanaugh, the billionaire chief of Relativity Media, is positioning himself to retain control of the company - minus some assets - in the wake of its bankruptcy filing, according to the New York Times.

Debate Over DWP Rate Hikes

By raising water and power rates, DWP officials say they will be able to fix an aging infrastructure and conserve water. But higher utility rates would also boost the city’s coffers by more than $100 million if the City Council approves a five-year package of increases, the Los Angeles Times reports, and some ratepayers are challenging the proposed increase.

‘No’ to Paramount Plan

A Paramount Pictures proposal to shorten the time between the end of a movie’s theatrical release and its availability on home video to 17 days isn’t sitting well with some big chains, including Regal Entertainment Group, the nation’s largest exhibitor, the Los Angeles Times reports. Theater operators say a shorter window could keep potential moviegoers home, hurting ticket sales.

Call for Accountability

San Diego Coastkeeper, an environmental group, has gone to court to force the San Diego County Water Authority to do more to account for the potential environmental effects of a water desalination plant scheduled to be completed this fall in Carlsbad, the Los Angeles Times reports. Water authority officials say a mitigation plan has been put in place, and the environmental effects are being accounted for by the developer Poseidon Water.

Mixed Feelings About Beijing Olympics

While Los Angeles officials mull a bid to host the 2024 Olympics, Beijing was chosen Friday to host the 2022 Winter Games, becoming the first city to host both the winter and summer events, Bloomberg reports. The choice came despite Beijing having little natural snow and concerns about China’s track record on human rights.

Sneaking in ‘I Do’s’

If you’re thinking of getting married at Disneyland on the cheap – well, for free – you might want to follow in the footsteps of a San Francisco couple that recently sneaked into the park’s Enchanted Tiki Room, with 25 guests in tow, to exchange vows earlier this month, LAist reports. They had a four-minute window to get in their “I do’s,” but they made it work, and didn’t get caught.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 33 points in early trading Friday to 17,713. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,109. The Nasdaq was up seven points to 5,135. The LABJ Stock Index was up three points to 247.

Thursday, July 30

Hollywood Investors Back Interactive Video Company Fuisz

Hollywood is continuing to plow money into digital media.

NBC Universal Could Back BuzzFeed

NBCUniversal Inc. is reportedly close to making a $250 million investment in digital publishing giant BuzzFeed.

Thursday Rundown: Amgen Delivers, Public Storage Loads Up

Amgen Inc. beat analyst expectations when it reported quarterly results Thursday, thanks to a combination of old and new drugs contributing to sales increases.

Relativity Media Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Embattled entertainment company Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy protection today after billionaire Ryan Kavanaugh failed to find a financial savior for his struggling firm.

Work/Life: Greg Dollarhyde

The chief executive of Veggie Grill on living a healthy lifestyle, winemaking in his spare time and the art of deal making.

Don’t refer to Greg Dollarhyde as Veggie Grill’s chief executive officer. Chief “energizing” officer is the title he prefers.

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Stocks Mixed; Skechers Soars, BreitBurn Energy Partners Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell five points in Thursday trading to close at 17,746. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,109. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 5,129. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 244.

Council Rethinking Uber at the Airport

Six council members, citing fairness and safety concerns, are now saying “not so fast” to a decision earlier this month by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners to allow ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to pick up riders at LAX, the Los Angeles Times reports. The council members want to closely examine the airport’s new rules, and if the motion passes next week, it could override the pro-Uber policy.

Unpermitted Park Vending Ban Back

The ban on vending at parks and beaches without a permit was reinstated by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, meaning sellers could face fines and possibly misdemeanor charges, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some complain the ban targets mom-and-pop vendors and could make it difficult for immigrants facing such charges to become citizens.

Sluggish Economy

Economic growth is still slow going with the gross domestic product growing just 2.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning. The expected growth rate was 2.7 percent – itself modest. Some economists expect growth to pick up in the second half of the year. Then again, they’ve been predicting that for years.

Greenspan: Entitlement Spending at ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Level

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warns an increase in government spending on social benefits is at “extremely dangerous” levels for the economy, CNBC reports. Such spending was 19.2 percent of the gross domestic product last year, up from 15.5 percent in 2005, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Feinstein’s New Drought-Relief Bill

In an effort to get Congress to pass legislation to help California, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is proposing a drought-relief bill which would include using $1.3 billion over the next decade for storage, desalination and other projects, the Los Angeles Times reports. Still, questions remain, including whether environmentalists will support it, and if a compromise can be reached with a Republican-backed bill that has been approved by the House.

Oil Slick Spotted in Santa Barbara

Just when things were looking up in Santa Barbara, now a nearly 4-mile long oil slick is back, sparking new concerns in the area, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials say it could be natural seepage or possibly a remnant of last May’s oil spill caused by a ruptured pipeline which spilled more than 21,000 gallons of crude into the ocean, but they’re awaiting test results to find out for sure.

Export-Import Bank Fails to Get Revived

Those hoping for the reopening of the Export-Import Bank were given bad news Wednesday when the House approved a highway funding bill that excluded a reauthorization of the bank's charter, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Senate is expected to follow the footsteps of the House. Supporters argue the Ex-Im bank helps companies sell their products abroad. Opponents argue the bank mainly helps big businesses, which donate to politicians to keep the bank’s spigot open for them.

Steps Closer to Rate Hike

Although it didn’t happen this week, the time could soon be approaching when Federal Reserve policymakers raise the federal funds rate for the first time since 2006 since they seem to be indicating the economy is getting better, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A New Beginning

In anticipation of next year’s opening of the Expo Line, a Metro train drove into the downtown Santa Monica terminal this week, LAist reports. It marked the first time in more than 60 years that a passenger train has reached downtown Santa Monica.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 75 points in early trading Thursday to 17,676. The S&P 500 was down nine points to 2,100. The Nasdaq was down 26 points to 5,086. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 242.

Wednesday, July 29

Can the On-Demand Economy Survive Without Independent Contractors?

Now with government scrutiny bearing down on the worker designation, many are asking: Do on-demand tech startups that rely on independent contractors have a future?

L.A. Tech Tweet of the Day

Random thoughts from the Twitterverse: Venture capitalist Mark Suster thinks cold brew coffee is having a moment.

Wednesday’s Rundown: Bar Study Firm Fined for False Claims; New Harbor Commission President Named

Barwinners, a Santa Monica company that offers online courses to law students studying for the bar exam, has been ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution and fines after making false claims about the percentage of its customers who passed the crucial exam.

Stocks Climb; Rubicon Rises, Big 5 Dives

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 121 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,751. The S&P 500 rose 15 points to 2,109. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 5,112. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 243.

Reader Poll

Have you eaten artificial meat?

75 Layoffs at Relativity as Bankruptcy Looms

Crisis-hit film and TV company Relativity Media is laying off more than one-fifth of its staff.

Herbalife Wins Lawsuit Dismissal – Again

Downtown L.A. supplement company Herbalife and Chief Executive Michael O. Johnson dodged a bullet Tuesday when a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed allegations of misrepresenting sales practices and orchestrating a pyramid scheme.

Rough Times for Relativity

Ryan Kavanaugh's financially embattled Relativity Media may be cutting up to 50 jobs and possibly filing for bankruptcy as early as today, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Beverly Hills production company is said to owe at least $320 million and has faced a lack of box office hits over the past year.

Edison Wants More from Mitsubishi

Southern California Edison is asking for $3 billion more – now a total of $7.6 billion – from Tokyo’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the faulty steam generators that led to the permanent shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, the Los Angeles Times reports. The amount the utility wins would be split 50-50 with customers. However, Mitsubishi maintains it owes no more than $137 million, according to the agreements that were signed.

Some Drought-Struck Towns Could be ‘Wiped Off the Map’

The state’s drought crisis, which centers in the Central Valley, could possibly erase some towns from the map as wells and jobs dry up and farmers struggle, CBS Sacramento reports. However, the possibility of a new well in Tulare County might bring a glimmer of hope.

Malibu Winemakers Will Toast This

In a surprising move, a compromise was reached Tuesday by Los Angeles County Supervisors who voted to allow pending applications to establish vineyards to proceed instead of continuing to ban them, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. County officials say the ban on new applications would just be extended for four months instead of 10.

Weighing the Safety of Local Oil Fields

After a recent report claimed fracking fir oil may be unhealthy and hurt water and air quality, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors called for an inventory of all operating oil fields in the county, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. It is unclear what the supes intend to do with the information. County officials also want legislative advocates to push for consistent state legislation to fund studies on the health and environmental impacts of oil and gas production.

Soft Opening for ‘Kait’

All the hype may not have paid off for the highly anticipated premiere of “I Am Kait” as the E! reality show brought in an average of 2.73 million viewers which is just slightly higher than a typical audience for Bruce Jenner’s former reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the Hollywood Reporter reports. A “20/20” interview with the now Kaitlin Jenner did with Diane Sawyer in April brought in 17 million viewers. Only seven more episodes of the new reality show are scheduled to run this summer.

Microsoft Betting on an Upgrade

Microsoft Corp. is rolling out Windows 10 today, hoping for a reinvigoration of recent lagging sales, CNBC reports. Windows 10, which is more similar to the older Windows 7 and is so far receiving modest reviews, will initially be offered as a free update and perhaps make up for the disappointment of Windows 8 which was released three years ago.

The Desert Look

It’s become a badge of honor in light of the drought: a drought-friendly lawn, according to officials with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. This led to a slew of people signing up for turf-removal rebates, which exhausted funds for the rest of the year. Officials are glad to see the demand, since 50 percent of household water is used on lawns. But some critics say too much money is being spent on something residents would eventually do themselves.

Beauty Comes With a $1,000 Price Tag

How much would you pay to learn how to look like a tanned Kim Kardashian? Try $1,000. That’s what some people shelled out recently to attend a four-hour master class with Kardashian and her make-up artist at the Pasadena Civic Conference Center with some students even traveling from other countries to attend, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 49 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,680. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,098. The Nasdaq was up three points to 5,092. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 242.

Tuesday, July 28

UBeam Raising $15 Million Debt Round

Wireless charging startup uBeam of Santa Monica is raising a $15 million convertible debt round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company declined to comment, but the filing said nearly $9 million had been raised from 23 investors since the offering was initiated July 10.

Soon-Shiong’s NantKwest Goes Public in $207 Million Offering

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s clinical-stage immunotherapy firm NantKwest Inc. debuted at $25 a share in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday, raising more than $207 million with the sale of 8.3 million shares.

NTSB Blames Virgin Galactic Crash on Human Error, Lack of Safeguards

The builder of SpaceShipTwo had not considered that human error could result in a catastrophic hazard to the space vehicle, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday in determining the cause of last year’s crash in the Mojave Desert.

LAX Passenger Counts Take Off

The number of passengers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport continued to climb last month, according to figures released Tuesday by Los Angeles World Airports.

California Tax Credits Lure Film Producers

More than 250 movie projects have applied for state tax credits in the first round of film applications since the state boosted the amount of available credits, a move aimed at curbing runaway production.

Stocks Rise; TrueCar Makes Comeback, Ceres Doesn’t

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 190 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,630. The S&P 500 rose 26 points to 2,093. The Nasdaq rose 49 points to 5,089. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 242.

City Ignoring Phone Overcharges?

A Calabasas company named Cost/Benefit Corp., which was hired by the city of Los Angeles to audit cell phone bills, claims Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer failed to take action after finding out the city was overcharged by about $12 million and could recover as much as $39 million from its phone providers, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, the company claims it has not been paid, so it is suing the city. The city intends to countersue.

Katy Perry vs. Local Restaurateur

The controversy that pits pop singer Katy Perry against local restaurateur Dana Hollister, who has a a tentative deal to buy a hilltop Los Feliz convent from an order of nuns, is headed to a Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is fighting the agreement, saying Hollister took advantage of the nuns, and it wants to sell to Perry. The dispute centers on who has the authority to actually sell the nunnery.

