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L.A. Times - Business

National and international business news. Find stock updates, the latest trends in technology, real estate news and the latest on the economy.

Last Build Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2016 04:08:30 -0800

Copyright: ©2016 Los Angeles Times

Medfly quarantine expands in San Fernando Valley

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 20:50:00 PST

Agricultural officials have imposed a 101-square-mile quarantine that will restrict the movement of fruit, produce and ornamental plants in the San Fernando Valley, after Mediterranean fruit flies were detected near Panorama City.

Properties within 657 feet of the site will be treated with Spinosad,...


Norwegian Air International gets final approval for flights to U.S., despite opposition

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 16:35:00 PST

Despite opposition from American carriers, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final permit Friday to allow Norwegian Air International to fly in and out of the U.S. from a base in Ireland.

Opponents, including major U.S. carriers and airline labor groups, say Norwegian Air International is...


AT&T and Verizon shouldn't exempt their own apps from data caps, FCC says

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 14:50:00 PST

U.S. regulators are calling out AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. for exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers' cellphones.

This may not result in any changes in how the wireless carriers operate, however, because agency leaders appointed by President-elect Donald Trump...


Supreme Court to decide whether church-affiliated hospitals can underfund pensions

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 13:55:00 PST

The Supreme Court will decide whether some of the nation's largest healthcare providers can rely on their church affiliations to avoid complying with federal laws covering pension benefits for workers.

The justices agreed Friday to take up cases involving three nonprofit hospital systems being...


Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury, leaves the boards of CIT and Sears

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 13:35:00 PST

Steven Mnuchin is stepping down from the boards of CIT Group Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp., days after he confirmed that President-elect Donald Trump wants him to be the next Treasury secretary.

Mnuchin, 53, joined CIT last year when the New York financial services company bought Pasadena-based...


Health spending went up last year because more people were getting care, report says

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 11:00:00 PST

Health spending in the U.S. picked up again in 2015, but the growth was driven largely by millions of Americans getting coverage through the Affordable Care Act, rather than price increases for care, according to a new government report that tracks the nation’s overall healthcare tab.

The 5.8%...


'Fintech' firms notch win as regulator allows them to seek federal bank charters

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 13:35:00 PST

Upstart financial firms such as Square, Lending Club and SoFi could soon have some of the same powers now held by their older, stodgier banking competitors.

The nation’s top bank regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said Friday that it would start issuing bank charters to online...


Appeals court clears the way for a $2.2-billion power plant in Carlsbad

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 11:55:00 PST

It looks like the $2.2-billion, 558-megawatt Carlsbad Energy Center power plant will get built.

The 1st District Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled late Thursday that it would defer to the California Public Utilities Commission, whose members voted 4 to 1 in May 2015 to approve a contract...


Pimco to pay nearly $20 million to settle SEC charges that it misled investors

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 13:25:00 PST

Investment giant Pimco has agreed to pay a nearly $20-million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that it misled investors about the performance of one of its earliest actively managed exchange-traded funds.

The charges stem from the firm’s Total Return ETF,...


Stocks little changed as investors seek safety

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 14:40:00 PST

Investors made a small move back to safer assets Friday afternoon after the government's November jobs report showed continued hiring but weak wage growth.

Stock indexes finished little changed after real estate and household goods companies rose, but banks, which have soared since the presidential...


Ford recalls 680,000 cars; seat belts may not hold in crash

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 06:55:00 PST

Ford is recalling more than 680,000 midsize sedans mainly in North America because the front seat belts may not hold people in a crash.

The recall covers certain 2013 to 2016 Ford Fusion, 2013 to 2015 Lincoln MKZ and 2015 and 2016 Ford Mondeo cars.

Ford says heat generated when the seat belt pre-tensioners...


What November's solid jobs report means for interest rates and Donald Trump

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 11:15:00 PST

Solid job gains and a nine-year low unemployment rate in November put the Federal Reserve on track for an interest rate hike this month and indicate that President-elect Donald Trump will inherit a steadily growing labor market — although one that still needs some key improvements.

The U.S. economy...


