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  • Obama administration moves to block health insurance mega-mergers

    Obama administration moves to block health insurance mega-mergers

    The Obama administration went to court Thursday to block two major health insurance mergers, siding with consumer advocates and medical groups worried that the consolidation of large national health plans could lead to higher premiums. The long-anticipated move by the Justice Department and attorneys...

  • American Girl hopes a pint-sized doll cures its multimillion-dollar problem

    Times have been tough for toymaker American Girl.  First, Queen Elsa from "Frozen" took the doll aisle by storm, icing out other players. Then, last year, American Girl spiffed up the marketing and packaging of some of its dolls, only to find it didn't drive store traffic like executives hoped....

  • Elon Musk's master plan for Tesla is long on vision, short on specifics

    Elon Musk's master plan for Tesla is long on vision, short on specifics

    You can’t call Elon Musk a short-term thinker. His “Master Plan – Part Deux” paints a shimmering future-scape filled with driverless zero-emission cars, buses and trucks; a dramatic decline in vehicle fatalities; homes and businesses that draw power from the sun and store it in batteries for later...

  • Dollar Shave Club built a billion-dollar brand with bizarre videos

    Dollar Shave Club built a billion-dollar brand with bizarre videos

    Gillette, the largest U.S. razor brand, has advertised its blades as cutting-edge technology with images of fighter jets and names such as Mach and Fusion. Dollar Shave Club, an industry upstart, has made ads featuring dancing bears and its chief executive describing his bodily functions. This...

  • Chipotle struggles to win back customers

    Chipotle struggles to win back customers

    Chipotle is acting out of character in its desperation to win back customers — a struggle that its most recent sales results indicate could be a long one.  Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Thursday that its sales were down 23.6% during the second quarter as it fights to recover from a series of...

  • Stocks close lower, breaking record-setting win streak

    Stocks close lower, breaking record-setting win streak

    Stocks fell Thursday after a mixed set of earnings reports put at least a temporary halt to the market's record-setting run. Airlines had some of the sharpest drops on worries that falling fares will hurt their profits. The Dow Jones industrial average sank, breaking a nine-day winning streak,...

  • Cannabis tech accelerator opens in Southern California

    Cannabis tech accelerator opens in Southern California

    As Californians consider legalizing recreational marijuana use, a few entrepreneurs are already casting their vote in favor of the state’s cannabis industry. The group, called Canopy San Diego, is accepting applications for its pot-themed technology accelerator, a first for Southern California....

  • Wells Fargo-Amazon deal offers a discount on private student loans

    Wells Fargo-Amazon deal offers a discount on private student loans

    Wells Fargo & Co. is offering discounted interest rates on private student loans to Amazon.com customers, creating a partnership with the online retail giant at a time when private lenders are fighting for market share. "We are focused on innovation and meeting our customers where they are — and...

  • Airbnb taps former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to curb discrimination

    Airbnb taps former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to curb discrimination

    Facing backlash for discrimination on its platform, Airbnb Inc. has enlisted former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to curb bias on the vacation rental service. In a Tuesday blog post announcing the move, company CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement...

  • Tesla's stock falls after Elon Musk reveals his 'master plan'

    Tesla's stock falls after Elon Musk reveals his 'master plan'

    After more than a week of teasing about its existence, Elon Musk revealed Part 2 of his “master product plan” for Tesla on Wednesday evening. Or, as he calls it, “part deux.” In a blog post published on the automaker’s website, Musk introduced a multiyear, four-pronged strategy that includes new...

  • New warning rule for users of generic drugs is left in limbo

    New warning rule for users of generic drugs is left in limbo

    Five years after the Supreme Court blocked most personal-injury lawsuits against makers of generic drugs, a rule designed to strengthen patient protections have stalled, leaving what consumer groups warn is a safety gap for millions of users. After several delays, the Food and Drug Administration...

  • The Muggles are coming: Harry Potter boosted attendance at Universal Studios, apps show

    The Muggles are coming: Harry Potter boosted attendance at Universal Studios, apps show

    The magic of Harry Potter has boosted attendance at Universal Studios theme parks across the country, with millennials in particular falling under the spell of the boy wizard.  That is the main conclusion from a study of foot traffic data collected by Foursquare, the tech company known for social...

  • Do jobs numbers indicate the strength of California's economy? Not really

    Do jobs numbers indicate the strength of California's economy? Not really

    On Friday, California will release its monthly jobs report, which will say something about the health of the state’s economy. What it’s saying, exactly, may not be clear. Every time the state releases jobs numbers, reporters (including this one) scramble to digest them and offer some context. But...

