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Economic growth rebounded to 2.6% annual rate in second quarter

The U.S. economy rebounded this spring after a weak winter, expanding at a solid 2.6% annual rate as consumers picked up their spending pace, the Commerce Department said Friday. Total economic output, also known as gross domestic product, for the April-through-June period was in line with analyst...

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  • Falling tech stocks pull down S&P 500 and Nasdaq, but Dow sets another record

    Falling tech stocks pull down S&P 500 and Nasdaq, but Dow sets another record

    U.S. stock indexes pulled back from their record highs Thursday after an afternoon swoon for technology companies helped overshadow another big day for telecoms. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.41 points, or 0.1%, from the record it had set Wednesday, closing at 2,475.42. The Nasdaq composite...

  • Starbucks is shutting all Teavana stores

    Starbucks is shutting all Teavana stores

    Starbucks Corp. plans to shut down all its Teavana stores as it seeks to improve its financial performance. The company said Thursday it will close all 379 Teavana locations in the coming year. There are at least 17 in the greater Los Angeles area. Starbucks acquired the mall-based chain in late...

  • Takata air bag inflator ruptures in Florida crash that killed driver

    Takata air bag inflator ruptures in Florida crash that killed driver

    Another driver has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. The crash happened July 19 in Holiday, Fla., near Tampa, according to Honda. Local authorities have yet to release the cause of death and are investigating the crash, the automaker said. The unidentified driver...

  • Twitter reports $116-million loss and flat user growth; its stock drops 14%

    Twitter reports $116-million loss and flat user growth; its stock drops 14%

    Twitter Inc. lost $116.5 million last quarter and failed to grow its monthly user base from the prior quarter, the company said Thursday. Its stock price dropped after the announcement, closing down 14% at $16.84. On a per-share basis, the San Francisco company said it had a second-quarter loss...

  • 'Honey, you've been scammed,' she was told. She lost her home of 30 years.

    'Honey, you've been scammed,' she was told. She lost her home of 30 years.

    Barbara Barkley is 4 feet, 10 inches tall. So she designed her home in Chesapeake, Va., just for herself, with all the counters and handles lowered. People told her the changes would make the house harder to sell, but she didn't care. "I planned to live there until I died," said Barkley, 68. Instead,...

  • Jeff Bezos briefly leapfrogs Bill Gates as world's richest person

    Jeff Bezos briefly leapfrogs Bill Gates as world's richest person

    Twenty-three years ago, Jeff Bezos was selling books out of his garage. On Thursday, the Amazon chief executive at least temporarily dethroned Bill Gates as the richest person in the world. Following a 1.3% jump in Amazon.com Inc. shares Thursday morning, Bezos, 53, was worth as much as $91.3 billion,...

  • Martin Shkreli repeatedly lied to investors, prosecutor says in closing arguments

    Martin Shkreli repeatedly lied to investors, prosecutor says in closing arguments

    A prosecutor at the securities fraud trial of Martin Shkreli said the former pharmaceutical CEO scammed investors in a pair of failed hedge funds. Prosecutor Alixandra Smith told a jury in closing arguments Thursday that Shkreli repeatedly lied to investors about how much money was in one of the...

  • What millennials want from their CEOs: Activism

    What millennials want from their CEOs: Activism

    Americans, on the whole, aren't so sure how they feel about chief executives speaking up about social issues such as climate change or President Trump's travel ban. Some like the idea, especially if they agree with the CEO, making them more likely to buy products from a company with which they...

  • Los Angeles Convention Center just wrapped up its best year ever

    Los Angeles Convention Center just wrapped up its best year ever

    As a hub for conventions, Los Angeles has had a big year. The Los Angeles Convention Center reported an operating surplus of $10.2 million, a 5% increase from the previous year’s surplus of $9.7 million. It’s the biggest surplus since AEG took over management of the 46-year-old facility; before...