Netflix Possibly Moving to Hollywood

As Netflix continues to make gains in Hollywood, the company may soon try to take up residence there as it’s looking into relocating its Beverly Hills office to a building being built at Sunset Bronson Studios that would double its office space, according to the Los Angeles Times. Such a move would indicate Netflix has likely outgrown its current building and could be making plans for new hires soon.

Winemakers to Fight

Vineyard owners aim to appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ ban on new vineyards and extensions of old ones in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Los Angeles Times reports. While the supervisors cite concerns about the amount of water being used and pesticides in runoff, the owners say they’ve already been working with county officials to address the issues.

Vote Sets Limit

Long Beach Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to set a $206 million limit for their part in financing a new downtown civic center that would house the Harbor Department as well as a new main library and City Hall, the Press Telegram reports. The new headquarters could possibly be completed by the end of 2019 if all goes according to plan.

Make a Wish

The Griffith Park Teahouse, which popped up on a ridge in the park about a month ago, has become a mecca for collecting wishes written on its walls with appeals for everything from more rain to less pollution in the city, LAist reports. The time may be limited for writing a wish, however, because the city is planning on taking down the teahouse soon.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 40 points early trading Tuesday at 17,481. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,072. The Nasdaq was down two points to 5,038. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 239.

Monday, July 27

Snapchat Swaps Two Publishers on Discover Portal

Snapchat is reexamining its content partnerships. The app has pushed out Yahoo and Warner Music Group from its Discover publishing portal and replaced them with BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio.

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Monday Rundown: NBCUniversal Exec to Helm Deluxe; New Executive Director for Beverly Hills Chamber

Deluxe Entertainment Services Inc. announced Monday that John Wallace, president of operations and technical services at NBCUniversal, will take over as chief executive in early September.

Tetra Tech Wins Part of $950 Million Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. is part of a group of companies that has secured a U.S. Air Force contract with a potential value of $950 million, the company said Monday.

Kythera Wins Approval in Canada for Double-Chin Drug

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. has received regulatory approval in Canada to sell its drug that dissolves chin fat, the company announced Monday.

L.A. Tech Event Calendar July 27 – Aug. 9

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Stocks Fall; Research Solutions Soars, Ceres Slips

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 128 points in Monday trading to close at 17,441. The S&P 500 fell 12 points to 2,068. The Nasdaq fell 49 points to 5,040. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 238.

Relativity On the Ropes?

Troubles continue to mount for billionaire Ryan Kavanaugh’s financially embattled Relativity Media.

L.A. to Bid for 2024 Olympics?

With L.A. 2015 now underway, how about L.A. 2024?

Razer Acquires Assets of Game Platform Ouya

After weeks of speculation and an accidental leak, gamer hardware maker Razer USA Ltd. of Carlsbad announced it had acquired the brand and software assets of console company Ouya.

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New Minimum Wage Battle?

Even though the city’s minimum wage was hiked in May, now some labor leaders are expected to ask the City Council this week to consider exempting union workers from that new law, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some critics argue the move is designed to appeal to business owners who would prefer to have employees organize unions than pay them more money, thereby boosting dues to the unions.

Yes, We’re Saving Water

Although the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power does not separate water use by neighborhood, some other water districts do, and an early report indicates many customers are using less. In June, the first month water regulators compared regional water use, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Carson and Torrance all saved 20 percent or even more of the water used two years ago, the Daily Breeze reports.

Are Apartment Renters Shower Lingerers?

Incentives do matter. A new study shows apartment renters – who make up about 62 percent of Angelenos – may be doing little to cut back on water use to meet the state’s mandated reductions. But there’s not much incentive for them since most apartments don’t have meters that break down the usage by unit, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, state legislators are expected to consider whether to require possible “submetering” for new apartment buildings. Read the Business Journal’s earlier coverage here.

Uber’s Big Fight

Talk about a big spender. Ride-sharing service Uber has spent about $200,000 on lobbyists in Sacramento so far this year – more than Bank of America and Wal-Mart – to fight state regulatory hurdles, the Los Angeles Times reports. At issue is whether Uber drivers should be reclassified as employees instead of independent contractors, and whether Uber drivers discriminate.

Teva to Buy Unit of Allergan

Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said it would buy Allergan’s generics unit for $40.5 billion in a deal that would make it one of the biggest drug makers in the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Still Dominates at No. 1

Disney’s Marvel super-hero movie, "Ant-Man," ruled the box office this weekend for the second weekend in a row, bringing in $24.8 million, beating Sony’s “Pixels” which made $24 million. The animated film, “Minions,” came in third place, grossing $22.1 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Corgi Love

Corgi Beach Day didn't disappoint with more than 800 Corgis in attendance at the event over the weekend in Long Beach, LAist reports. There was even a Corgi kissing booth, a costume contest and the corgi limbo contest.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 125 points in early trading Monday to 17,444. The S&P 500 was down 11 points to 2,069. The Nasdaq was down 36 points to 5,053. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 237.


Upcoming conventions

Making Room for Bootleg Spaces

Los Angeles City Council’s push to legalize substandard units only hurts tenants, landlords who follow laws.

There’s no room in Los Angeles for making bootleg spaces into legal residences, warns Jeremy Bagott.

State May Face Hole on Oil

Ronald Stein sees California doing well enough without more limits on oil projects.

Troll Toll

Marathon gets inventive to make patents pay

Litigious Marathon Patent Group feels the term “troll” isn’t a suitable description for its money-making business.

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Cape Crusade In Hollywood

FILM: DC hopes to follow foe Marvel to super-sized box office.

Rival DC hopes to ride Marvel’s cape at the box office by slating a slew of movies featuring its iconic superheroes.

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Tech Firm Aims to Link Kids, History

Zypre launches virtual reality treatment of Wright brothers’ flight.

Zypre sees schools as the perfect clients for its virtual reality historical productions.

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Married Architects Talk Building Interest in Reuse

REAL ESTATE: Killefer Flammang duo say hotel work made room for more.

Spouses Barbara Flammang and Wade Killefer talk how they adapted to a demand for reuse projects.

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Youth Served

Los Angeles Athletic Club renovates to draw hipper, younger members.

Downtown L.A.’s members-only clubs launch youth movement to revive aging appeal.

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Reproductive Center Puts Eggs in Events Basket

HEALTH CARE: Clinics’ parties generate heat for freezing services.

Fertility clinic hosts drinking and dining events to deliver customers to its egg-freezing services.

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Regulators Back Deal to Form L.A.’s Largest Lender

BANKING: Analyst says his money was on merger despite activists’ concern.

Regulators endorse OneWest-CIT merger as activist opposition seemed to have little impact.

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Studio Lions Gate may be star attraction on list of L.A.’s most profitable public companies, but real estate brokerages making all the right moves.

While movie studios continue to produce, real estate brokerages are the real stars of the Business Journal’s list of most profitable public companies.

Plot Sale Reflects Lots of Interest in Downtown

ACQUISITION: Land goes for $18 million; $3 million more than month before.

A 20 percent profit in one month? That’s what hotelier John Blanchard, lead developer on downtown L.A.’s Ace Hotel, reaped when he flipped a 1.2-acre plot of land in the Arts District earlier this month.


Calendar of events

Marketing Firm’s Talk Program Channels Brands

INTERNET: FameBit hopes ‘FilterFreeTV’s’ influencers speak to young consumers.

These days, digital networks such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen Inc. and AwesomenessTV aren’t the only tech companies producing online videos.

Practice Group’s Business Heats Up With Drought

WATER: O’Melveny unit’s focus has shifted from quality to quantity issues.

While California’s drought has scorched some businesses, it has flooded attorneys in O’Melveny & Myers’ water industry practice group with work.

93-Year-Old Producer Back in Saddle for Western

FILM: Walter Mirisch rides again with movie he did in 1960: ‘Magnificent Seven.’

A remake of classic Western “The Magnificent Seven,” now filming, is being overseen by the 93-year-old producer of the original film.

Poor Prognosis for Drug Developer’s Stock Offering

BIOTECH: Shares tumble after investors learn of CytRx’s pricing target.

Drug developer CytRx Corp.’s plan for a public offering nurses mainly ill will on Wall Street.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Westwood’s Penske Media Corp. has announced the acquisition of, which showcases entertainment industry award predictions by fans and top journalists.

Dad Delivers Style Choices For Fathers

Diaper Dude founder looks to raise brand’s product output, profile.

Diaper Dude founder hopes his father-pitched products pop as a lifestyle brand with dads.

Giving Starts at Top

When Phenomenex employees in the past decade were challenged to shave their heads or dye their hair splashy colors, Chief Executive Fasha Mahjoor politely declined. But not this time.

Sunday, July 26

Shoe Seller Sees Next Step As Brick-and-Mortar Shop

FOOTWEAR: Sole Society’s expansion plan boosted by money from Nordstrom.

Shoe and accessories retailer Sole Society looks to step up sales with its first brick-and-mortar shop.

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Room To Grow?

HOSPITALITY: Businesses pop up to support Airbnb despite looming regulations.

Businesses check in to support hotel service Airbnb despite the risk of regulation in some cities.

Friday, July 24

L.A. Launch List: July 24

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: July 24

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

L.A. Gets Pilot Carsharing Program

A pilot carsharing program is headed to Los Angeles, aiming to keep thousands of Angelenos in poor neighborhoods from purchasing cars of their own by providing publicly available hybrid or electric cars instead.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 163 points in Friday trading to close at 17,569. The S&P 500 fell 23 points to 2,080. The Nasdaq fell 58 points to 5,089. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 237.

AT&T-DirecTV Mega Merger Gets Green Light

AT&T’s long-awaited purchase of El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV closed Friday, the same day the Federal Communications Commission announced its approval of the mega merger.

Taitron Components, Jakks Pacific Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell one percent to close at 237, with losers outpacing gainers 109 to 41. Six companies closed the week unchanged.

Ares Confirms $2.6 Billion Acquisition of Kayne Anderson

Months after rumors of the deal first surfaced, private equity and debt giant Ares Management announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire fellow Century City finance firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors for $2.6 billion, mostly in stock.

AT&T, DirecTV Merger Clears Final Hurdle

Telecom giant AT&T;’s proposed $49 billion acquisition of El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV has cleared its last regulatory step with at least three of the five commissioners with the Federal Communications Commission voting Thursday in favor of the deal but with conditions, according to sources, CNBC reports. In order to meet the conditions, which include measures to protect consumers, the FCC, may for the first time establish an independent monitor.

Sanctuary Cities Could Lose Funding

The House passed a bill Thursday to possibly cut funding to sanctuary cities, which are towns, including Los Angeles, that refuse to comply with federal immigration laws, the Los Angeles Times reports. The vote came after lawmakers debated how to respond to the killing of a San Francisco woman who by a felon who had been deported to Mexico five times but was free because of San Francisco’s sanctuary city status.

Call to Reopen Angels Flight

After some business leaders and history buffs made an appeal – and more than 1,800 people signed a petition – the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board now says it will study a plan to possibly restore and reopen Angels Flight, the Los Angeles Times reports. It was closed a couple of years ago by state regulators.

Potholes Galore

If you think the streets are bad, you're right. Los Angeles-Long Beach roads are second-worst in the nation (San Francisco and Oakland are first) with about 73 percent in poor condition. Southern California drivers are paying more than $1,000 extra a year for blown tires and other maintenance costs as a result, according to a report released Thursday by a Washington, D.C., think tank, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Fracking Dilemma

Even though a company has state permission to start fracking off the coast of Long Beach, the California Coastal Commission has jumped in, saying it needs to give the company an additional permit, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports. However, some are questioning whether the commission has the authority to make such a demand.

Anthem Seals Cigna Deal

Anthem Inc. of Indianapolis has officially agreed to buy health care insurer Cigna Corp. for more than $48.4 billion, which combines the second- and fifth-largest health insurers by revenue, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal, which comes after a year of back-and-forth talks, still needs regulatory approval. It could close in the second half of 2016.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

The top 100 power plants nationwide, including those run by power companies in the Southern California region, reduced their carbon emissions by a total of 12 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to a report released Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Over the past couple of years, emissions have been flat but are expected to decline even more as power companies install pollution controls and retire coal-fired plants.