  • European Central Bank keeps interest rates at record low

    European Central Bank keeps interest rates at record low

    The European Central Bank left its key interest rates unchanged at record lows on Thursday as it assesses the impact on the economy of Britain's vote to leave the European Union. ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to use his post-decision news conference to underline the bank's willingness...

  • Automakers join forces on hacking, cyber security threats

    Automakers join forces on hacking, cyber security threats

    Automakers are sharing information on cyber security threats and working together on ways to respond when hackers strike, under guidelines being developed by the industry. Nearly all companies that sell cars and trucks in the U.S. have joined the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center....

  • How a former Wal-Mart executive is helping the Air Force cut energy costs

    How a former Wal-Mart executive is helping the Air Force cut energy costs

    Wal-Mart is one of the nation’s largest private energy consumers, having to power millions of square feet of store space. So when the Obama administration wanted to cut energy bills for the Air Force — which consumes more energy than any other U.S. agency — it turned to the person who had led similar...

  • Controversy over Tesla 'autopilot' name keeps growing

    Controversy over Tesla 'autopilot' name keeps growing

    What’s in a name? For Tesla’s driver-assist system “autopilot,” plenty of controversy. Some of the most enthusiastic proponents of autonomous vehicles and features are worried that autopilot — not the technology itself, but the very name, which some find misleading — might slow down the evolution...

  • Yamaha, KTM, Harley and Honda take top Cycle World honors

    Yamaha, KTM, Harley and Honda take top Cycle World honors

    Cycle World Magazine has named its favorite motorcycles of the year, and the winner is ... everybody. Cycle World unveiled this year’s winners at its 40th anniversary awards ceremony, held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.  The 10 winning motorcycles, in 10 categories,...

  • Billion Dollar Shave Club: L.A. start-up is purchased by Unilever for a staggering sum

    Billion Dollar Shave Club: L.A. start-up is purchased by Unilever for a staggering sum

    One of the darlings of the Los Angeles’ start-up scene is cashing in on a $1-billion payday — a rise fueled by a disruptive business model and a series of offbeat viral ads. But this company does not traffic in virtual reality headsets, video games or disappearing messages. Its business, instead,...

  • Embezzled Malaysian funds financed L.A. real estate and 'Wolf of Wall Street,' Justice Department says

    Embezzled Malaysian funds financed L.A. real estate and 'Wolf of Wall Street,' Justice Department says

    Along the winding roads of some of L.A.'s toniest neighborhoods and in the often-opaque world of Hollywood film finance, federal officials say Malaysian officials stashed some of the billions they embezzled from a public fund. The Justice Department moved Wednesday to seize more than $1 billion...

  • Stocks keep reaching new highs, led by Microsoft and other tech companies

    Stocks keep reaching new highs, led by Microsoft and other tech companies

    Stocks took another modest step into record territory Wednesday after several companies reported profits that were stronger than expected, if not strong. Technology stocks led the way following an encouraging report from Microsoft. Both the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average...

  • As PCs decline, Microsoft is betting its future on the cloud

    As PCs decline, Microsoft is betting its future on the cloud

    In a world where there's a smartphone app for everything, one company — Amazon.com Inc. — has long been the host for an outsized share of online software and computing services. Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Satya Nadella wants to change that. Nadella has poured billions of dollars into building...

  • Is 'Pokemon Go' catching all your monthly data? Congress wants to know.

    Is 'Pokemon Go' catching all your monthly data? Congress wants to know.

    Three House lawmakers have written to the chief executive of Niantic Inc. questioning the effect of the company’s blockbuster “Pokemon Go” app on consumers’ mobile data usage. “Users have reported maxing out their their monthly data usage plans within a week of playing and have complained of eating...

  • AB InBev says SABMiller acquisition is on track for U.S. approval

    AB InBev says SABMiller acquisition is on track for U.S. approval

    Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer maker, announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the Justice Department clearing the way for U.S. approval of its acquisition of SABMiller. AB InBev, the Belgium-based maker of Budweiser and Bud Light, says it will sell SABMiller's...

  • A U.S. consumer panned a Chinese product on Amazon. Then things got crazy

    A U.S. consumer panned a Chinese product on Amazon. Then things got crazy

    E-commerce is bringing buyers and sellers together across borders like never before — but it’s not all smooth sailing. Just ask Mathew Garrett of Oakland. Garrett, who works in IT security, bought an Internet-connected power socket last month from a Chinese vendor called AuYou on Amazon. After...