  • Video is Facebook's future. But it's not good for profits yet

    Video is Facebook's future. But it's not good for profits yet

    Facebook’s effort to get more videos in the news feeds of its 2 billion users will hurt the company’s massive advertising business, the company warned Wednesday. Consumer demand for content such as mini-TV shows, recipe videos and sports highlights is outpacing Facebook’s fledgling video advertising...

  • Amazon announces U.S. hiring spree as labor market tightens

    Amazon announces U.S. hiring spree as labor market tightens

    Amazon.com Inc. has some job openings. Lots of them. The Seattle e-commerce giant said Wednesday that it's looking to fill more than 50,000 positions across the United States. The announcement comes at a time when the labor market is growing tight with back-to-school and holiday shopping around...

  • Molina Healthcare, under pressure to boost margins, will lay off 1,400 workers

    Molina Healthcare, under pressure to boost margins, will lay off 1,400 workers

    Health insurer Molina Healthcare Inc. will lay off about 1,400 employees as the Long Beach company looks to cut costs and increase profitability. The layoffs will hit 10% of staff in the company’s corporate and health-plans units, from senior leaders to “front line staff,” interim Chief Executive...

  • Coke Zero is vanishing. Instead we get Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, with a new recipe

    Coke Zero is vanishing. Instead we get Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, with a new recipe

    Goodbye, Coke Zero. Coca-Cola Co. announced Wednesday that it will stop selling that no-calorie soda in the United States and replace it with a different calorie-free offering: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The new soda is scheduled to start hitting shelves in August. Its rollout comes as the company says...

  • Fed leaves interest rates unchanged amid concerns about low inflation

    Fed leaves interest rates unchanged amid concerns about low inflation

    The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday and conveyed a tad more concern about recent inflation trends, clouding the prospects for when the next rate hike might come. At the same time, the central bank said after its two-day meeting that U.S. economic conditions looked good,...

  • Airbnb partners with NAACP to recruit minority hosts

    Airbnb partners with NAACP to recruit minority hosts

    The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People announced Wednesday that it has teamed up with Airbnb, the short-term rental company beleaguered by discrimination complaints, to expand the service to more minority communities. The century-old civil rights organization touted the move as...

  • Disney shuts down its vacation savings program

    Disney shuts down its vacation savings program

    Walt Disney Co. plans to shut down its vacation savings program because of low participation. The Disney Vacation Account program, which started in 2013, allowed travelers to store money in an account to save up for a Disney vacation. Disney granted users a $20 bonus for every $1,000 stored in...

  • Winter is finally coming to an end at California ski resorts

    Winter is finally coming to an end at California ski resorts

    Last winter dumped so much snow on California’s peaks that at least one resort raised the possibility of staying open all summer, allowing skiers to ride the lifts until next winter’s snowfall. But the hot weather during the last few weeks is finally putting an end to California’s extra-long ski...

  • Historic Laguna Seca track to remain under control of Sports Car Racing Assn. of Monterey Peninsula

    Historic Laguna Seca track to remain under control of Sports Car Racing Assn. of Monterey Peninsula

    A concerted effort by a group of deep-pocketed motoring enthusiasts to take control of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been rebuffed. For now, the historic Monterey Peninsula racetrack will remain under the stewardship of the Sports Car Racing Assn. of the Monterey Peninsula, or SCRAMP. The Monterey...

  • Former Fox News executive files $48-million lawsuit over sexual assault scandal

    Former Fox News executive files $48-million lawsuit over sexual assault scandal

    A former Fox News executive fired after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female on-air commentator is suing parent company 21st Century Fox for going public with the matter. Francisco Cortes, who ran Fox News Latino, was fired in February after Tamara Holder, a Fox News on-air contributor,...

  • Corporate earnings lift stocks to more record highs

    Corporate earnings lift stocks to more record highs

    U.S. stock indexes returned to record highs Tuesday as corporate profits continued to come in better than analysts expected. McDonald's and Caterpillar were among the big companies that reported healthier-than-forecast results. Jumps in prices for oil, metals and other commodities helped lift companies...

