Business highlights from 2016

Business quiz 2016: Test your knowledge of the deals, disasters and drama

How closely did you follow business news in 2016? Test your knowledge with our annual quiz.

Satellite constellations could be poised to challenge the broadband industry

With OneWeb's $1-billion funding round, satellite constellations could be on the cusp of becoming major players in the broadband industry.

Winners and losers in global markets in 2016: U.S. stocks lead the way

Surging financial markets crowned lots of winners in 2016 but some sectors didn't make it to the party.

Why cheaper food in 2016 was not necessarily good news

Consumers paid less at groceries in 2016, but the first annual deflation in retail food prices in nearly 50 years is bad news for agriculture

What it's like wearing Snapchat Spectacles

Spectacles — the debut camera from Los Angeles start-up Snap Inc. — might be the first camera ever sold with most technical specifications withheld.

Photoshop is hard to learn. Adobe thinks artificial intelligence can help

In an era when you can edit photos and video directly on your phone, will Adobe’s big investments in artificial intelligence allow the San Jose company to retain its market share?

Here's what happens on the airplane before you board your flight

A key to airline profitability is getting a plane unloaded and back in the air again. It takes hustle and coordination.

JBL at 70: This Northridge operation still knows how to throw sound

Despite enormous upheaval in the audio world, JBL is still playing sweet, sweet music

One solution to Southern California's housing crisis: building in tight spaces, small lots

Southern California developers are building affordable "infill" projects on under-utilized property in another strategy to address the region's housing shortage.

Why it's so hard to get your hands on the Christmas toy your kid really wants

How come it's so hard to get the holiday season's must-have toy? Because toy-makers often don't know they have a hit until it's too late.

Stone Brewing wants Germany, the land of Oktoberfest, to like American craft beers

Stone Brewing, the fast-growing Escondido beer brand, is bringing its unorthodox American craft brews to a country with a beer culture steeped in hundreds of years of tradition: Germany.

How 4 drug companies rapidly raised prices on life-saving drugs

A Senate study examines the tactics companies use to hike drug prices.

Pomona hospital workers say they were pressured to stay silent about dirty conditions

Workers at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center say they were coerced into signing agreements not to talk about superbug infections.

Matt Damon's 'The Great Wall' tests appetite for U.S.-China moviemaking

Matt Damon's 'The Great Wall' tests appetite for U.S.-China movie-making

CalPERS widens its ban on tobacco-related investments

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System widened its ban against investing tobacco stocks

These three U.S. companies moved jobs to Mexico. Here's why

Here's a look at why three companies have moved, or are in the process of moving, work to Mexico.

Big flops. Waning studio profits. What Hollywood's record box office doesn't tell you

Hollywood will likely have a record year at the box office but the industry is facing some serious challenges

Lending money to pot businesses is a high-risk move: 'This is not for the faint of heart'

With no protection in federal bankruptcy courts and the ever-present threat of federal asset seizures, lending to the marijuana industry is a risky business - and a potentially attractive one.

Uber defies DMV's order to cease self-driving car program in San Francisco

Uber said it will continue to operate its self-driving cars in San Francisco despite demands from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to cease its

Young doctors could work 28 hours straight under new plan, despite possible dangers

The group that oversees physician training in the U.S. has proposed rolling back rules so that young doctors just out of medical school can work shifts as long as 28 hours.

Amazon drivers say they are pushed to the limit as holiday deliveries reach a frenzy

Many of the people who speed around major cities in vans filled with Amazon boxes say the company avoids paying them overtime or meal breaks.

Facebook is working to stop fake news by tapping human fact-checkers

Facebook revealed its plan to thwart the spread of fake news on its platform -- a strategy that relies more on human judgment than algorithms.

Uber's self-driving cars put tech's 'move fast, break things' credo to the test

Uber is playing fast and loose with the rules again, this time with self-driving cars

Yahoo says hackers stole information from more than 1 billion accounts

Yahoo says it believes hackers stole data from more than one billion user accounts in August 2013.

Fed raises interest rate and projects more hikes in 2017 to fight off inflation

Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday are expected to raise a key interest rate for the first time in a year.

Feds slap restrictions on Wells Fargo after finding bank unprepared for any future bankruptcy

Wells Fargo was sanctioned Tuesday by federal regulators who determined the bank has not done enough to ensure it could continue operating smoothly after a bankruptcy.

Parents pay for their kids to be models on the fringe of the children's fashion business

Modeling business that charge for clothing and other items are a growing worry among industry experts and law enforcement officials.