  • San Onofre reactor leaked radiation after being misused, report says

    San Onofre reactor leaked radiation after being misused, report says

    Owners of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant operated the reactor outside the allowable limits for pressure and temperature, causing the radiation leak that shut down the facility for good, a new report has found. Citing documents recently obtained from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,...

  • Two major healthcare mergers could be in trouble amid competition concerns

    Two major healthcare mergers could be in trouble amid competition concerns

    Two major health insurance deals that would reshape the industry’s landscape — Anthem Inc.’s purchase of Cigna Corp. and Aetna Inc.’s deal to acquire Humana Inc. — appear to be in trouble amid concerns they would reduce competition. The Justice Department, which has been reviewing both transactions,...

  • Pimco's next CEO will be Manny Roman of Man Group

    Pimco's next CEO will be Manny Roman of Man Group

    Pimco, one of the world's biggest bond investors, has nabbed the head of hedge fund giant Man Group to be its next chief executive. Pimco said Wednesday that Manny Roman will replace current CEO Douglas Hodge, who will become a managing director. The Newport Beach firm boasts $1.5 trillion in assets...

  • Should augmented-reality games like 'Pokémon Go' place limits on the real-world locations they include?

    Should augmented-reality games like 'Pokémon Go' place limits on the real-world locations they include?

    The magic of “Pokemon Go” is in the way it overlays the Pokemon world atop the real world. Step outside and you’ll spot cartoonish creatures to capture. Head to a place where people congregate — say a park or a bus stop — and you’ll battle other players or encounter the rarest beasts.  In the two...

  • Nuclear’s next-generation reactor?

    Nuclear’s next-generation reactor?

    If the EM2 technology performs as designed, it would produce power at up to 40% lower cost than today’s existing nuclear reactors and produce electricity at much higher density. Factory built The reactor and other major plant components are manufactured in assembly-line fashion to drive down construction...

  • Hyperloop One wants $250 million from the 'Gang of Four' that sued the start-up

    Hyperloop One wants $250 million from the 'Gang of Four' that sued the start-up

    Hyperloop Technologies Inc. is seeking at least $250 million in damages from four former high-ranking employees who the company says tried to incite rebellion within the Los Angeles start-up. Now referring to itself as Hyperloop One, the firm says then-Chief Technology Officer Brogan BamBrogan...

  • Stocks end mixed; Netflix shares dive

    Stocks end mixed; Netflix shares dive

    Stocks ended mixed Tuesday as investors let up on the accelerator after a three-week rally sent indexes to all-time highs. The Dow Jones industrial average inched up 25.96 points, or 0.1%, for its eighth consecutive gain to set another record at 18,559.01. But the Standard & Poor's 500 index pulled...

  • California Obamacare rates to rise 13% in 2017, more than three times the increase of last two years

    California Obamacare rates to rise 13% in 2017, more than three times the increase of last two years

    Premiums for Californians’ Obamacare health coverage will rise by an average of 13.2% next year — more than three times the increase of the last two years and a jump that is bound to raise debate in an election year. The big hikes come after two years in which California officials had boasted that...

  • Autonomous cars will get new federal guidelines: 'We want people who start a trip to finish it'

    Autonomous cars will get new federal guidelines: 'We want people who start a trip to finish it'

    Companies working on self-driving cars need to focus on safety — "we want people who start a trip to finish it," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Tuesday, saying his department will issue new guidelines on the vehicles this summer. "Autonomous doesn't mean perfect," he told attendees...

  • Twitter lands contract with NBA for original live programming

    Twitter lands contract with NBA for original live programming

    Twitter Inc. and the NBA have signed a deal that will give the microblogging service two new, exclusive shows to stream, as well as additional video, the organizations said Tuesday. One of the shows will be a weekly live-streamed NBA pregame show that will be available exclusively via Twitter....

  • Southern California home prices jump in June

    Southern California home prices jump in June

    Southern California home prices jumped in June as prospective buyers bid higher, fighting over a meager supply of homes for sale. The six-county region’s median price rose 5% from a year earlier to hit $464,000 in June, data firm CoreLogic announced Tuesday. Sales were essentially flat, reflective...