Transgender Modeling Agency to Open

Caitlyn Jenner has apparently ushered in a trend as Thailand’s Apple Model Management, a modeling agency that represents only transgender models, has announced it will open a Los Angeles office, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Public Prank

Who says your trip to the grocery store has to be boring? For those who shopped recently at a Vons location in East Los Angeles, it was anything but. Funny signs placed around the store (“Stay warm in the freezer aisle by rubbing against other shoppers”), thanks to the pranks of a local humor bloggist, LAist reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points in Friday morning trading to 17,726. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,101. The Nasdaq was up 12 points to 5,159. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 240.

Thursday, July 23

TrueCar Share Price Hits the Skids

Shares of Santa Monica’s TrueCar Inc. lost a third of their value in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported that it would miss financial targets for the second quarter and full year.

Thrive Market Leaps to $32.9 Million Round

Online health food store Thrive Market has raised a $32.9 million investment round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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DreamWorks Campus Flipped, Again

Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT of El Segundo has purchased the Glendale campus of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. for $215 million, the real estate investment trust announced Thursday. This is the second time the 14.7-acre campus has changed hands in the past six months.

Thursday Rundown: City National Beats on Earnings; Medbox Buys Pot Farm; Reliance Shares Soar

Downtown Los Angeles’ City National Corp., the parent company of City National Bank, reported strong second-quarter earnings Thursday that included the bank’s highest-ever net income.

Hollywood Studios Hit By European Antitrust Allegations

Six major Hollywood movie studios stand accused of illegally restricting access to content in an antitrust case filed by European regulators.

Work/Life Balance: Yunnie Kim Morena

The fashion maven on reinventing herself, becoming a restaurateur and keeping a family legacy alive.

The daughter of Korean immigrants who started Santa Monica’s SM Pier Seafood, Yunnie Kim Morena has rebranded the restaurant – now officially known as The Albright – and launched a second career for herself.

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Stocks Fall; Ritter Pharmaceuticals Soars, Big 5 Dives

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 119 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,732. The S&P 500 fell 12 points to 2,102. The Nasdaq fell 25 points to 5,146. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 239.

Mobile Game Developer SGN Gets $130 Million for Asia Expansion

Culver City’s Social Gaming Network, a mobile game developer, on Thursday announced a $130 million investment from South Korean game publisher Netmarble Games.

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Speaking Out Against AT&T, DirecTV Merger

While the Justice Department favors AT&T;’s proposal to acquire El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV for $49 billion, and Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman Tom Wheeler said this week he would support it with conditions, some consumer groups say those conditions need to include better protections for consumers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal must still get approval from federal regulators.

Special Olympics May Boost Tourism Long-Term

The Special Olympics, which is scheduled to start here Saturday, will be the biggest such sports event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics and could boost local tourism for the long haul since it’s expected to draw around half a million people and usher in $387 million in spending, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Concerns About Citrus

A quarantine, which is more than 87 square miles around San Gabriel, is growing after agricultural officials have discovered even more trees infected with a citrus disease that has destroyed orchards in Florida as well as Mexico and Brazil, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bacteria, which is spread by insects, is not harmful to people but can destroy crops.

Not in Our Neighborhood

The Redondo Beach City Council may soon say “no” to a proposed mixed-use development on Pacific Coast Highway; area residents are asking for a moratorium on such construction, citing safety and traffic concerns, the Daily Breeze reports. The Planning Commission is opposing a mixed-use project a couple of blocks away.

Out of Luck

Homeowners who failed to refinance their mortgages while interest rates were below 4 percent may be kicking themselves as rising rates seem to be slowing down refinancing, the Los Angeles Times reports. The average rate for a 30-year conventional loan has been above 4 percent for the past six weeks, and the Federal Reserve is expected to raise short-term lending rates later this year.

Studios in Hot Water

European regulators opened an antitrust case Thursday, accusing major Hollywood movie studios, including Walt Disney Co., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Bros. of illegally blocking consumers in most of Europe from watching American movies and television shows, the Los Angeles Times reports. A total of seven studios have been notified.

Asking for Papal Help

Some South Los Angeles residents in a neighborhood near USC are fighting AllenCo Energy Inc.’s plans to resume drilling oil, appealing to Pope Francis to intervene to help them, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company’s oil operation is on land leased from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The Pope has stated he believes action should be taken to find alternatives to fossil fuels. Oil production was stopped two years ago after complaints led to an investigation.

Anthem Could Buy Cigna for $48 Billion

After nearly a year of off and on again talks, Anthem Inc. is close to a deal to buy health care insurer Cigna Corp. for more than $48 billion, which would continue to shrink the number of health insurers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Anthem and Cigna are currently the second- and fifth-largest health insurers by revenue.

Trump Heads to the Border

After his controversial comments about illegal immigrants, presidential hopeful Donald Trump today heads to Laredo, Texas, which borders Mexico, for a first-hand look at border problems after being invited to take a tour with some border patrol agents, CNN reports.

Biden Lauds Minimum Wage Hike

A day after Los Angeles County approved raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the county’s unincorporated areas, Vice President Joe Biden toured North Hollywood manufacturer Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. to help boost a nationwide campaign to raise the minimum wage, the Los Angeles Times reports. During his speech, Biden said the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is insufficient.

Obsessed with Chipotle

Could you eat at Chipotle every day? A Los Angeles animator has set his sights on doing just that for the past six months and counting, LAist reports. He’s created a blog around it and is even planning his upcoming vacations around cities that have Chipotle locations.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 30 points in early trading Thursday at 17,821. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,114. The Nasdaq was up 12 points to 5,184. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Cargomatic Looks Harder Than Most for Tech Talent

Cargomatic has raised $10.6 million in venture capital and is frequently mentioned in L.A. tech circles as a startup to watch. But the young company finds it more difficult than most to hire.

Wednesday, July 22

Scipps Buys Podcast Network Midroll

Podcasting is having a moment.

LeBron James Signs Deal With Warner Bros.

SpringHill Entertainment, the production company founded by NBA player LeBron James, has signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Entertainment to develop content for television, film and digital outlets.

Second Sight Looks to Expand Patient Pool

Visual prosthetic-maker Second Sight Medical Products Inc. announced Wednesday it has successfully implanted and activated its vision-restoring system for the first time in a patient with age-related macular degeneration, part of a study that could lead to a much wider pool of potential customers for the firm’s groundbreaking product.

Wednesday Rundown: L.A. Club to Host 2023 U.S. Open, Jakks Shares Spike on Sales Boost

The Los Angeles Country Club will host the United States Golf Association’s U.S. Open in 2023, the association announced Wednesday.

Stocks Fall; Jakks Soars, CytRx Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,851. The S&P 500 fell five points to 2,114. The Nasdaq fell 36 points to 5,172. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 240.

Citigroup Shuts Down L.A.’s Banamex After Money-Laundering Settlement

New York finance giant Citigroup Inc. announced Wednesday it will shut down its Los Angeles subsidiary Banamex USA after agreeing to a $140 million settlement with federal and California regulators over the bank’s failure to adequately monitor possible money laundering.

Reader Poll

Should cities strictly limit AirBNB rentals?

Rubicon Opens D.C. Office to Capture Campaign Ad Dollars

Digital advertising exchange Rubicon Project is opening an office in Washington to capture some what is expected to be nearly $1 billion in digital advertising spending by political campaigns.

Minimum Wage Hiked By Board of Supervisors

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to raise the minimum age to $15 an hour, up from $9, by 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports. It only applies in unincorporated areas of the county. Some business leaders and public officials are still opposed, saying it could cost jobs and could encourage some businesses to move to cities that don’t force increase.

More Water Limits Possible

You may soon have to rethink watering your lawn. In an effort to save water, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners voted Tuesday to recommend that the City Council consider rules to limit watering from three days a week to two if Los Angeles does not meet state and local conservation targets, the Los Angeles Times reports. If passed, customers could see tighter restrictions by next month.

Honest Co. to Move to Playa Vista

Santa Monica’s Honest Co. is planning a move early next year, signing a lease for more than 80,000 square feet at 12130 Millennium Drive in the office complex known as i|o at Playa Vista, the Business Journal reports. The ecommerce company, co-founded by actress Jessica Alba and L.A. entrepreneur Brian Lee, signed an 11-year lease last week that triples its current space, according to sources.

Weighing Plans for a Koreatown Museum

A proposal for a non-profit to build a Korean American Museum near Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue may raise questions about how non-profits use city property. That’s because the group also wants to build a $20 million market-rate apartment complex on the lot, which it is renting from the city for $1 a year, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. A developer estimates the property could be worth about $4 million, yet the city would get no money from the deal.

Santa Barbara Plans for Drought Relief

The drought may soon lead Santa Barbara, known for being a leader in conserving water, to finally reactivate a desalination plant as city lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $55 million to do so, the Los Angeles Times reports. The plant is expected to be operating by 2016.

Barcelona Wins

It was an historic night in Pasadena as Barcelona, even in the absence of two of its superstars, Lionel Messi and Neymar, defeated the L.A. Galaxy 2-1 before a sold-out Rose Bowl with more than 93,000 people in attendance, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 29 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,890. The S&P 500 was down five points to 2,114. The Nasdaq was down 42 points to 5,167. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 239.

Honest Co., in Expansion Mode, Will Move to Playa Vista

Honest Co., having signed a lease for more than 80,000 square feet in Playa Vista, will relocate from Santa Monica early next year.

Tuesday, July 21

Vubiquity to Transition Turner’s Cable Content

L.A.’s Vubiquity Tuesday announced a partnership with Atlanta’s Turner Broadcasting to convert cable television broadcasts into formats suitable for on-demand cable and Internet viewing.

CytRx Shares Plummet after Pricing Offering

Shares of Brentwood biotech firm CytRx Corp. tumbled Tuesday after the company announced it would price a forthcoming public offering of 9.1 million shares of common stock at $2.75 a share, well below where shares have been trading for most of the year.

Amgen’s Gains EU Approval for Anti-Cholesterol Drug

The European Commission has authorized Amgen Inc. to sell its anti-cholesterol drug Repatha, the company announced Tuesday.

WSJ: FCC Close to Approving AT&T-DirecTV Deal

Telecom giant AT&T’s proposed $49 billion acquisition of El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV could soon get the OK from federal regulators.

Tuesday Rundown: Kind Financial Launches Cannabis Banking Software, Saban Picks Up Hello Kitty Exec

Hollywood marijuana industry finance firm Kind Financial announced Tuesday that it has teamed up with former bank regulators to introduce software that the firm promises will allow cannabis businesses to remain compliant with bank regulations.

Stocks Fall; BreitBurn Energy Surges, CytRx Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 181 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,919. The S&P 500 fell nine points to 2,119. The Nasdaq fell 11 points to 5,208. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 240.

Jacobs Scores High-Speed Rail Contract

Local companies continue to cash in on California’s high-speed rail project, with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. in Pasadena announcing Tuesday it has been awarded the design services contract for the $1.2 billion second phase of the north-south rail line.

Regulators OK CIT-OneWest Deal

Just shy of a year after the deal was first announced, federal banking regulators have signed off on New Jersey lender CIT Group Inc.’s purchase of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank.

L.A. Hospitals are Tops

The best hospital rankings are out and Los Angeles hospitals measured up, with UCLA Medical Center tying for third place on the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll, which is reserved for hospitals nationwide ranking near the top in six or more specialties, the Business Journal reports. Cedars-Sinai was the top-ranked hospital in the Los Angeles Metro area.

Elon Musk Deflects Blame

Billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is blaming last month’s rocket failure on a part purchased from a subcontractor that snapped under pressure, the Los Angeles Times reports. He did acknowledge, though that his company’s quality-control practices could also be improved.

Good News: More Bad Weather

El Nino is gaining strength in the Pacific Ocean which means the current weather pattern should continue through next year, potentially meaning a wet year for drought-stricken California, according to forecasters, Bloomberg reports.

New Legislation Aimed at Drones

After firefighters complained that several drones interfered with efforts to put out a fire near the 15 freeway last week, state lawmakers have authored a bill that would fine and potentially jail drone operators who interfere with firefighting, the San Bernardino Sun reports.

