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Oil's latest slump takes a heavy toll on Bakersfield

Most early mornings here, finding an open table at Pappy's Coffee Shop is a dicey proposition. The small diner along Rosedale Highway opens at 4:30 a.m., just in time for workers to grab a bite before heading out to the oil fields. But on a recent Tuesday at 6 a.m., many tables sat empty. About...

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  • Wary response to report of Mattel, Hasbro merger

    Wary response to report of Mattel, Hasbro merger

    A report that Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc. might seek a bigger toy box via a merger drew a cautious response Friday from investors and industry analysts.Stock prices for the nation's two largest toy makers fell after the companies declined to comment on the report, and analysts questioned how much...

  • Twitter offers new, though limited, evidence that it's driving terrorists away

    Twitter offers new, though limited, evidence that it's driving terrorists away

    Twitter Inc. announced Friday that it had deleted 125,000 terrorist-related accounts in the last seven months. The moves comes after months of criticism from President Obama and others who complained that social media companies weren't doing enough to stifle extremist discussion online. Still,...

  • Stocks close lower, pulled down by disappointing jobs report

    Stocks close lower, pulled down by disappointing jobs report

    Stocks posted steep losses Friday, ending the week with broad declines, as investors fretted over a report showing that U.S. job creation slowed last month. Technology stocks fell especially hard, and shares of LinkedIn had their worst day in history. Energy and consumer discretionary stocks fell...

  • Football and kids: Are pediatricians too tolerant about youth tackling?

    Football and kids: Are pediatricians too tolerant about youth tackling?

    This is the week that our national fascination with pro football reaches its annual climax. The run-up to the Super Bowl is also a good time to ponder the effects of the game on its youngest participants, some of whom start tackling each other as early as age 5.  One would think that the evidence...

  • Marinello Schools of Beauty abruptly shuts down after federal allegations

    Marinello Schools of Beauty abruptly shuts down after federal allegations

    Marinello Schools of Beauty abruptly shut down, closing all 56 of its campuses, including 39 in California, after the U.S. Department of Education said the for-profit cosmetology school was improperly allocating federal student aid money. The Department of Education said earlier this week that...

  • LinkedIn shares plunge a day after earnings report

    LinkedIn shares plunge a day after earnings report

    Shares of LinkedIn Corp. plummeted Friday to their lowest level in more than three years, a day after the professional social-networking company reported significantly lower revenue projections for 2016. The Mountain View, Calif., company’s stock closed down more than 43% to $108.38. See the most-read...

  • Sluggish jobs report raises questions about the direction of U.S. economy

    Sluggish jobs report raises questions about the direction of U.S. economy

    For the last two years, America's job-creation machine has been like “The Little Engine That Could,” chugging ahead with "I think I can, I think I can" regardless of headwinds at home or abroad. The nation added 3 million jobs in 2014, making up all the ground lost in the Great Recession, and then...

  • Apple begins offering trade-in credit for damaged iPhones

    Apple begins offering trade-in credit for damaged iPhones

    Apple Inc. has begun offering trade-in credit for damaged iPhones, a strategy that could encourage people to buy a newer model rather than try to fix or bear with their current device. Apple is under pressure from investors to show that slowing sales of iPhones isn’t a long-term trend. Fostering...

  • Chicago entrepreneur buys a large stake in L.A. Times' owner

    Chicago entrepreneur buys a large stake in L.A. Times' owner

    A Chicago entrepreneur who already owns one of that city's daily newspapers is now the largest shareholder in Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing after making a $44.4-million investment — one that could bolster the company's planned bid for the Orange County Register.Michael Ferro, through...

  • Top state legislators raise concern about electric grid expansion

    Top state legislators raise concern about electric grid expansion

    California legislative leaders questioned Thursday a proposal to expand the electric grid to include one of the largest users of coal-fired power plants in the west. In a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon said they were...

  • LinkedIn tool for freelancers rolls out in Los Angeles

    LinkedIn tool for freelancers rolls out in Los Angeles

    Freelancing continues to gain steam in the U.S. as the price of providing healthcare and other benefits to employees remains high and companies look to contain costs. With that in mind, professional social networking site LinkedIn launched a pilot program called LinkedIn ProFinder in October to...

  • Revamping the electric grid could yield huge cost savings, SolarCity report says

    Revamping the electric grid could yield huge cost savings, SolarCity report says

    A modern electric grid that incorporates solar, battery storage, energy efficiency and smart technology could save Californians $1.4 billion a year, according to a report released Thursday by rooftop solar giant SolarCity. In its 28-page report, SolarCity argues that the current utility model works...

  • Signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal opens up tough battle in U.S.

    Signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal opens up tough battle in U.S.