  • During Hollywood blackout, domestic films dominate China's box office

    During Hollywood blackout, domestic films dominate China's box office

    Chinese domestic films once again dominated the country's box office amid an annual summer ban on Hollywood titles. China's government, intent on building a domestic film industry to rival Hollywood's, typically bans imported releases during peak moviegoing periods, such as national holidays and...

  • Celgene agrees to pay $280 million to settle cancer drug fraud suit

    The pharmaceutical company Celgene Corp. has agreed to pay $280 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging it committed fraud promoting two cancer drugs for unapproved purposes. The settlement with Celgene was announced Tuesday by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles. The lawsuit filed in federal...

  • Uber's latest bid to win over drivers: 24/7 phone support

    Uber's latest bid to win over drivers: 24/7 phone support

    Uber added a 24-hour phone help line and a slew of new features and policy changes Tuesday in an attempt to appease drivers, who have long complained the San Francisco ride-hailing company doesn’t do enough to support them. The move is part of what Uber is calling its “180 Days of Change” — a campaign...

  • VW exec plans to plead guilty in diesel emissions cheating scandal

    VW exec plans to plead guilty in diesel emissions cheating scandal

    A Volkswagen official at the heart of the German automaker's wide-ranging diesel emissions cheating scandal plans to plead guilty in the criminal case. Oliver Schmidt’s agreement was announced during a 20-minute status conference, according to a Tuesday statement from the U.S. district court in...

  • Net neutrality face-off: Lawmakers ask Google, Comcast and other execs to testify

    Net neutrality face-off: Lawmakers ask Google, Comcast and other execs to testify

    For years, tech companies and Internet providers have been at each other’s throats on Internet policy — especially net neutrality. Now, House Republicans are setting up a big showdown on the issue, inviting the biggest companies from both industries to testify on Capitol Hill this fall. Top executives...

  • Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg clash over the future of artificial intelligence

    Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg clash over the future of artificial intelligence

    Two of the technology industry’s most powerful leaders are at odds when it comes to artificial intelligence. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has a pessimistic view of the risks associated with such technology. “I keep sounding the alarm bell,” Musk told the National Governors Assn. in June. “But until...

  • Fate of historic Laguna Seca race course is clouded once again

    Fate of historic Laguna Seca race course is clouded once again

    The future of the historic racetrack at Laguna Seca is once again up for grabs. Parties fighting for control of the Monterey County facility faced off at a Board of Supervisors session Tuesday morning in Salinas. A closed-door session that followed could decide the fate of the track, one of the...

  • Jury orders Olympus to pay $6.6 million but rejects claims its medical scopes are unsafe

    Jury orders Olympus to pay $6.6 million but rejects claims its medical scopes are unsafe

    A jury ordered giant medical scope maker Olympus Corp. to pay a Seattle hospital $6.6 million in damages tied to a deadly superbug outbreak, and told the hospital to pay $1 million to a deceased patient’s family. But jurors on Monday also handed the Tokyo-based manufacturer a key win, rejecting...

  • As your Roomba cleans your floors, it's gathering maps of your house

    As your Roomba cleans your floors, it's gathering maps of your house

    The company behind the Roomba vacuum, IRobot Corp., has grand plans for its robot cleaners. Two Roomba models — the 960 and 980 — map the interiors of homes to more efficiently hoover up dust and dirt. Those intimate maps, the company hopes, could soon be sold as personalized, data-rich products...

  • Michael Kors is buying Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion

    Michael Kors is buying Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion

    In a bid to burnish its brand image, bag and accessories maker Michael Kors is buying British luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo in a deal worth $1.35 billion. Jimmy Choo — which counts Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Duchess of Cambridge Catherine (the former Kate Middleton) — among its fans, has a high-level...

  • Stocks mostly fall, but tech shares lift the Nasdaq to a new high

    Stocks mostly fall, but tech shares lift the Nasdaq to a new high

    Stocks mostly fell Monday, and broad-market indexes inched modestly backward at the start of a busy week of corporate earnings reports and a meeting of the Federal Reserve. Technology stocks, though, added to their big gains for the year and helped push the Nasdaq composite to another record. The...