Immigration detainees should be held in for-profit prisons, panel says

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 15:50:00 PST

Immigration authorities should continue holding people accused of immigration violations in for-profit prisons despite complaints about safety and other problems, a Department of Homeland Security review panel has concluded after examining the issue.

Privately run detention facilities have long...


What to buy (and skip) in December

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 10:00:00 PST

If you’re like many Americans, you got a lot of holiday shopping done between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But despite a drawer stuffed with receipts and more than a few bags full of gifts by the time December arrived, you probably didn’t finish.

Before you set out on additional bargain-hunting...


Transamerica to close L.A. and Folsom offices, cutting hundreds of jobs

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 09:40:00 PST

Financial services and insurance company Transamerica said Thursday that it will close its office in Los Angeles, cutting about 315 jobs.

The Baltimore company will also close its office in Folsom, where 30 employees will be affected. Transamerica will no longer have operations in California, though...


Starbucks' Howard Schultz is stepping down as CEO

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 14:20:00 PST

Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Howard Schultz, who transformed the chain into a global coffee brand, is stepping down from that role at the company he joined more than 30 years ago. 

The Seattle-based company announced Thursday that Kevin Johnson, who was named president and chief operating officer...


Wells Fargo customers harmed by fake accounts would get to sue under proposed legislation

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 15:25:00 PST

Wells Fargo & Co. customers who learned that bank employees opened accounts without their consent later discovered another problem when they tried to sue to recover lost fees and for other damages.

They couldn’t.

The San Francisco-based bank says that clauses in contracts the customers signed when...


CBS scores NFL digital streaming rights, a boon to its digital platform

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 12:15:00 PST

CBS Corp. has secured rights for NFL football games for its streaming service, CBS All Access, providing a significant boost to the two-year-old subscription digital offering.

Until now, CBS had been forbidden from showing the NFL games that were broadcast by CBS television stations on the company’s...


Princess Cruises to pay $40-million fine for dumping oily waste and lying about it

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 12:15:00 PST

Princess Cruise Lines has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $40-million fine for dumping illegal waste off the coast of England three years ago and trying to cover it up by lying to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The fine is the largest criminal penalty ever paid involving deliberate dumping by a cruise...


'You don't need a gun' to try on jeans: Levi's CEO asks customers not to carry firearms in stores

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 12:05:00 PST

Levi's jeans might remind you of cowboys — that is, after all, one of the company's signature cuts of denim — but you won't likely find anyone with a six-shooter in one of the company's stores.

Levi Strauss & Co. Chief Executive Chip Bergh posted an open letter Wednesday requesting that shoppers...


Oil and banks lift the Dow to a new record high, but tech stocks dive

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 13:50:00 PST

Technology companies plunged Thursday, and high-dividend stocks took hefty losses as bond yields rose to their highest level in more than a year. But more big gains for blue-chip banking and oil stocks pulled the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high.

Big names such as Facebook and Oracle...


Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, but it turns out Americans like most of it, a poll finds

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 00:05:00 PST

Despite sharp partisan differences over the Affordable Care Act, Democrats and Republicans, including voters who backed President-elect Donald Trump, strongly support most of the law’s key provisions, a new national poll indicates.

And although most Trump voters still favor repealing the law, often...


SpaceX could return to flight Dec. 16, satellite launch customer says

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 12:45:00 PST

SpaceX could return to flight in about two weeks, pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, after an explosion that destroyed one of its rockets, satellite launch customer Iridium Communications Inc. said Thursday.

The tentative date comes three months after one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets...


Degrees of debt: The downside of federal student loans

Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST

Dear Liz: Are federal student loans turned over to a collection agency still collectible after 20 years?

Answer: Yes. Very much so. There is no statute of limitations on federal student loans, which means collectors can come after you until you pay or die, whichever comes first. Statutes of limitations...


The drought doesn't mean your HOA has to look like a wasteland

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST

Question: Our homeowner association near Santa Clarita has a problem that most of the other associations around us don’t seem to share. Our association board appears to go out of its way not to approve drought-resistant landscaping or makes it difficult for owners to pick out plants. Several dozen...