    Representatives of the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations on Thursday formally signed a sweeping free-trade agreement reached last fall, setting in motion what is expected to be a hard battle for approval in national legislatures, none more contentious than in the U.S. Michael Froman,...

  • Is Amazon planning to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores?

    Is Amazon planning to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores?

    Is Amazon, the online retailer credited with the downfall of the U.S. bricks-and-mortar bookstore, really going to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores? That idea took off after General Growth Properties Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani told analysts and investors Tuesday: "You've got...

  • Wells Fargo to pay $1.2 billion over bad government-backed mortgages

    Wells Fargo to pay $1.2 billion over bad government-backed mortgages

    Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $1.2 billion to settle claims that it duped the federal government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages in the years leading up to the housing crash, the San Francisco banking giant said Wednesday.If approved by a federal judge, the settlement would close the books...

  • Stocks close higher after a late-day turnaround, helped by weaker dollar

    Stocks close higher after a late-day turnaround, helped by weaker dollar

    Stocks staged a rapid comeback in late-afternoon trading to close solidly higher Wednesday, helped by a surge in the price of oil and a decline in the U.S. dollar. Chipotle Mexican Grill fell after the company said a federal investigation into its E. coli outbreak had widened, and Yahoo sank after...

  • Shanghai Disneyland tickets go on sale in March

    Shanghai Disneyland tickets go on sale in March

    Visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s newest theme park, Shanghai Disneyland, can get a break on ticket prices by waiting to visit the resort until after the summer crowds thin out. Disney announced Wednesday that it plans to put tickets on sale March 28 for the $5.5-billion resort opening in Shanghai...

  • ChemChina offers $43 billion for Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta

    ChemChina offers $43 billion for Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta

    A Chinese state-owned chemical maker offered to buy Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta for $43 billion in what would be the biggest-ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. Syngenta said Wednesday that its board is recommending shareholders accept the offer from China National Chemical Corp.,...

  • YouTube moves closer to becoming a Netflix for millennials

    YouTube moves closer to becoming a Netflix for millennials

    Could it soon be time to YouTube and chill? The world’s biggest online video platform will officially crack into the paid original content business next week when it premieres the first four titles produced for its new subscription service, YouTube Red, the company said Wednesday. Included in the...

  • Hiring by U.S. businesses slows in January, but job growth still solid despite market turmoil

    Hiring by U.S. businesses slows in January, but job growth still solid despite market turmoil

    Hiring by U.S. businesses slowed in January, but private-sector job growth remained solid in a sign the labor market has been able to withstand the recent financial market turmoil, according to a report released Wednesday by payroll firm Automatic Data Processing. Private employers added 205,000...

  • Yahoo will cut 1,700 jobs as it slims down its business

    Yahoo will cut 1,700 jobs as it slims down its business

    Troubled Yahoo Inc., once again, says it has a plan to turn things around after years of sluggish growth and turmoil.But its latest strategy is less about growth and more about cutbacks — at nearly every level of the company. Yahoo will lay off 15% of its workforce. It is shutting down digital...

  • Toyota will compensate black and Asian borrowers to settle bias investigation

    Toyota will compensate black and Asian borrowers to settle bias investigation

    Toyota's financing arm will pay as much as $21.9 million to black and Asian borrowers who paid more for auto loans than whites, settling allegations of discrimination by federal regulators. Toyota Motor Credit Corp. in Torrance had been under investigation by the Department of Justice and the federal...

  • Stocks take a dive, weighed down by another drop in oil prices

    Stocks take a dive, weighed down by another drop in oil prices

    Another steep drop in the price of oil weighed on global markets Tuesday. Investors remained deeply concerned about the global economy after this week's disappointing Chinese and U.S. manufacturing data. Energy stocks fell as oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported their worst quarterly results...

  • Yahoo to cut 1,700 workers as company slims down

    Yahoo to cut 1,700 workers as company slims down

    Cuts, layoffs and losses were the name of the game with Yahoo Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings. The Internet company reported $1.27 billion in revenue, up only 1.58% from the same period a year earlier. When it came to profit, Yahoo swung to a steep loss of $4.43 billion, or $4.70 a share, in the...

  • Yahoo ex-employee sues, alleging manipulation of performance reviews and gender bias

    Yahoo ex-employee sues, alleging manipulation of performance reviews and gender bias

    A former Yahoo Inc. employee is suing the Internet company, alleging that a manipulated employee-rating system, as well as gender bias, led to his illegal termination. In the lawsuit, plaintiff Gregory Anderson said he had gotten a promotion, a raise and compliments for his work before he was told...