Marijuana is now legal in California, but it can still keep you from getting a job

Employment lawyers say most companies they’ve spoken with plan to keep their current drug screening procedures, which prohibit cannabis.

Without these ads, there wouldn't be money in fake news

Recommended content ads, sometimes called chum, are everywhere online. And without them, there wouldn't be any money in the fake news economy.

American dream slips out of reach for millennials, study finds

Only about half of 30-something Americans earn more than their parents, a new report shows.

Pebble smartwatch maker calls it quits, proving that being first doesn't guarantee success

Pebble Technology Corp., one of the first companies to manufacture smartwatches, said it will shut down and sell its software and intellectual property to Fitbit.

State Farm files lawsuit to block historic rollback in insurance rates

State Farm has filed a lawsuit to block a ruling by the California Insurance Commissioner that would reduce its home insurance rates and require it to issue refunds.

Supreme Court affirms broad reach of insider-trading laws

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the broad reach of insider trading laws, ruling that family and friends of corporate insiders can be prosecuted for profiting on secret stock tips.

Why your Christmas tree may cost more this year

A Christmas tree shortage is driving up costs at Southern California sellers.

How free coupons for patients help drugmakers hike prices by 1,000%

Drug companies hand out coupons so they can aggressively hike prices

More hotels are checking out of the Bible business

A survey of hotel owners shows that less than half now carry religious material in the rooms.

Warehouses promised lots of jobs, but robots are invading the workforce

Online shopping has produced thousands of warehouse jobs in California, but automation is replacing many of them.

The future of credit-card security may involve blinking numbers

The credit card world is undergoing major changes, which is great news for Los Angeles card manufacturer Oberthur Technologies.

This L.A. office building is crazier than it looks: Its steel bands are an exoskeleton

High-rise office tower wrapped with steel ribbons to be built off the Expo Line near Culver City.

Mobile shopping is quick and convenient. So why hasn't it killed Black Friday yet?

Shoppers are increasingly browsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on their phones, but those aren't necessarily translating into purchases on mobile devices.

The keeper of Disney's legacy, archivist Dave Smith spent 40 years preserving the history of an American icon

Dave Smith has dedicated his life to cataloging and documenting all facets of America's most famous entertainment company

The era of super-low interest rates might be ending. What's in it for you?

An improving economy and anticipation of fiscal stimulus from the incoming Trump administration signals the end of the era of super-low interest rates. What does that mean for consumers and business?

The U.S. labor force's guy problem: Lots of men don’t have a job and aren’t looking for one

The percentage of working-age Americans in the labor force remains stuck near its lowest level since the late 1970s.

Obama confronts an uncertain future on trade with the likely death of his signature TPP deal

The election of Donald Trump was a death knell for the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal championed by President Obama.

Our top picks from the L.A. Auto Show

L.A. Times car writers pick their favorite cars from the L.A. Auto Show

Wells Fargo hit with new sanctions following fake-accounts scandal

A top bank regulator has imposed additional restrictions on Wells Fargo in a move one former regulator called "a vote of no-confidence" in the bank's leadership.

Facebook bans fake news from its advertising network — but not its News Feed

Amid mounting pressure, Facebook Inc. said it would block fake news sites from making money off its advertising networks.

L.A. Auto Show 2016 live updates: The Chevy Bolt EV wins Green Car of the Year

The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public Friday and ends Nov. 27. Take a look through our coverage from the four days of press previews and keynotes, known as AutoMobility L.A., to see photos and analysis of the latest high-tech offerings. The disappearing stick shift: Less than 3% of cars sold in the U.S. have manual transmissions Electric cars are less than 1% of the market. Yet automakers are pushing them big time. Why? What to expect if you go to the L.A. Auto Show Photos from the L.A. Auto Show

The disappearing stick shift: Less than 3% of cars sold in the U.S. have manual transmissions

Despite its popularity among gear heads, the manual transmission may be going the way of the rumble seat.

L.A. County saw a 95% drop in porn film permits. With the condom law defeated, the industry looks to make its return

Southern California’s signature and controversial adult entertainment industry may stage a comeback after the defeat of a measure that would have mandated condoms on adult film sets statewide.

Why Trump — or any other politician — can't do much to bring back manual labor jobs

It will be almost impossible for Trump to fulfill his promise to bring back most of the assembly line gigs lost to globalization, economists say.

DirecTV's Daniel York brought hardball tactics to Dodgers channel negotiations

Daniel York, the executive at the center of the Department of Justice's investigation into DirecTV, is known for his brash style.