GOP Field Getting More Crowded

Ohio’s governor John Kasich will become the 16th (yes, 16th) Republican presidential contender to enter the race when he officially declares his intentions Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hollywood’s Headache

The rise of 3-D printers is adding up to another piracy problem for Hollywood as the mini manufacturing devices are being used to make unlicensed toys including “Star Wars” blasters, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fed: Shrink or Pay Up

The nation’s eight biggest banks will have to hold on to more cash or shrink their balance sheets under new rules set by the Federal Reserve aimed at reducing the harm their failure would have on the financial system, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new rule won’t take full effect until 2019.

Change of Heart

After drivers were ordered by California Highway Patrol officers to abandon their cars on the 15 freeway during the fire that swept through the Cajon Pass on Friday, tow companies that initially charged car owners hundreds of dollars for picking up their vehicles are now offering refunds, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Albertsons Sues Haggen

Albertsons is suing Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen, accusing that company of fraud in failing to pay for more than $36 million of inventory when it purchased 146 Albertsons and Vons grocery stores, the Los Angeles Times reports. The stores include 83 California stores, most of them in Southern California.

Truck Drivers to Strike, Again

Some port truck drivers are walking off their jobs Tuesday, demanding to be labeled as employees by Pacific 9 Transportation, which maintains the drivers are independent contractors, the Los Angeles Times reports. This will mark the sixth such strike in two years against the company.

Toshiba Executives Resign

Executives with Japan’s Toshiba Corp., including its president and vice chairman, have resigned as a result of a $1.2 billion accounting scandal that forced the company to restate earnings for more than six years, Bloomberg reports.

Go Ahead, Have a Double-Double

Who said fast food is bad for you? A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois says it’s actually better for your health than fine dining, with lower levels of sodium and cholesterol, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 131 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,969. The S&P 500 was down two points to 2,126. The Nasdaq was up four points to 5,223. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 241.

UCLA Medical Center Ranks Among Nation’s Top Hospitals

Several Los Angeles hospitals scored high marks in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings released Tuesday morning.

Monday, July 20

L.A. Tech Investors to Guest Invest on ‘Shark Tank’

Besides a few moments of fame, is there an investing advantage to going on reality television?

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Skechers, Jakks Pacific Team Up on Twinkle Toes Dolls

Manhattan Beach footwear firm Skechers USA Inc. has teamed up with Malibu toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc. to launch a new doll line based on Skechers’ Twinkle Toes shoes and a series of web videos based on the characters.

Reader Poll

READER POLL: Would you give your pet treats that contained cannabis products or extracts?

Crystal Sets Sights on Rivers, Skies

West L.A. luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises is setting a new course for expansion, announcing plans for new ships, new routes and even its own deluxe Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Preferred Bank Goes Bi-Coastal

Downtown L.A.’s Preferred Bank, which focuses on lending to Chinese-American businesses, announced Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire United International Bank in Flushing, N.Y.

Stocks Rise; U.S. Auto Parts Revs Up, BreitBurn Energy Stalls

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14 points in Monday trading to close at 18,100. The S&P 500 rose two points to 2,128. The Nasdaq rose nine points to 5,219. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 241.

L.A. Tech Event Calendar July 19 – Aug. 1

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

County Minimum Wage Expected to Pass

It looks like the Los Angeles County minimum wage hike is likely to pass Tuesday, now that Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who failed to back the plan last month, has changed her mind, the Los Angeles Times reports. Solis says she will support a gradual increase to $15 an hour after her concerns were addressed following a study of small businesses in unincorporated areas.

Make Way for Style and Beauty

Los Angeles Times readers will get a bigger dose of high fashion news after parent company Tribune Co. struck a content deal with Penske Media Corp.’s Women's Wear Daily. Stories from the rag trade rag will start appearing in September, the Times reports. The deal extends WWD’s readership beyond its New York base.

Summer Downpour Breaks Records

A rare summer rain storm, accompanied by thunder and lightning over the weekend, set records for the most rainfall in July and closed beaches and caused power outages, the Los Angeles Times reports. There were also mudslide threats in Moreno Valley, but the rain is expected to subside by Tuesday.

Time for an Apology

After sending out letters to some residents accusing them of over-watering in the wake of an ordinance restricting watering to Tuesdays and Saturdays, Burbank officials are now apologizing to several hundred recipients they determined weren’t guilty of any violations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Whirlybird Deal

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said it had a dealt to buy Black Hawk and presidential helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion, the Associated Press reports. Hartford’s United Technologies Corp. owns Sikorsky and wants to use money from the sale for additional stock buybacks.

History Made at Last

After being closed for more than 50 years, the United States Embassy in Cuba quietly reopened Monday as full diplomatic ties between both countries are now restored, the New York Times reports. An official celebration is expected to take place later this summer when Secretary of State John Kerry plans to visit.

Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Dominates, Beating ‘Minions’

Disney’s “Ant-Man,” dominated the box office this weekend, bringing in $58 million while Universal Pictures’ animated “Minions” slipped to the No. 2 spot, generating $50.2 million. Another Universal Pictures film, “Trainwreck,” made its debut at third place, grossing $30.2 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up one point in early trading Monday to 18,088. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,127. The Nasdaq was up ten points to 5,220. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Regulators Look at Alleged Collaboration of Banks

LENDING: City National, RBC must wait until after merger to work together.

When downtown L.A.’s City National Bank agreed to merge with Toronto’s Royal Bank of Canada, City National Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith said the deal would let his bank do more for its customers by leveraging RBC’s much bigger balance sheet.


Tech startups eager to link with Gary Winnick

More than a decade after Global Crossing’s collapse, Gary Winnick’s name can still charge up interest in L.A.’s tech sector.

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REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Landlords Dial Back on Perks; Investors Pick Up Acquisition Pace

The San Fernando Valley’s commercial submarkets remained heated in the second quarter despite widespread rate-creep continuing to affect tenant costs in the office sector.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Increased Residential Density Has Commercial Tenants Homing In

Headline-watchers might be eyeing all the development in downtown Los Angeles, but savvy tenants seeking affordable space with a growing residential population and increasingly easy access to other parts of the city are focused on Wilshire Corridor.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Submarket Still Developing With 1.1 Million Square Feet Under Way

Continued interest and activity in Hollywood made it the tightest office submarket in Los Angeles County last quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Law, Engineering Firms Help Hold Down Vacancies With Big Deals

A number of large lease deals defined the second-quarter office submarket in downtown Los Angeles.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Rental Rates Continue to Rise as Beverly Hills Reaches New Record

Westside landlords continued to lick their chops in the second quarter as demand for office space outstripped supply for another quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Tenants’ Race for Space Reaches Prerecession Pace

Tenants leased up more office space in Los Angeles County last quarter than they had since before the recession.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Developers Frame Projects for Artists’ Community

Developers look to get Lincoln Heights off the ground as the next affordable, “undiscovered” market.


Developers look to reap benefits from zoning change in downtown L.A.’s Cornfields area that gives projects break on parking space.

Projects are plowing into L.A.’s Cornfields, near downtown, to take advantage of zoning changes unique to the area.

Co-Founders Go With Grains at Filipino Eatery

DINING: Ricebar co-owners serve fast-casual lunches to local business crowd.

When chef Charles Olalia came back to Los Angeles after getting married in his native Philippines, he decided to start cooking more dishes that reminded him of home.

Hospital Operator Nurses Patient Volume, Revenue

EXPANSION: Keck Medical sees growth as industry copes with Obamacare.

Keck Medicine has been growing. A lot.

Yoga Clothing Maker Stretches Into New Location

APPAREL: Co-owner says domestic manufacturing boosts YogaSmoga brand.

Athletic apparel brand YogaSmoga is based in New York, but some of its manufacturing – and now all of its growth – is happening in Southern California.

China’s Stock Market Bust May Break L.A.’s Way

INVESTMENT: Analysts see exchange’s drop resulting in more money sent here.

Analysts see China’s market crash possibly spurring investors there to stock up on L.A. assets.

Jeans Maker’s Shares Zip Up on CEO Selection

FASHION: Victor Herrero’s Asian ties could help Guess pocket more business.

Clothing company Guess’ announcement of its new CEO proves tailor-made to investors’ liking.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Soylent, producer of an engineered product, is moving its downtown L.A. headquarters, signing a lease for 16,400 square feet of space at Broadway Media Center.

Never Say Never to Neverland Ranch

When Elizabeth Taylor married Larry Fortensky at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in 1991, Trip Haenisch was one of the members of her wedding party.

Brothers Pour Themselves Into Brewery

Lawyer joins sibling, wife to serve up suds in downtown L.A.

Lawyer Todd Mumford has his brother’s scientific know-how on tap at their craft brewery.

Flying Fish Hit Series of Highs

TV: Syfy on rise as audiences take ‘Sharknado’ for whirl.

Cable channel Syfy has spun its cheesy, low-cost “Sharknado” movie series into ratings gold.

Petroleum Plan Fuels Pushback

ENERGY: Oil, trucking firms rip state proposal to reduce use.

Oil and transportation companies hope to drive off a state measure to cut vehicles’ petroleum use by 50 percent.

Director’s Epic Find for New Western

Quentin Tarantino used ‘Ben-Hur’ lenses to shoot ‘Hateful.’

Quentin Tarantino took the camera lenses used for “Ben-Hur” out for a ride on his Western “ The Hateful Eight.”

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Pet Store Unleashes Cannabis

Pussy & Pooch offers treats it claims can calm animals’ nerves.

Pussy & Pooch looks to build buzz around THC-free cannabis treats as a way to soothe dogs.

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Product Placement

BEAUTY: Skin care firms flesh out strategy to keep items from unapproved sellers.

Skin care company Murad is fighting to end the shelf life of its products being sold by unapproved vendors.

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Going Well

CBRE Group sets up new HQ as home base to push building standard program for offices.

CBRE Group says Well Building standards help the office environment work for its employees.

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Bank Looks to Unlock Value With Public Offering

INVESTMENT: Vet execs at Houlihan Lokey may seek opportunity to cash out.

Longtime execs could be banking on Houlihan Lokey’s planned IPO as a chance to cash out.

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Rail Car Must Get Back on Track

Lack of safety features is keeping the Angles Flight grounded, but Charles Crumpley writes that the result is kind of dangerous.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Recovering Economy Boosts Already Mighty Industrial Strength

Years of dismal activity in the South Bay office market finally gave way to good news in the second quarter as rents rose, vacancies declined and much more space was absorbed.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Arrival of Pasadena Office Complex Offsets Healthy Lease Activity

A large new office complex hitting the market in Pasadena made the Tri-Cities office submarket look depleted last quarter despite some significant lease deals.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Submarket’s Class A Pickings Dwindle With No Projects on Way

What happens where there is nowhere to go?

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Companies Sign Up for Long Term as Industrial Rents Head Up

Stability was the order of the day in San Gabriel Valley, where second-quarter commercial real estate activity retained its robust postrecession pace.

Sunday, July 19

Firm Took Marketing Path To Stand on Immigration

INTERNET: MiTú viewed Donald Trump uproar as means to engage audience.

Digital media firm MiTú used the uproar over Donald Trump’s immigration comments to channel viewers to its content.

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Friday, July 17

Blank Check for Gores Group

Gores Group plans to buy something – but it hasn’t said what.

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: July 17

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

L.A. Launch List: July 17

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

Insurrection Mixes Internet Video Production with Hollywood

Fox Television Group Senior Vice President Kiliaen Van Rensselaer announced his departure Wednesday to launch Insurrection Media, a digital studio he said would “shoot first ask questions later.”

Condom Measure to Make Ballot, Backers Say

Condoms could soon be coming to the ballot box.

Guess, Kite Pharma Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 2 percent to close at 240, with gainers outnumbering losers 97 to 53. Six companies closed the week unchanged.