  • Universal Studios adopts 'demand pricing' before its Harry Potter world opens

    Universal Studios adopts 'demand pricing' before its Harry Potter world opens

    Universal Studios Hollywood is putting a price tag on the demand for fun. The theme park is anticipating huge crowds for the April 7 opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you want to be one of the first to experience it, be prepared to pay more than if you want to go, say, on a slow...

  • New venture funds, new game publishers among week's L.A. tech highlights

    New venture funds, new game publishers among week's L.A. tech highlights

    AMC Networks and Lionsgate were among existing investors that put a combined total of $10 million into Next Games, a Finnish game maker, the company announced last week. Next Games has produced two mobile games: “The Walking Dead: No Man's Land,” based on the AMC show, and “Compass Point: West.”...

  • Why e-commerce fads competing with Amazon eventually fade

    Why e-commerce fads competing with Amazon eventually fade

    It's hard to name a category of start-ups that has struggled to produce big, billion-dollar exits more than e-commerce. Competing with Amazon isn't easy, it turns out, and aspiring Davids have turned to ever more novel strategies to differentiate themselves from Goliath. The problem? Like anything...

  • Alphabet is poised to be world's most valuable company

    Alphabet is poised to be world's most valuable company

    Google got a new name and now is on the brink of a new title: The tech titan looks set to be crowned the most valuable company in the world, toppling fellow Silicon Valley heavyweight Apple Inc.The Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant on Monday reported earnings for the first time under the banner...

  • Daily News parent to bid for O.C. Register, Press Enterprise

    Daily News parent to bid for O.C. Register, Press Enterprise

    Digital First Media, the owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, has indicated interest in bidding for the Orange County Register and other assets of bankrupt publishing company Freedom Communications. That move could set up a three-way bidding war for the Register among Digital First, Freedom Communications...

  • Venture capitalists increase scrutiny on start-up deals amid stock market anxiety

    Venture capitalists increase scrutiny on start-up deals amid stock market anxiety

    On the fundraising trail this month, entrepreneur Jason Fritton is getting an unusual question from venture capitalists: How soon can you produce profits? Making money quickly was rarely a demand during a near-record influx of start-up capital, with investment into U.S. start-ups rising to almost...

  • So much for the 'Oprah effect,' as Weight Watchers stock fades

    So much for the 'Oprah effect,' as Weight Watchers stock fades

    There was plenty of stock market news to chew over last week, but the item that drew the largest volume of chatter on the celebrity pages involved Oprah Winfrey and the diet company Weight Watchers International. Just as the market opened on Wednesday, you see, Oprah tweeted a promotional video...

  • California Inc.: Billions in bets being placed on the big game

    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. Investors this week will be grappling with increasingly loud talk of another recession...

  • Big U.S. banks will roll out ATMs that take smartphones, not cards

    Big U.S. banks will roll out ATMs that take smartphones, not cards

    To the long list of things you can do with your phone — including watch a movie, buy a latte and hail a ride — prepare to add one more: get cash. Over the next few months, the nation's three biggest banks will start rolling out ATMs that will let customers withdraw currency using their smartphones...

  • How to write a petition to remove homeowner association directors

    Question: Owners at our homeowner association are frustrated. For three years, we've been trying to recall our five-director board, fire the management company and obtain a forensic audit. The board's attorney and management either ignore our petitions or invalidate them. Directors laugh, "You...

  • Grocer is on a natural growth path

    Grocer is on a natural growth path

    By Ronald D. White The gig: Tony Antoci, 40, is president and chief executive of Erewhon, the Southern California natural foods grocery mini-chain that traces its roots to a tiny Boston market founded in 1967. A Los Angeles branch opened in 1968. Erewhon was a pioneer in the natural foods business...

  • Southern California casinos are going all in to attract millennials

    Southern California casinos are going all in to attract millennials

    The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens was always a loud, brash kind of place where the card tables ruled, but once the betting was done, players had little reason to stick around beyond a bar and deli-style eatery. Now, after a $50-million overhaul unveiled last month, the club features a glitzy 99-room...

  • A minimalist marvel in Venice

    A minimalist marvel in Venice

    This two-story contemporary with a minimalist design stands out from the crowd in Venice with block-pattern façade, walls of glass and a floating steel-and-walnut staircase. A steel bridge extends off the main house, crossing over an inner courtyard to a secondary master suite/guesthouse. A rooftop...

  • Time's running out to sign up for Obamacare

    Time's running out to sign up for Obamacare

    With the deadline approaching to get health coverage through the Affordable Care Act this year, federal and state officials across the country, including President Obama, are making a final push to get people to sign up. The deadline to select a health plan is Sunday. Americans who don't have coverage...