Where are all those plastic bags? California voters decided to get rid of them

Now that the state law banning single-use plastic bags from being distributed by grocers survived an Election Day referendum, the bags have suddenly disappeared from stores.

What would a recreational marijuana market in California look like?

Cannabis will be taxed more than tobacco, marketed like wine, funded like the riskiest of startups, and cultivated under bank-like security, experts say of a new pot market.

See which stores will be open Thanksgiving Day — and why others are waiting until Black Friday

Thanksgiving Day is around the corner, and that means the launch of the holiday shopping season — or does it? Traditionally, holiday sales used to begin on Black Friday, but in recent years ...

After Trump's win, even some in Silicon Valley wonder: Has Facebook grown too influential?

When it comes to influencing public opinion, the 2016 presidential election demonstrated the weakening role of traditional media and the ascendant power of social networks like Facebook.

SAG-AFTRA's video game strike could spark unrest in other Hollywood labor unions

A video game strike by SAG-AFTRA could have repercussions throughout Hollywood.

The world's best gamers may one day compete against the smartest computers

Google's DeepMind research unit and Blizzard Entertainment are partnering to make "StarCraft II" data available to the public to further artificial intelligence research.

Here's why pot growers are paying millions for old greenhouses in the Salinas Valley

Cannabis cultivators have rediscovered the salad bowl of the nation, touching off a real estate bubble for abandoned greenhouses.

Mergers create hotel giants, but few are complaining

With Marriott International taking over Starwood hotels, half of all hotels in the U.S. are controlled by six hotel chains.

The financial world is betting on one election outcome. What if it's wrong?

Investors and businesses are already acting as if the election is over -- and Clinton won. But what if she doesn't.

Fed’s antitrust suit against AT&T’s DirecTV is odd, legal experts say

The DOJ's antitrust case against DirecTV is pretty weird.

Relativity Media struggles to come back from bankruptcy

Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media is struggling post bankruptcy, but it may have secured some relief from Singapore's YuuZoo

Clinton's immigration plan could help economy more than Trump's, most economists say

Forget about tax plans and spending programs, trade deals and regulatory reform.

California's electric-car rebates jump for lower-income buyers and vanish for more high earners

In an effort to boost the sale of low-emissions vehicles, California is again tweaking its rebate program for buyers of all-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell cars. Starting Tuesday ...

Elon Musk wants to sell you a better-looking solar roof

Elon Musk unveils new rooftop solar panel design in hopes of reinvigorating the rooftop solar market, which continues to grow but a slower pace than a year ago.

Renters and authorities say apartment listing firms charge $200 and offer little help

Authorities and consumer groups say a growing number of listing services are fly-by-night operators offering help that often never materializes or is marginal at best.

L.A.'s latest $1-billion tech company has a female CEO

BlackLine, the Woodland Hills technology company Therese Tucker founded and continues to run, listed on Nasdaq as part of a $146.2-million initial public offering.

Some Californians see health premiums rise sharply as Obamacare enrollment nears

As Californians receive their Obamacare premium rates for next year, some are learning their hikes will be far higher than the average statewide increase of 13.2%

Emojis join Van Gogh and Picasso at Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art in New York will add the original 176 emojis, designed by Shigetaka Kurita, to its collection.

Qualcomm prepares for a future beyond smartphones with $38-billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors

Chip maker Qualcomm said it is buying NXP Semiconductors in a $38 billion deal to diversify its business as the smartphone market slows.

Las Vegas casinos love Chinese gamblers. So these guys built a casino just for them

Las Vegas casino operators know there’s no gambler quite like the Chinese, but until now no one has built a casino strictly for them. Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is going to change that.

Why some TV executives can't wait for the election to end

TV networks scramble to figure out why NFL ratings are down.

The biggest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history was just approved. VW buybacks start soon

A federal judge has approved a $14.7-billion settlement in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating case. The deal gives about 475,000 owners of VWs and Audis with 2-liter diesel engines the opportunity ...

California actually benefits a lot from trade with China

China, vilified by Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election, has actually lifted many California workers with its investment and trade.

Elon Musk describes his vision for human habitats on Mars

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk answered questions in a Reddit AMA about his plans to create a civilization on Mars.

L.A. Drives: The writer of the 'Seinfeld' 'Soup Nazi' episode loves cruising Malibu Canyon

TV writer Spike Feresten, whose comedy credits stretch from “SNL” to “Late Night with David Letterman” to “Seinfeld,” is a Porsche man.