  • Sony Pictures picks a new television team

    Sony Pictures picks a new television team

    Sony Pictures Entertainment on Monday named new leaders for its U.S.-based television operations, elevating three longtime executives to serve in a newly created office overseeing television production and programming. Veteran business affairs executive Jeff Frost was tapped to lead the team as...

  • Canceling a hotel reservation is getting tougher at Hilton and Marriott

    Canceling a hotel reservation is getting tougher at Hilton and Marriott

    Two of the world’s biggest hotel companies are cracking down on travelers prone to last-minute cancellations. Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International will penalize people who cancel reservations within 48 hours of the planned stay, up from 24 hours. In most cases, the penalty is the...

  • Europe's antitrust fine against Google takes a big bite out of Alphabet's profit

    Europe's antitrust fine against Google takes a big bite out of Alphabet's profit

    Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., can easily afford the $2.7-billion write-down it's taking to cover a big antitrust fine in Europe. But the company might find it harder to shrug off the rest of the European regulatory assault headed its way. In June, a European Commission ruling slapped...

  • Bush's Baked Beans recalled because of defective cans

    Bush's Baked Beans recalled because of defective cans

    Certain cans of Bush’s Best Baked Beans — Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, Country Style Baked Beans and Original Baked Beans — are being recalled because of a potential problem with a seam on the cans. People should get rid of the recalled beans even if the food does not seem to be spoiled, Bush...

  • Microsoft Paint is marked for death

    Microsoft Paint is marked for death

    Microsoft Paint, the beloved Windows graphic editing program, has been marked for death. Thirty-two years after including a Paint program in its inaugural Windows 1.0, Microsoft Corp. put Paint on its list of “features that are removed or deprecated” in the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update,...

  • 'Captain Marvel' will receive a $20-million tax credit to shoot in California

    'Captain Marvel' will receive a $20-million tax credit to shoot in California

    “Captain Marvel,” the upcoming superhero movie starring Brie Larson as the title character, will receive more than $20 million in tax credits to film in California, making it the first Marvel Comics movie to shoot primarily in-state since 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Eight studio...

  • Hulu hires a marketing officer from Google

    Hulu hires a marketing officer from Google

    Taking another step to transform itself into a more formidable competitor to Netflix and Amazon.com, streaming service Hulu on Monday said it has hired a former Google executive, Kelly Campbell, to become chief marketing officer of the Santa Monica company. In her new role, Campbell will direct...

  • U.S. home sales fell in June; shoppers couldn't find houses to buy

    U.S. home sales fell in June; shoppers couldn't find houses to buy

    Homebuyers faced surging prices and a shrinking number of properties for sale in June — causing the pace of sales to fall. Sales of existing homes slipped 1.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million, the National Assn. of Realtors said Monday. The decline speaks to a troubling...

  • California Inc.: Fed expected to signal likelihood of September rate hike

    California Inc.: Fed expected to signal likelihood of September rate hike

    Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business Section. I'm Business columnist David Lazarus, and here's a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week. We learned Friday that California’s economic engine quieted in June as employers reduced...

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  • 5 big changes for today's small businesses

    5 big changes for today's small businesses

    A generation ago, the notion of a small business owner meant something very different. You pictured a person who owned their own storefront, often named after themselves, and every day they were the first to arrive and the last to leave. They worked tirelessly for their customers, and their reward...

  • 5 steps to creating happiness in your workplace

    5 steps to creating happiness in your workplace

    Each workday, the average American spends 8.8 hours at work or on work-related activities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s even more time than people spend sleeping. And because we spend so much time at work, it's in your and your employer’s best interest to make workplaces...

  • 6 pet-related businesses you can start today

    6 pet-related businesses you can start today

    Starting your own business can nurture your entrepreneurial spirit, earn you some money and give you the opportunity to spend more time with your family — including your pets. So what job can you do that doesn't necessarily require a degree, affords you time flexibility, is in a growing industry...

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