  • Three firms competing for control of Catalina's freight

    Three firms competing for control of Catalina's freight

    For more than a year, a crucial question has gone unanswered on Santa Catalina Island: Who will control the freight service that brings bottled water, groceries and other essentials from the mainland, 26 miles away? Three companies are vying for the business — a vital necessity for residents and...

  • Obama moves to close gender wage gap

    Obama moves to close gender wage gap

    The first bill President Obama signed after taking office in 2009 was designed to help close the pay gap between men and women.But saying progress has been slow, Obama announced a new plan Friday to try to ensure that women earn the same as men for doing the same job.The proposal, which doesn't...

  • Facebook moves to ban private gun sales

    Facebook moves to ban private gun sales

    Facebook will ban the private sale of guns on its social network as well as on Instagram, the company said Friday. The move comes as the White House has increased pressure on the company to address the popular use of its platforms to promote and advertise firearms for sale, often as a way to evade...

  • Japan imposes a negative interest rate: What that means for them and us

    Japan imposes a negative interest rate: What that means for them and us

    The Bank of Japan announced Friday it was imposing a negative interest rate for the first time, an effort to jumpstart the Japanese economy out of years of stagnation. The bank's governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, said the measure was intended to bolster business confidence and consumer spending. It's...

  • Stocks close higher after a tech surge, but they're down for the month

    Stocks close higher after a tech surge, but they're down for the month

    Stocks soared on January’s last trading day, with Microsoft, Visa and other tech stocks making the biggest gains in a broad market rally. Indexes rose throughout the day and finished with their biggest gains in about five months. Asian stocks jumped after the Bank of Japan moved to stimulate the...

  • IBM's CEO writes a new chapter on how to turn failure into wealth

    IBM's CEO writes a new chapter on how to turn failure into wealth

    "Ginni Rometty! You've led IBM to 15 straight quarters of declining revenue! Your profit was down 15% last year! Your stock price has plummeted by 36% from its peak! What are you going to do next?" "I'm going to the bank, to deposit my $4.5-million bonus!" For IBM shareholders, Ginni Rometty's...

  • Amazon's stock dives, but it's because of a 'good problem'

    Amazon's stock dives, but it's because of a 'good problem'

    For a stock that sank 14% in after-hours trading Thursday, analysts aren’t feeling too bad about Amazon.com Inc.The e-commerce giant’s stock took a hit after it wasn’t able to match investor expectations in the fourth quarter.Despite the Seattle company’s profit more than doubling to $482 million,...

  • U.S. economic growth slows to 0.7% at the end of last year

    U.S. economic growth slows to 0.7% at the end of last year

    The U.S. economy slowed sharply at the end of last year, expanding at an anemic 0.7% annual pace as business investment and exports fell, the Commerce Department said Friday. Growth in the October-through-December period was weaker than the 0.9% figure analysts had forecast and could raise new...

  • Today's the first day to form crowdfunding stock exchanges for the masses

    Today's the first day to form crowdfunding stock exchanges for the masses

    For companies that want to match start-ups with small-time investors, today is the first day to ask for permission from federal regulators -- and one local firm wants to be at the front of the line. Santa Monica's StartEngine plans to announce this morning that it has applied to the Securities...

  • SpaceX's hyperloop student contest brings out many big benefactors

    SpaceX's hyperloop student contest brings out many big benefactors

    Elon Musk is bringing together more than 1,000 college and high school students this weekend to showcase passenger-compartment designs for a hyperloop high-speed transit system. Two Los Angeles start-ups are already developing hyperloops, starting with test track construction in the Central Valley...

  • Apartment builders woo the wealthy with over-the-top services

    Apartment builders woo the wealthy with over-the-top services

    During the height of last decade's housing boom in Los Angeles, developers drew up plans to place luxury condos on top of hotels. The pitch was not only the posh digs, but the hotel services wealthy owners would enjoy without having to leave the comforts of their living room. Now, some developers...

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  • Small business SOS: Majority of small business owners want help tracking metrics (Infographic)

    The majority of small business owners want help tracking metrics and admit they don't measure and track as often as they should, according to a Staples survey. Learn more about what business owners said about tracking metrics and how a new app can help grow your business in the below infographic....

  • Top 5 business strategies for 2016

    Continuity planning used be something only companies in highly regulated industries were required to do, but today it's considered a standard for all businesses, regardless of size or reach. It answers the question, "What if…?" and can easily spell the difference between the continued operation...

  • 6 tips to help your small company get back to business in the New Year

    6 tips to help your small company get back to business in the New Year

    The decorations are down and stored away, the holiday rush is over and it’s time for small businesses to get back to doing business as usual. Many small businesses find they have the time and the inspiration to get their shops in order at the beginning of the first quarter — a task that can set...

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