Don't think of Amazon Echo as just a speaker. It's a whole new way of life

Gadgets like the Amazon Echo and Google Home might help consumers feel comfortable with the idea of web-connected household appliances.

Snapchat and Facebook have a new rival in their sights: television

Snapchat and Facebook are trying to transcend television and become the dominant gateway to video.

Pasadena's Dog Haus is set to become a national chain with nearly 500 locations

Pasadena hot dog chain Dog Haus inked a deal to expand from 20 locations to nearly 500 in the next seven years.

The Fed says inflation is low but you don't agree. Here's why you both might be right

The pace at which prices are rising — known as the inflation rate — is crucial to important policy decisions, such as setting the poverty threshold used for food stamps and other government assistance.

A gas leak in affluent Porter Ranch got national attention. This poor Alabama town has smelled like rotten eggs for eight years

Residents of Eight Mile, Ala., are upset that they aren't getting the kind of response to a mercaptan leak as people in Porter Ranch.

Protect your money: Look out for these uncertainties looming over the economy

Investing Quarterly: The Trump vs. Clinton showdown is making markets uneasy, but there's a host of unknowns that may have much more bearing on the economy and your finances.

Tiny homes are all the rage. But here's why the market is more bust than boom

The hype over tiny homes is booming, spawning TV shows, lifestyle websites and endless photo spreads. But builders trying to make money off the tiny-home craze are having trouble nailing down profit

Beverly Hills, land of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, seeks status as driverless-car innovator

Beverly Hills pushes for driverless cars

South Koreans live in 'the Republic of Samsung,' where the Galaxy Note 7 crisis feels personal

South Koreans sometimes call their country the Republic of Samsung, and they’re only half-joking. So they have watched the crisis over Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, which ...

See what's killing haunted houses and other independent Halloween attractions

Mom-and-pop Halloween attractions are being killed off by growing insurance and other expenses as well as government regulations. They also face competition from Halloween giants including ...

Despite exploding smartphones, customers are likely to stick with Samsung

Exploding batteries in Samsung's premiere line of smartphones pose a huge threat to the company's mobile business -- and a huge opportunity for firms such as Apple and Google.

Millennials aren't big spenders or risk-takers, and that's going to reshape the economy

Weekender: Millennials will be driving social and economic trends for years to come, 49in

Why Americans are eating less cold cereal for breakfast

U.S. sales of breakfast cereals have turned soggy as people worry about cereal’s nutrition and lack of convenience.

How Wells Fargo's rivals make it harder for employees to create fake accounts

All banks have sales goals, but Wells Fargo's system was different, structured in ways that made it more likely that workers might open sham accounts.

The egg industry launched a secret two-year war against a vegan mayonnaise competitor

A government-supervised group representing the egg industry overstepped its authority by waging a two-year “crisis” campaign to halt the growth of a San Francisco vegan mayonnaise startup, joking ab

The era of big monthly job gains appears over — and economists say that's a good thing

The era of monthly payroll gains of at least 200,000 appears to be over after the Labor Department reported another lackluster month of job growth on Friday, but economists said that’s a good thing.

To keep drones out of high-risk areas, companies try hijacking them and shooting them down

The counter-drone technology industry is growing. But it's hard to find solutions that work and also don't create unintended harm.

The Port of L.A. is having a dramatic year. Here's what its chief sees in its future

It has been a wild year for the people who choreograph the flow of goods in and out of U.S. ports. Port of Los Angeles chief Gene Seroka tells us what he thinks is coming next.

So you think Obamacare is a disaster? Here's how California is proving you wrong

Amid a new round of attacks on Obamacare, California is showing how the law can work and providing an blueprint for what Hillary Clinton may do as president

L.A. County plans to make hospitals report superbug infections

Los Angeles County plans to require hospitals to begin reporting when patients are infected with a certain superbug so lethal that it can kill half its victims, health officials said Thursday.

Snapchat said to be eyeing $25-billion IPO in early 2017

Snapchat is said to be eyeing an initial public offering in early 2017, priced at or above $25 billion.

Theranos seeks turnaround with a portable blood-testing device, but skepticism abounds

Rather than selling low-priced lab tests to consumers, Theranos is now focusing its “undivided attention” on developing a new portable blood-testing device it calls the miniLab.

Supreme Court appears hesitant to curtail insider trading prosecutions

Supreme Court could make it far harder to prosecute stock traders who rely on secret tips Supreme Court could make it far harder to prosecute stock traders who rely on secret tips