Investors Tie American Apparel’s Hands

At the downtown L.A. apparel maker’s annual meeting Thursday, shareholders voted against a proposal that would have boosted the total number of shares the company can sell, effectively limiting the amount of cash the company can raise by selling additional equity.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 34 points in Friday trading to close at 18,086. The S&P 500 rose two points to 2,127. The Nasdaq rose 47 points to 5,210. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 240.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

El Segundo firm Century Park Capital Partners announced Tuesday that it has acquired Better Life Technology, a Lenexa, Kan., manufacturer of specialized vinyl flooring products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

County Unemployment Falls Amid Slight Jobs Gain

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell in June to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in May following a modest gain in employer payrolls, state figures released Friday show.

UCLA Health Data Breach Disclosed

UCLA Health announced today that hackers had accessed parts of its computer network containing personal and medical information. The hack may have occurred as early as last September. The health system said it had not found evidence that any individual’s information had been accessed.

BlueMountain Tapped to Back Daughters of Charity

After a long, contentious process, the Daughters of Charity Health System has announced a deal with private investment firm BlueMountain Capital Management to recapitalize its six ailing hospitals, including two in Los Angeles County, with more than $250 million.

FilmOn X Gets Closer to Streaming Live TV

We may be getting closer to the day when live TV can be streamed online. A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that streaming service FilmOn X of Beverly Hills is eligible for a special license to legally retransmit live TV on any computer or mobile device, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports. Networks, of course, are arguing against it, saying it could seriously hurt their core business model. See the Business Journal’s previous coverage here.

Wrestling Over Water Rights

California water regulators issued a cease and desist order Thursday to farmers pumping water from a branch of the San Joaquin River as the government continues to want the water rights farmers have had for more than 100 years, the Associated Press reports. Courts may soon have to decide whether the state can wield such power.

Uber’s Battle Over Data

Does Uber discriminate? That’s the question the Public Utilities Commission says can only be answered with data that Uber is refusing to disclose, the Los Angeles Times reports. While a judge Wednesday recommended Uber’s operations in the state be suspended, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners just approved a plan to allow Uber and its competitors to legally operate at the airport.

New Life for Export-Import Bank

You probably thought the Import-Export Bank had been effectively killed last month, but federal programs never die. Some in Congress hope to revive the bank, the Los Angeles Times reports, and their prospects look pretty good.

Trouble for Bank Merger?

Royal Bank of Canada’s proposed $5.4-billion acquisition of City National Bank of Los Angeles may be in hot water as the Federal Reserve is investigating whether the two banks already joined forces to loan a client hundreds of millions of dollars, the Los Angeles Times reports. No such collaboration is supposed to take place until a merger is approved by regulators.

Senate Approves Drought Bill

A drought bill aimed at helping San Joaquin Valley growers by funneling more water to them and reducing the amount in waterways passed the House of Representatives Thursday but is not expected to pass the Senate, the Los Angeles Times reports. Democrats and environmental groups oppose the measure, saying it would interfere with the legal protections for fish. Republicans generally support it, saying much of America’s food comes from the Central Valley.

Caviar With Your Twinkie?

Move aside deep-fried Oreos and pickles stuffed with peanut butter. This year, there’s something new on the menu at the Orange County Fair, which kicks off this weekend: caviar-slathered Twinkies. But the delicacy, which is being offered thanks to San Diego’s Chicken Charlie’s, won’t come cheap. It costs $125, LAist reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 80 points in early trading Friday to 18,040. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,121. The Nasdaq was up 24 points to 5,188. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 239.

FilmOn X is Cable Service Provider, Court Says

Billionaire Alkiviades “Alki” David has won a significant battle against the largest U.S. television networks – at least for now.

Thursday, July 16

Uber, Lyft Ready for LAX Takeoff?

Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies are a step closer to being able to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.

Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Buys Technology Firm

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care IT firm NantHealth announced Thursday it has acquired Harris Healthcare Solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Soon-Shiong said it is his firm’s largest acquisition to date.

Cargo Traffic Down in L.A., Long Beach

Cargo volume at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fell last month compared with the same period last year, the latest figures show.

Earnings Roundup: Mattel Reports Flat Sales, East West Beat Estimates

Struggling El Seguno toymaker Mattel Inc. released second-quarter earnings after markets closed Thursday, reporting a smaller loss than analysts had expected.

Work/Life Balance: Tami Pardee

The founder of real estate brokerage Pardee Properties on bringing her kids to work, following your passion and keeping things in perspective.

A daughter of builders, Tami Pardee naturally gravitated toward the real estate industry, though she made a few pit stops along the way.

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Yeti Acquired by Investment Group

To keep place-discovery app Yeti alive, the founders of its parent company, Hyphos, have sold a majority stake to a private investment group led by Santa Monica’s JA Partners and Seattle’s Edgewater Ventures.

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Tweets of the Week’s Katz likes Clinton’s capital gains plan, uBeam’s Perry on El Chapo.

Stocks Rise; Mannkind Climbs, Nova Lifestyle Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70 points in Thursday trading to close at 18,120. The S&P 500 rose 17 points to 2,124. The Nasdaq rose 64 points to 5,163. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 241.

Abundant Lawns Getting Cut Down

Lawns will soon shrivel as the California Water Commission just approved sharp limits on landscaping, the Los Angeles Times reports. Beginning Dec. 1, grass will be limited to 25 percent of the front, back and side yards of newly built homes. Owners of existing homes who launch significant renovations of landscaping also face cutbacks, and grass will be all but banned in landscapes of new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

Judge Rules Against Uber

Problems are mounting for Uber as a California judge ruled Wednesday that the ride-sharing service should be suspended from operating in the state and pay a fine of $7.3 million for failing to comply with laws that make sure any passenger can ride despite where they live, the Los Angeles Times reports. Uber plans to appeal.

‘No’ to Airbnb in Hollywood

In the latest battle over Airbnb, housing activists are calling on city officials to investigate Airbnb rentals at a Hollywood apartment building a short distance from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Los Angeles Times reports. They say the rentals are taking much needed housing off the market.

AllenCo May Be Back

After a couple of years of no oil production, AllenCo Energy Inc. now wants to negotiate a settlement with the Los Angeles city attorney's office to resume drilling oil in a South Los Angeles neighborhood near USC even though local residents have complained in the past, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tom Selleck Settles with Water District

Actor Tom Selleck, who had taken water from a hydrant in Thousand Oaks and transported it to his 60-acre place in Hidden Valley, has agreed to pay the Calleguas Municipal Water District nearly $22,000, the cost of its investigation, and is pleased with the settlement, according to his attorney, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lawyer said the water had previously been paid for, but the district said water should not have been taken outside the district.

Layoffs at Haggen Stores

The Haggen Inc. grocery chain may be new to town but has announced it already plans to lay off workers and cut hours across Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. The grocer bought 83 Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Safeway stores mostly in Southern California earlier this year.

More Contaminants in Ground Water

Water Districts need to be careful when they clean and filter their raw water. Nearly one-fifth of the groundwater used for our public drinking water systems has toxic contaminants, including traces of arsenic and uranium, according to a Geological Survey study, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Fretting Over Pay Hike

The local garment industry fears the city’s new minimum wage law, which will raise wages to $15 an hour by 2020, could drive them out of town, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Labor Market Improves a Bit

At least there’s a little good news on the job front. Jobless claims nationwide fell last week for the first time in a month, according to a Labor Department report released today, Bloomberg reports.

New Otter Pups Melt Hearts

The Los Angeles Zoo just unveiled video and photos of three endangered giant otter pups that were the first to be born at the zoo’s new Rainforest of the Americas, LAist reports. They are the first non-hand reared giant otter babies the zoo has had.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 33 points in early trading Thursday to 18,083. The S&P 500 was up 12 points to 2,120. The Nasdaq was up 43 points to 5,142. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 240.

Wednesday, July 15

Flipagram Stitches Together $70 Million Funding Round

Popular photo and video-editing app Flipagram has raised a massive $70 million Series B financing round from some of the biggest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.

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Wednesday Rundown: Hydra-Electric Co. Names New CEO, Marcus & Millichap Opens Satellite Office in Baltimore

Burbank aerospace manufacturer Hydra-Electric Co. has named aerospace industry veteran David Schmidt as chief executive.

AirMap Raises Funding for Drone Airspace Map

Drone airspace mapping company AirMap of Santa Monica has raised a $2.6 million seed round, according to a Security and Exchange Commission filing.

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Newest Disney Resort to Have Chinese Flavor

Walt Disney Co. unveiled details of its newest theme park to open next year in China, which will include attractions based on “Star Wars,” “Frozen” and Marvel superheroes.

Latest American Apparel Litigation: Hedge Fund Sues Charney

Yes, there’s been yet another volley in the legal battle at downtown L.A. apparel maker American Apparel Inc.

Stocks Fall; Research Solutions Rises, Ducommun Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell three points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,050. The S&P 500 fell two points to 2,107. The Nasdaq fell six points to 5,099. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than one point to 239.

Hollywood on Target for Good Returns

It looks like this may be a record year for Hollywood due to summer hits, including Universal Pictures’ “Jurassic World” and Pixar’s “Inside Out,” as well as upcoming holiday blockbusters that will be released later this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Higher Water Rates a Tough Sell

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power hasn’t exactly inspired confidence what with its bungled computer rollout and untended water mains that keep breaking. Now it faces the challenge of selling skeptical customers on the idea of raising rates, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Interest Rates Heading Up?

The time dreaded by many Americans – especially business operators and investors – may soon arrive. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, speaking to Congress this morning, was expected to say that short-term interest rates are “on a path” to rise this year since the economy continues to improve, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Petition Aims to Reopen Angels Flight

Some locals, including history buffs and business interests, have gathered more than 400 signatures on a petition to get the historic Angels Flight railway reopened. It was closed a couple of years ago due to safety issues, even though the Fire Department said it was safe, City News Service reports.

More Lawn Restrictions Could Be Coming

Picturing a lush landscaping along with your new house or commercial building? You may have to think again as the California Water Commission is scheduled to consider new rules Wednesday that would significantly cut the amount of water that can be used for landscapes for newly built houses as well as schools and businesses, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New CEO at Guess

Sales have been sagging for some time at jeans maker Guess, and now its co-founder, Paul Marciano, is stepping down as chief executive to make way for Victor Herrero, a managing director at the Spanish apparel company Inditex Group, the Los Angeles Times reports. Marciano will continue as chief creative officer.

San Diego Approves Stadium Report

In an effort to keep the San Diego Chargers from moving to Carson, San Diego officials voted Tuesday to spend $2.1 million on an environmental impact report to look at a possible new stadium for the Chargers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Uber, Lyft Bill Held Up

A California carpooling measure that would allow ride-sharing companies, including Uber and Lyft, to charge passengers separately for carpooling has stalled in a Senate committee ahead of a Friday deadline which now makes the bill’s future unclear, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Has the Beverly Center been holding out on shoppers when it comes to eating options? Could be, since the mall’s daily visits by food trucks have been a secret until now, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 13 points in early trading Wednesday at 18,066. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,112. The Nasdaq was up 16 points to 5,121. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 239.

Tuesday, July 14

Adshare Buys Latin Music YouTube Network

In a surprise move, copyright identification company Adshare said it had purchased Latin music YouTube multichannel network Primo Media. The terms were not disclosed

Guess Founder Paul Marciano Steps Aside as CEO

There’s no more questioning who will be the new head at Guess Inc.

Tuesday Rundown: Green Dot Opens Shanghai Office, Aecom Sells Staffing Unit, Molina Buys in Florida Again

Pasadena prepaid debit card firm Green Dot Corp has opened a new subsidiary in China that will focus on technology and software development.

Stocks Rise; Simulations Plus Soars, General Finance Tumbles

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,054. The S&P 500 rose nine points to 2,109. The Nasdaq rose 33 points to 5,105. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 238.

L.A. Location Filming Drops on Fewer Commercials

Location filming in the Los Angeles area fell by 2 percent in the second quarter, driven by a sharp drop in the production of commercials, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Milkens Sell U.S. Education Business

This story has been updated from a previous version. L.A. billionaires Michael and Lowell Milken have struck a deal to sell their early-childhood education business, Knowledge Universe Education, to Swiss private equity firm Partners Group.

