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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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  • Orange County breaks tourism record with 47 million visitors in 2015

    Orange County breaks tourism record with 47 million visitors in 2015

    Thanks to the allure of Disneyland and huge growth in convention attendance, Orange County hosted a record 47.3 million visitors last year. The county's visitor total represents a 3% increase over 2014 and is the second year in a row that the region has set a fresh tourism record, according to...

  • Deciding which student loan to pay off first

    Deciding which student loan to pay off first

    Dear Liz: I am going to pay off one of my daughter's private student loans. One has a balance of $8,500 at 4% interest and the other is for $7,500 at 6%. Which one should I pay off? Answer: You have a lucky daughter, either way. In addition to balances and rates, the other variable you need to...

  • Facebook's new Sports Stadium feature gets big tryout for Super Bowl

    Facebook's new Sports Stadium feature gets big tryout for Super Bowl

    For many sports fans, scanning Twitter while watching a game goes together like guacamole and chips. But waning interest in Twitter and its struggle to add users and captivating features has Facebook jostling to become the go-to TV companion for sports viewers. The two social media companies will...

  • For American Apparel, now out of bankruptcy, it's 'the start of a new day'

    For American Apparel, now out of bankruptcy, it's 'the start of a new day'

    American Apparel emerged from bankruptcy Friday, canceling shares of its publicly traded stock and becoming a private company. The Los Angeles clothing retailer and manufacturer is now owned by its former creditors under the name American Apparel LLC. The holdings of former American Apparel Inc....

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Why you should be skeptical about an 'Uber for healthcare'

    Why you should be skeptical about an 'Uber for healthcare'

    The worst aspect of the "Uberization" of our economy may not be the transformation of workers who could once earn a living wage into "independent contractors" who can barely make ends meet (though that's bad enough); it may be the spreading myth that any economic function can be shoehorned into...

  • Mattel reports gains in fourth quarter, helped by Barbie

    Mattel reports gains in fourth quarter, helped by Barbie

    Mattel Inc. might finally be seeing a turnaround as it reported higher profit and revenue in the fourth quarter, helped by increased sales for Barbie and several other key brands. "Overall, we're very encouraged," said Mattel Chief Executive Christopher Sinclair in a conference call with analysts...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

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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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