  • Volkswagen CEO knew of emissions trouble 10 years ago, prosecutor says

    Volkswagen CEO knew of emissions trouble 10 years ago, prosecutor says

    New York state, Massachusetts and Maryland are suing Volkswagen and its affiliates Audi and Porsche over diesel emissions cheating, alleging that the German automakers defrauded customers by selling diesel vehicles equipped with software enabling them to cheat emissions testing. Prosecutors also...

  • Hyperloop One's initial structure should have raised questions

    Hyperloop One's initial structure should have raised questions

    The teams that found tech companies come in many shapes, most commonly pairing an engineer with someone who’s savvy in finance and marketing. Hyperloop Technologies Inc. emerged from a rare model: An engineer and a practicing venture capitalist. The drama at the start-up — where four former employees...

  • 'Brexit' uncertainty leads IMF to trim forecast for global economy

    'Brexit' uncertainty leads IMF to trim forecast for global economy

    Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has led the International Monetary Fund to trim its forecast for global economic growth through 2017, but so far the impact has not been as severe as initially feared. World economic output will increase 3.1% this year, the same as it did in 2015, and...

  • CalPERS posts worst year since 2009, with slim returns

    CalPERS posts worst year since 2009, with slim returns

    California’s largest public pension fund made a return of less than 1% in its most recent fiscal year, the fund’s worst performance since 2009. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System said Monday that its rate of return for the year ended June 30 was just 0.61%. What’s more, Ted Eliopoulos, the...

  • Pokemon Go attracts diverse crowd of gamers, study suggests

    Pokemon Go attracts diverse crowd of gamers, study suggests

    “Pokemon Go” appears to have done something its predecessors on Game Boy and Nintendo DS could not — attract a diverse fan base to the Pokemon universe. A survey of 1,000 players of the enormously popular augmented reality game by mobile market research firm MFour shows that minorities and women...

  • Yahoo says it paid too much for Tumblr and posts weak second-quarter results

    Yahoo says it paid too much for Tumblr and posts weak second-quarter results

    Yahoo Inc. remained tight-lipped Monday about its ongoing sale, but unexpectedly dished some dirt on itself, revealing to shareholders that it overpaid for the microblogging platform Tumblr. Nestled among its weak second-quarter financial results were impairment charges — write-offs for intangible...

  • Stocks inch higher, sending S&P 500 to another record

    Stocks inch higher, sending S&P 500 to another record

    Stocks ticked higher Monday as investors looked past this weekend's failed coup attempt in Turkey and nudged the Standard & Poor's 500 index to another record.  The S&P 500 rose 5.15 points, or 0.2%, to 2,166.89. It was the fifth time in the last six days that the index set a closing high. The...

  • Federal investigation targets Fiat Chrysler sales reports

    Federal investigation targets Fiat Chrysler sales reports

    Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Fiat Chrysler violated securities laws by getting dealers to falsely report sales in order to inflate the company's numbers.  The company confirmed the investigation Monday in a statement and said it's cooperating fully with the Securities...

  • Feds applaud automakers on fuel economy standards

    Feds applaud automakers on fuel economy standards

    In a move that caught some analysts by surprise, the federal government has given the auto industry a pat on the head for its advances in meeting fuel efficiency standards. The U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board made the...

  • SolarCity raises $345 million to fund new projects

    SolarCity raises $345 million to fund new projects

    SolarCity Corp. has raised $345 million from four partners to fund new solar projects, the company said Monday. The financing, which came in June and July, will cover the capital cost of new equipment and installations.  The San Mateo rooftop solar firm said its capital markets team has raised...

  • Japan's Softbank buys Britain's ARM Holdings for $31 billion

    Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. is buying British ARM Holdings for $31 billion in a deal the British government hailed Monday as a vote of confidence in the country following last month's vote to leave the European Union.  The recommended cash deal underlines SoftBank's desire...

  • Hurt by low rates, Bank of America profits fall 20%, but beat analysts' expectations

    Hurt by low rates, Bank of America profits fall 20%, but beat analysts' expectations

    Bank of America's earnings fell 20% in the second quarter as historically low interest rates make it less profitable to make loans. The Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant earned $3.87 billion, or 36 cents per share, before dividends to preferred shareholders. That's down from $4.8 billion, or...

  • SpaceX launches supplies to the International Space Station and lands rocket booster

    SpaceX launches supplies to the International Space Station and lands rocket booster

    SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is expected to dock at the International Space Station Wednesday morning, a few days after the company’s second successful landing on land of a first-stage rocket booster. The Hawthorne company launched its Falcon 9 rocket laden with supplies for the space station late...

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