B. Riley Jumps to Nasdaq

Shares of West L.A. investment bank and brokerage B. Riley Financial Inc. will start trading on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday, making the jump from an over-the-counter exchange.

Crowdfunder Realty Mogul Raises $35 Million

Realty Mogul, a commercial real estate crowdfunding website, has just announced a $35 million Series B investment. The round was led by Sorenson Capital with participation from Canaan Partners.

Sky High Deck to Be Built for Tourists

A rooftop observatory may soon be the crowning achievement of downtown’s U.S. Bank Tower as part of a new $50-million makeover of the building by the new owner, Singapore’s Overseas Union Enterprises Ltd., the Los Angeles Times reports. The 72-story building is the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast.

Facelift for Ports O' Call Getting Nearer

A long-sought plan to redevelop San Pedro’s Ports O' Call took a big step forward Monday evening when Los Angeles port officials approved plans for the developer, L.A. Waterfront, to give the waterfront development a makeover, the Daily Breeze reports. A crucial ground lease is still needed.

Historic Nuclear Deal Sealed

It’s been years in the making, but Iran and six world powers have announced they’ve reached an agreement to curb that country’s nuclear program in exchange for ending sanctions, Bloomberg reports. Abundant opposition remains, but two-thirds votes in both the Senate and the House are needed to kill the deal.

Investment Bank Going Public

Century City investment bank Houlihan Lokey, which advises companies on acquisitions, finance and bankruptcies, now aims to go public, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Record-Breaking Gas Prices

Talk about pain at the pump. Gasoline prices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties have surged 50 cents or more lately, topping $4 on Monday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Sale of Fire Station Hosed by Some Residents

Plans to use an old fire station to help remake Studio City’s landmark Sportsmen’s Lodge into a commercial hub called Sportsmen’s Landing are not sitting well with critics who are questioning why the fire station was sold to a developer in the first place, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Desert Scavenger Hunt to Draw Crowd

If you’re up for some unusual weekend fun, you might want to check out this year’s “Rental Car Rally,” where participants dress up in costumes and drive through the desert, trying to hit checkpoints while dodging obstacles such as eggs thrown by competitors, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 15 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,992. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,103. The Nasdaq was up 15 points to 5,086. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 237.

Monday, July 13

Newegg Rolls Out Consumer Financing

Citing demand from consumers, online electronics retailer Newegg has launched a new financing program.

Jacobs Engineering Group Names New Chief

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has named Steven Demetriou, former chief executive of aluminum producer Aleris Corp., as its new chief executive and president, the company announced Monday.

Comic-Con Report: This Year’s Hits and Misses

Comic-Con is over for another year, but the buzz is still buzzing, especially for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which delivered the most anticipated presentation of the San Diego pop-culture fest.

Port Leaders Take Up Scaled-Down San Pedro Plan

After years of delay, a new, scaled-down project at San Pedro’s Ports O’ Call Village is scheduled to be taken up Monday by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Little Minions Lifting Universal Again

Universal Pictures continued its record year as “Minions” brought in $115 million over the weekend making it the second-biggest animated opening ever.

Stocks Rise; General Finance Climbs, BreitBurn Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 217 points in Monday trading to close at 17,978. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 2,100. The Nasdaq rose 74 points to 5,072. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 237.

Nasty Gal Founder Turns to YouTube

Nasty Gal founder and Executive Chairman Sophia Amoruso announced on Twitter that she is taking her #Girlboss brand to YouTube.

Finally: ‘Agreek-ment’

Greece reached an agreement overnight with European creditors to ease the country’s immediate debt crisis, but the question remains whether Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be able to sell the plan back home, the New York Times reports. Still, the move is a relief to many markets across the globe.

Uber Drivers Arrested

Three drivers of the ride-sharing service Uber say they are the victims of entrapment after being arrested Friday by Los Angeles Police Department officers during an undercover sting operation, CBS Los Angeles reports. The drivers claim the move could scare away other Uber drivers.

Drought Shaming the Government

Sure, Californians are being told not to waste water, but not all federal facilities are complying, including the Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Medical Center. It was recently caught on hidden camera wasting water, CBS Los Angeles reports, and one federal official threatened to seize the camera.

Some Outdoor Showers Spray On

While the drought has led state officials to shut off outdoor showers at California parks and beaches, some beaches, including Dockweiler and Will Rogers State beaches, won’t be heeding the measure, the Daily Breeze reports. Both of those beaches are managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, which is not required to comply.

Burbank Airport Expansion?

It may be decided this week if a new 14-gate replacement terminal is coming to Burbank Airport as the City Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday with airport officials to discuss the plan, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Trade-In

Empowered car shoppers are strolling into local dealerships with vouchers of up to $9,500 in hand as part of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Replace Your Ride program that helps Californians trade in their gas guzzling cars for electric ones, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Clearing American Airlines’ Name

In light of the Justice Department’s investigation into major airlines possibly joining forces to keep airfares high, the chief executive of American Airlines, Doug Parker, wrote a letter to his employees, saying the airlines has done nothing wrong, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Eye on the Federal Reserve

Now that Greece appears poised for a bailout, some analysts say the Federal Reserve may soon call for that long-expected rate hike, CNBC reports.

Box Office: ‘Minions’ Dominate ‘Jurassic World’

Universal Pictures’ animated film, “Minions,” ruled the box office this weekend, breaking records by bringing in $115.2 million while “Jurassic World” slipped to a distant No. 2 spot, making $18.1 million. Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” came in third place, grossing $17.1 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Real-Life Superhero

While Comic-Con drew some of the biggest names in Hollywood to San Diego, one of the stars of the civil rights movement, Congressman John Lewis, also showed up to “cosplay,” leading a march through the convention while portraying a real-life hero: himself, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 186 points in early trading Monday to 17,946. The S&P 500 was up 19 points to 2,096. The Nasdaq was up 59 points to 5,057. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 237.

Brentwood Apartments Deal in Record Territory

ACQUISITION: $1 million-a-unit price sets new high for nonbeach property.

A Spanish revival-style apartment complex in Brentwood traded hands last week for more than $1 million a unit, the highest price per unit ever paid for an L.A. multifamily building not near a beach.

Executives Work to Keep Special Olympics on Track

SPORTS: Competition will be largest L.A. event since Olympic Games in 1984.

Special Olympics World Games board discusses the challenges of L.A.’s biggest sporting event since the ’84 Olympics.

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Ex-Home Broker Now Sold on Shopping Centers

REAL ESTATE: Household name Fred Sands explains transition to retail investing.

Former home broker Fred Sands is now getting his name out there as an investor in shopping centers.

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Hospital Owner In Recovery Mode Is Drawing Suitors

Daughters of Charity Health System gets a shot in the arm from Medicaid as it still pursues a sale of its hospitals.

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Stores Look to Take Back Streets

REGULATION: Owners hope to limit legalization of rival vendors.

Brick-and-mortar shops hope to curb a push in the city of Los Angeles to legalize street vending.

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Owner Has Naked Ambition for Nude Photos

COLLECTING: Marilyn Monroe shots could sell for millions.

Owner of nude Marilyn Monroe photos believes the iconic images are ready for a big sale.

Parents Homed In on School Option

Home-schooling is making the grade with parents seeking alternatives to the public system, writes Aaron Smith.

Water-Proof Proposal

Californians must break from pack of group think and take plunge on desalination to ease drought.

Noel Anenberg urges parched Californians to toughen up and dive into desalination.

It’s a Matter of Street Smarts

Legalized street vending might lower prices and increase entrepreneurship and Charles Crumpley wonders if Los Angeles could stomach that.

Litigation Firm Cools on Hiring Summer Interns

EMPLOYMENT: Cuts by Quinn Emanuel spurred by cost, resistant clients.

Downtown L.A.’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is shaking up its business model for the second time this year.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

City Sends Up Smoke Signals on Tougher Rules

TOBACCO: L.A. mulls new penalties for cig sales to minors, in-shop smoking

Local tobacco retailers and smoke lounges are warily eyeing the rollout by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer of tougher enforcement standards aimed at preventing sales of tobacco products to minors and protecting workers from secondhand smoke.

Accelerator Vets Speed Way to Another Startup

SOFTWARE: Duo launched Replicated after selling off chat service

Tech accelerators in Silicon Beach such as Amplify.LA have done their best to fortify and bolster the local technology industry over the last few years by providing new companies with seed money, office space, mentorship, and networking with VCs and other entrepreneurs.

Zombie Program Could Live With Misleading Title

TV: Fake name helped ‘Dead’ prequel production remain low profile in L.A.

A spinoff series to TV’s wildly popular zombie show “The Walking Dead” has been secretly filming in Los Angeles under a fake title.

Wall Street Takes Interest in Mortgage Investor

FINANCE: Anworth shares rise as rate increase by Fed seen as unlikely.

Anworth Mortgage Asset Corp.’s shares climb as Fed shows little interest in raising rates.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Response Genetics Inc., an East L.A. maker of diagnostic tests, was delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market last week and began trading on the Over-the-Counter market.

Watered-Down Cycling Vacation

Lauren Haas will never again misunderstand the meaning of “water resistant.”

Shoes Put Foot Down on Pain

Tanya Heath Paris products step in to allow customers to switch heel sizes, colors.

Shoe brand Tanya Heath Paris helps women step away from foot pain with switchable heels.

Sun Screen Seeks Exposure

Sun Shield looks for hand from Special Olympics by setting dispensers at events.

Sun Shield teams with the Special Olympics, hoping people take a shine to its sun-screen dispensers.

Labor Buds

Pot shop staffers build buzz for union’s local

Enrollment of pot shop employees lights fire under United Food and Commercial Workers’ local.

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Sunday, July 12

Playing Rough

INTERNET: Content firms contend pirated videos on Facebook’s platform could cost them millions of views, dollars.

Facebook’s video platform doesn’t play well with content owners who say they are losing money and viewers.

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Shocking Image

Billionaire owner of FilmOn X shakes up media industry with bid to move TV online.

FilmOn X looks to get a line on streaming live network TV shows by claiming it’s a cable service provider.

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Friday, July 10

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: July 10

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

SpaceX Crash Costs NASA $110 Million

The SpaceX rocket that crashed after takeoff while on its way to the International Space Station last month was more than just a failure for the Hawthorne rocket firm: It’s also turning into a burden for taxpayers as it’s going to cost them $110 million, NASA officials announced Friday.

Disney Launches Its Second Annual Startup Accelerator Class

Walt Disney Co. of Burbank has selected 10 companies for its second annual tech accelerator program.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Brentwood firm Corbel Structured Equity Partners announced Wednesday that it has invested in Culver City nail products company Cosmetic Design Group alongside Newport Beach firm Five Crowns Capital. Irvine’s Opus Bank provided financing for the deal. Terms were not disclosed.

TrueCar, Nova Lifestyle Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ Stock Index ticked up 1 percent to 234, with an equal number of losers and gainers: 74. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Staff Terminations Land Satellite Launcher in Court

AEROSPACE: Plaintiffs say SpaceX violated state law on giving proper notice.

Former employees fire off lawsuits after being let go by satellite launcher SpaceX.

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Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 212 points in Friday trading to close at 17,760. The S&P 500 rose 25 points to 2,077. The Nasdaq rose 75 points to 4,998. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 234.

L.A. Launch List: July 10

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

24 Years Later, Collapsed Insurer Case Settled

The final chapter appears to have closed in the quarter-century battle resulting from the collapse of Los Angeles insurance company Executive Life and an ensuing legal scuffle that stretched from Sacramento to Paris.

Comic-Con Report: ‘Star Wars’ Fans Out in Force

For “Star Wars” fans, the center of the universe – at least for today – is Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center, which will soon host a presentation previewing the latest film in the franchise, “The Force Awakens.”

The NFL Needs a Timeout

Rose Bowl officials’ decision earlier this week to reject the NFL’s request to use the venue as a temporary home if a team relocates to Los Angeles has stunned league officials. It’s also narrowed their options for a temporary home for a team, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The ‘Sharing Economy’ Fight is On

Ride-sharing Uber is fighting back, setting out its case why a potentially ruinous lawsuit in San Francisco by drivers should not go forward, CNBC reports. The case could decide whether the drivers are employees or independent contractors, and could upend the whole “sharing economy” business model in California.

Lawn-Removal Rebates Are Over

For those thinking about replacing their lawn with drought-resistant turf to get a rebate may need to think again. At least, the Los Angeles Times reports that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California says all the rebate money has been spoken for. However, some local water districts are scrambling to find ways to revive the program.

Is Fracking Harmful or Not?

Whenever a study fails to show what the backers want it show, they often conclude that more study is needed. A local panel on Thursday said that when it comes to fracking, more study is needed, the Daily Breeze reports.

Possible Agreement for Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck has reached a tentative settlement in his dispute with the water district that accused the actor of illegally moving water from Thousand Oaks to his 60-acre Hidden Valley estate, the Los Angeles Times reports. The water district board is scheduled to decide whether to approve the deal next week.

Flipping the Script

Private equity firms, which have helped bankroll big Hollywood talent agencies in recent years, are changing the way business is done, the Los Angeles Times reports. Now they’re the ones shouting “Show us the money!” to talent agencies.

No Going Back

Oil entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens is standing by his prediction that oil will hit $70 a barrel by year’s end, saying that demand will grow while production nationwide slows, CNBC reports. U.S. crude closed under $53 yesterday.

Making the Grade?

You know how most restaurants have that “A” rating? Los Angeles County officials want to toughen the grading system since it allows eateries with major health problems to get high grades, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Walk in the Rain Without Getting Wet

If you’re missing rain during this drought, you may want to try out a new “Rain Room” headed to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this fall in which visitors can walk through a simulated downpour without getting wet, LAist reports. It’s proven to be so popular that people in New York and London have waited hours in line for the experience.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 178 points in early trading Friday to 17,727. The S&P 500 was up 20 points to 2,071. The Nasdaq was up 53 points to 4,975. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 234.

Thursday, July 9

Nation’s Largest Car Dealer Cuts Ties with TrueCar

AutoNation, the country’s largest car dealer, said it will sever its contract with car pricing website TrueCar at the end of July because of a dispute over data collection.

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Soon-Shiong’s Nant Joins $100 Million Cancer Therapy Venture

A subsidiary of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Culver City health care company NantWorks and a San Diego pharmaceutical company are jointly investing $100 million to develop cancer therapies.

SBE Sales Spread to Restaurant Brands

Sam Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment Group has designs on becoming a brand management and licensing firm – but now it’s selling off two of its brands.

Work/Life Balance: Devin Haman

The entrepreneur and former reality TV star on aging, living for today and escaping to Nashville.

Devin Haman is in high demand.

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Stocks Rise; RadNet Soars, TrueCar Brakes

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,549. The S&P 500 rose five points to 2,051. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,922. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Tweets of the Week

Eisner’s Polo, Magic’s Boat

Comic-Con Report: Hunger Games Feeds Fan Appetites

On the first full day of Comic-Con, Santa Monica’s Lions Gate Entertainment roared into the convention by having Jennifer Lawrence and her co-stars from “The Hunger Games” franchise premiere the trailer from the forthcoming final film in the series that has so far earned more than $2 billion worldwide.

Zealot Enters Content Market With Latest Purchase

Zealot wants to go viral.

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The Answer is No

If an NFL team returns to Los Angeles, where will it play until its stadium is built? Apparently not in Pasadena. The Rose Bowl Operating Committee unanimously voted Wednesday not to respond to a feeler sent out by the NFL, the Pasadena Star News reports.

Aim to Boost Water Rates

Get ready for rising water rates. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to increase fees over the next five years to help improve water conservation with more pressure being placed on customers who use the most water, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Surprise! DeAndre Jordan’s Back

In a stunning turnaround, premier center DeAndre Jordan spurned the Dallas Mavericks and re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers last night, USA Today reports. The Clippers owner, coach and players all converged on Jordan’s home in Houston yesterday and convinced him to return.

Bob Hope Airport No More?

Bob Hope’s name may be dropped from Burbank Airport if some consultants and airport staff have their way, opting for Los Angeles Burbank Airport instead in hopes of luring more travelers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The idea is not sitting well with Hope’s family or local business owners and City Council members though.

Worry Over Hacking Attacks

They may have just been coincidental and caused by technical snarls. But Wednesday’s computer outages, which halted trading at the New York Stock Exchange and grounded United Airlines flights, have government officials concerned about how vulnerable they could be to cyberattacks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More People Looking for Jobs

There’s still bad news on the jobs front. Jobless claims rose last week to their highest level since February with claims totaling 297,000 nationwide compared to the 275,000 estimated, according to the Department of Labor, CNBC reports.

Concern About China

China’s stock market crash isn’t just devastating for that country but could have far-reaching implications with some comparing it to the 1929 stock market crash that set off the Great Depression, the Telegraph reports. Of course, there are implications for Los Angeles, where many newly wealthy Chinese had chosen to invest.

Walking Tribute to Comic-Con

It’s hard enough to walk 645 miles, but harder to do it dressed up as Stormtrooper. That’s what a Minnesota man is doing this week, walking from San Francisco to San Diego for Comic-Con as a way to honor his late wife since they were both “Star Wars” fans, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 194 points in early trading Thursday to 17,710. The S&P 500 was up 22 points to 2,069. The Nasdaq was up 63 points to 4,972. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 234.

Wednesday, July 8

Collective Digital Studio Merges with ProSieben Subsidiary

YouTube multi-channel network Collective Digital Studio is going multi-national.

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Disneyland Expansion Deal Gets Approval

The Anaheim City Council voted on Tuesday night to extend for 30 years a policy not to collect admission taxes for tickets sales to Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland Resort in exchange for a $1 billion expansion of the theme park.

Skechers Sues Rival Steve Madden

Manhattan Beach footwear giant Skechers USA Inc. is suing designer shoemaker Steve Madden, saying some of that company’s shoes too closely resemble Skechers’ products.

Wednesday Rundown: Children’s Hospital Sews Up New CEO; Albertsons Files for IPO

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Los Feliz has chosen Paul Viviano as its new president and chief executive, effective next month.

Stocks Fall; Landmark Rebounds, InterGroup Tumbles

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 261 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,515. The trading day for NYSE-listed stocks was shortened by a technical issue that shut down trading for more than three hours. The S&P 500 fell 35 points to 2,047. The Nasdaq fell 88 points to 4,910. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 232.

TV Previews On Tap Tonight at Comic-Con

Forthcoming CBS series “Supergirl” will be the first to fly into the spotlight at San Diego’s Comic-Con, premiering its debut episode this evening as the first show screened at the pop culture fest’s preview night.

Weighing Quake Risks

Not so fast, say critics of the Millennium Hollywood project. They are questioning the city’s approval of seismic studies that show there’s not an active fault under the site where the skyscrapers are to be built, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Computer Problem Grounds United

For those flying United Airlines Wednesday morning, travel plans were upended. A large number of flights were grounded due to a computer hitch, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tax Exemption for Disney Passes

In another example of how the powerful get the best deal, the Anaheim City Council voted late Tuesday to exempt Disneyland Resort from the city’s entertainment tax for the next 30 years even though Angels Stadium and other important venues must pay. In exchange, Disneyland will invest $1 billion in upgrades, KPCC reports.

Boost to Small Business

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to explore policies to increase the number of small businesses the county works with, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Only about 2 percent of county contracts and purchase agreements now go to area small businesses, and the supervisors are thinking that number should be 25 percent.

Latinos in the Majority

This may be no surprise, but it’s now official that Latinos outnumber whites as the largest ethnic group in the state. About 14.99 million Latinos live in California compared to 14.92 million whites, according to the Census Bureau, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Shaming’ Tom Selleck

Actor Tom Selleck is the latest celebrity to be “drought shamed” as he’s being accused by the Ventura County water district of having truckloads of water from a public hydrant in Thousand Oaks delivered to his 60-acre Hidden Valley ranch, according to court documents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hazards of Home Buying

The housing market may be getting better, but borrowers with decent credit are having difficulty getting loans or paying higher costs, thanks to a two-tiered mortgage market that favors the wealthy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mr. Burns is Back

You knew this was coming, right? After a holdout of nearly two months, Harry Shearer, who’s the voice of Mr. Burns among numerous other characters on “The Simpsons,” has decided to return to the show, LAist reports. He’ll get $300,000 an episode, but schedule flexibility, not money, was the issue.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 189 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,588. The S&P 500 was down 22 points to 2,059. The Nasdaq was down 65 points to 4,932. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 233.

Tuesday, July 7

Clip-Sharing App Whips Up $40 Million

One Santa Monica app maker is trying to make it a whole lot easier for TV, music and sports fans to legally share their favorite clips and highlights with friends online.

Beverly Hills Chamber Head Leaves for WeHo Post

Alexander Stettinski, executive director of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, announced his resignation on Tuesday to to become vice president of operations and strategic planning with the neighboring Visit West Hollywood.

Tuesday Rundown: Americas United Bank Agrees To Buy Banc of California Branches, Pacific Commerce Bank Names New COO

Glendale’s Americas United Bank, which primarily caters to the Latino community, announced Monday afternoon it had agreed to acquire two branches from Irvine’s Banc of California Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Workers Plan Protest Over American Apparel Cuts

Production workers nervous about Monday’s announcement of pending layoffs at American Apparel Inc. plan to protest at company headquarters Wednesday afternoon.

L.A. Pilot Production Below 50 Percent of Total

Los Angeles was home to fewer than half of this year’s crop of television pilots, the second consecutive year less than 50 percent of the pilots were shot here, according to a study released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Stocks Rise; Guidance Software Gains, Jakks Pacific Slides

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 93 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,777. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq rose six points to 4,997. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 236.

Millennium Hollywood OK to Build

A controversial two-skyscraper project to be built in the heart of Hollywood, known as Millennium Hollywood, has been signed off by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety despite findings from a state geologist last year that there’s an active earthquake fault under the site, the Los Angeles Times reports. A Millennium geologist says the fault is very deep and probably not active.

Another Niche Hotel for DTLA

Downtown’s starting to get a little collection of boutique hotels. The former Case Hotel on Broadway will soon be converted into a 148-room hotel called the Proper, the Los Angeles Times reports. It’ll be only two blocks from the Ace Hotel.

Restart for MLK Hospital

After years of controversy over medical errors and the deaths of patients, a new, state-of-the-art, 131-room bed Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital is opening Tuesday. It aims to bring hope to the community, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It Pays to Prepare

While the Greek crisis has bond traders worldwide scrambling, here in Southern California, some traders, who've been prepping for a number of scenarios for months, are remaining calm, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jerry Weintraub Dies

The longtime producer of music tours by Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra as well as movies, including "Karate Kid" and "Ocean's Eleven," Jerry Weintraub, 77, died Monday of cardiac arrest, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What’s This? Gamers Earning Millions?

Maybe those guys who spend all their time playing video games finally can make real money. At least, professional electronics players could make big bucks at Comic-Con International, the annual pop culture convention that starts this week in San Diego, the San Bernardino Sun reports.

How Much is That House?

You might think Beverly Hills has the most expensive homes in the country, but a ranking by PropertyShark says the Hamptons town of Sagaponack, New York, has much more expensive houses, CNBC reports. However, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica came in at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

Let Them Eat Doughnuts

Talk about a doughnut connoisseur. An anonymous Los Angeles resident recently placed an order for one million doughnuts from a bakery in France, and it's considered to be the largest order ever sent to the United States, LAist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 58 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,626. The S&P 500 was down seven points to 2,062. The Nasdaq was down 32 points to 4,960. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 234.

Monday, July 6

L.A. Tech Events Calendar 7/6 - 7/19

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Medbox CEO Steps Down After Year at Helm

Marijuana dispensing firm Medbox Inc. announced Monday that Chief Executive Guy Marsala is leaving the company and its board of directors. He will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Jeff Goh, who has been promoted to president and interim chief executive.

American Apparel Offers Some Turnaround Specifics

Following up on a turnaround plan it posted on its website last month, American Apparel Inc. announced it will begin closing underperforming retail stores, shrinking its retail workforce and creating a new fall apparel line.

Stocks Fall; InterGroup Soars, Health Net Loses

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 47 points in Monday trading to close at 17,684. The S&P 500 fell eight points to 2,069. The Nasdaq fell 17 points to 4,992. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 234.

Realty Mogul Beefs Up Executive Ranks

Commercial real estate crowdfunding platform Realty Mogul of West Los Angeles has brought on two executives who helped launch Colony Mortgage Capital, a unit of Santa Monica’s Colony Capital.

Response Genetics Delisted From Nasdaq

Diagnostic test maker Response Genetics was delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market Monday and began trading on the Over-the-Counter market.

State Tax Officials Slam Blue Shield

Blue Shield of California was blasted by state tax officials in an audit that claims the company failed to provide more affordable coverage and had more than $4 billion in “extraordinarily high surpluses,” the Los Angeles Times reports. These were some of the reasons the California Franchise Tax Board chose to revoke Blue Shield’s tax exemption last year.

Big Fat Greek ‘No’

After Greeks voted “no” on a bailout deal for their country, stock markets fell worldwide, at least at the open. Meanwhile, the combative Greek finance chief abruptly resigned Monday, the New York Times reports, a move that could help negotiations.

Outrage Grows Over Illegal Immigrant

After a Northern California woman was shot to death at random allegedly by a Mexican immigrant who had been deported five times, her family is criticizing officials who released the man under San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, the Daily Mail reports.

Saving on Water Isn’t Adding Up

If you thought conserving water would help lower your water bill, think again. Water utilities are adding fees and raising rates because they’re losing money as a result of all the conservation, the Associated Press reports.

Aetna and Humana Join Forces

Hartford, Connecticut’s Aetna Inc. and Louisville’s Humana Inc. are the latest health insurance companies to announce a merger, striking a $34.1 billion deal, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Agencies Report Water Surge

Shortening your shower may have helped contribute to the recent 29 percent slash in water consumption for consumers statewide, but some small water agencies actually reported a jump in water use in May, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cracking Down on Wage Theft

Two Los Angeles County supervisors hope to enforce wage theft by appealing to other supervisors Tuesday to request a close look at the county’s authority to regulate wage enforcement, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Blaming Refiners for High Gas Prices

Californians pay more at the pump because of the state’s regulations, but now some consumer advocates claim oil refiners are to blame for “manipulating” prices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Women Win

It was time to celebrate as the United States beat Japan Sunday to win the Women’s World Cup, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Box Office: ‘Jurasssic World’ Rules, ‘Terminator’ Disappoints

“Jurassic World” couldn’t be beaten this holiday weekend with the Universal Pictures film, bringing in $30.9 million while Pixar’s animated “Inside Out” took the No. 2 spot, making $30.1 million. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Terminator Genisys” failed to deliver on expectations, coming in third in its opening weekend, grossing $28.7 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 88 points in early trading Monday to 17,642. The S&P 500 was down 10 points to 2,067. The Nasdaq was down 21 points to 4,988. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 233.

Geeks Are Chic In Hollywood

ENTERTAINMENT: Film, TV projects woo Comic-Con nerds.

Hollywood flocks to Comic-Con because the nerds there take a super-size role in generating buzz for films.

Game Maker Has Health On Brain

Blue Marble aims to aid seniors’ cognitive, balance performance.

Blue Marble looks to score customers with video games aimed at improving seniors’ cognitive abilities.

Poor Proposition to Raise Taxes in California

Lee Segal warns that dropping Proposition 13 protections on commercial and industrial properties will cause taxes to soar.

States Call ‘Cut’ on Film Credits

Other states are cutting back their film incentives, but Charles Crumpley wonders how much that will improve L.A.’s production picture.

Chinese E-Vendor Picks Pasadena for Pictures Push

LEASE: Alibaba Group inks 10-year, $10 million deal to house movie division.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has chosen Pasadena for the first U.S. branch of its movie licensing and distribution arm, Alibaba Pictures.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Metals Broker Sees Golden Opportunity in Greece

INVESTMENT: Crisis drives growth at new London outpost of Rosland Capital.

The deteriorating situation in Greece is scary to a lot of international business owners, but Marin Aleksov isn’t one of them.

Monthly Tour Looks to Find Space for Businesses

REAL ESTATE: Get Urban project aims to land more tech, creative tenants.

The Downtown Center Business Improvement District, looking to entice more tech and creative companies to relocate downtown, guided a group of 35 real estate brokers and prospective tenants late last month on a tour of several offices of existing downtown companies.

State Puts $15 Million Into Nursing Home Reviews

REGULATION: Backlog in checkups can hurt facilities working to improve.

Local nursing homes are a big step closer to being watched more carefully by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Ports Program Aims to Hook Up Truckers, Chassis

SHIPPING: Online system to track storage locations to reduce search times.

Responding to an ongoing shortage of truck chassis used to haul shipping containers to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Harbor Trucking Association has created a chassis pool for members, allowing them to hook up with a few minutes notice.

Brand-Building Strategy Makes Good With Clients

ADVERTISING: New unit at 72andSunny aims to raise consciousness, clients’ sales.

72andSunny’s new practice conducts socially conscious campaigns for the good of clients’ brands.

National, Local Groups Honor Business Journal

AWARDS: Staff wins range of kudos including online scoop, production design.

Business Journal staff scores range of honors from national and local journalism groups.

Investors High on Performance of Drone Maker

MANUFACTURING: Stock lift helps AeroVironment blunt criticism of board.

AeroVironment shares take off after the drone maker’s quarter surpasses expectations.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Anheuser-Busch is investing $20 million at its Van Nuys brewery to improve water efficiency in the filtering, brewing and packaging operations.

Healthy Boosts From Chinese Connections

For Bob Parker, life has taken some dramatic turns recently.

Storage Firm Locks Down Item Location

Clutter looks to secure customers by helping track what’s in boxes.

Clutter thinks inside box with its service to help customers track where their items are placed.

Studio Hopes Yellow Creatures Speak to Audience

FILM: Universal unleashes creative campaign to push ‘Minions’ into stardom.

Universal unleashes a creative ad campaign to help ensure “Minions” delivers a box-office blockbuster.

Tease photo

Retail Shop Makes Play For Kids

Yoobi hopes hands-on store has right touch to sell school supplies.

Yoobi hopes its hands-on shop puts its school supplies in touch with kids and their parents.

Directing Money

BANKING: East West takes lead role in helping Chinese investors break into movie business with U.S. studio deals.

East West’s star is on the rise with Chinese investors looking to connect with Hollywood studios.

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Markets Adopt Orphan Drugs

HEALTH CARE: Developers see shares surge despite risks.

Arrowhead Research is among the firms carving out a niche developing drugs for a small customer base.

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Landlords See No Room for Rent-Control Changes

REAL ESTATE: City of L.A. proposals could kill creation of more units.

City of L.A. officials weigh rent-control rules that could open door to more burdens for landlords.

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Startups Opening Door to Crowd

INVESTMENT: Firms now can get funds from nonaccredited investors.

Mobile-game developer XReal is making a play for nonaccredited investors now that crowdfunding is for real.

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Under the Skin

Façades help buildings with energy costs, lighting

Those flashy building façades going up around town have a practical purpose: boosting energy efficiency.

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Increasingly Unworkable

Minimum-wage hike will be last straw for many owners trying to run businesses in city of L.A.

Richard F. LoGuercio writes that the city of L.A.’s minimum-wage hike will make his business unworkable.

Thursday, July 2

Kin Community Bets on Branded Content

Kin Community, an online women’s lifestyle network headquartered in Santa Monica, has launched a new branded content division called Kin Studios, which boosts the company’s ability to craft online video campaigns for advertisers.

AeroVironment Investor Wants Board Election Change

A private equity investor in AeroVironment Inc. is seeking a change in how the company company’s board is elected.

Tweets of the Week

Magic on the Lakers Pick, No birthday celebration for Elon

Work/Life Balance: Bonnie Eskenazi

The trial lawyer on giving back, the importance of family and rethinking how law students are educated.

Bonnie Eskenazi, a civil litigator and trial lawyer, is considered one of the leading entertainment attorneys in Los Angeles.

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Health Net, Kite Pharma Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell less than 1 percent to close at 233, with losers outpacing gainers 103 to 47. Nine companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28 points and closed at 17,730. The S&P 500 fell one point to 2,077. The Nasdaq fell four points to 5,009. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 233.

Health Net Purchased for $6.8 Billion

Health Net Inc. announced Thursday that it will be acquired by Centene Corp. in a cash and stock deal valued at $6.8 billion.

Cal State L.A. Opening Downtown Campus

Cal State Los Angeles is opening a campus in downtown Los Angeles, having signed a 10-year lease late last month for 21,000 square feet at 801 S. Grand Ave. in the Financial District.

City Panel Created to Boost Jobs

Siding with local business groups, City Council President Herb Wesson announced Wednesday the formation of a panel to look at ways to boost employment in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. He emphasized the city has no plan to create jobs, conflicting with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who recently said the business community’s concerns about anemic job growth were “abstract complaints.”

Bawdy ‘Campsite’ Upsets Hollywood Hills

An Airbnb “campsite” amid multimillion-dollar homes in the Hollywood Hills has neighbors riled up, claiming some campers are drinking and having sex in the open, NBC Los Angeles reports.

Weak Jobs Report

Employers nationwide added 223,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, compared to 5.5 percent in May, the Labor Department reported this morning. However, the Wall Street Journal reports, the job numbers were less than expected and the lower unemployment number reflects the fact that fewer Americans looked for jobs.

Tesla Speeding Up

Billionaire Elon Musk may be troubled by SpaceX, but his Tesla Motors Inc. beat its sales forecast with a 52 percent surge in the second quarter, Bloomberg reports.

LADWP Settles Consumer Suits. Or Not.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has agreed to refund those who were overcharged because of a faulty billing system, according to a court document filed Wednesday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. However, a consumer attorney has filed objections, saying the deal was done in secret and “none of this makes any sense.”

Cutting Back on Water

Hey! You Californians are getting good at conserving water. Residents cut their water usage by nearly 29 percent in May, according to the State Water Resources Control Board, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bad News for Middle-Wage Earners

While the California job market is looking good overall, middle-income employees are making much less money than they were before 2006, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Export-Import Bank to Liquidate?

Following this week’s expiration of the Export-Import Bank, some Republicans are demanding to know how the bank plans to liquidate its assets. The bank, a relic of the New Deal, existed mainly for crony capitalism, Republicans say, but Democrats hope to revive the bank later this month, Yahoo News reports.

BP May Mean ‘Big Payment’

Officials with BP America Inc. have agreed to pay $18.7 billion over 18 years in state and federal claims after the deadly Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago, the Wall Street Journal reports. The settlement involves claims made by 400 state and local governments.

Airlines Flying into Turbulence?

If you thought airfares were getting high, you’re not the only one. The Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether major airlines worked together to illegally limit the number of seats on flights to keep airfares up, Reuters reports.

No More ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ on TV Land

There won’t be any more “good ole’ boys” on TV Land as the cable network has pulled reruns of the “Dukes of Hazzard” due to its use of the Confederate flag, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Record Find

Good news for some wealthy Bob Dylan fan: a rare record of the singer's classic Blood on the Tracks from 1974 is on sale at Amoeba Records for – get this – $12,000, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 33 points in early trading Thursday to 17,790. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,081. The Nasdaq was up one point to 5,014. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 234.

Wednesday, July 1

Joe's Jeans Enters Deal with Lenders

Premium denim maker Joe’s Jeans Inc. has entered into forbearance agreements with its lenders, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Newhall Ranch Permit Upheld by Court

A federal court judge in Los Angeles issued a ruling on Tuesday upholding the validity of dredging permits issued under the Clean Water Act to facilitate the development of the Newhall Ranch community in Santa Clarita.

Justice Department Said to Clear AT&T, DirecTV Deal

AT&T and DirecTV have moved a step closer to becoming the largest cable provider in the country.