Los Angeles Business Journal

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 72 points in early trading Thursday to 16,213. The S&P 500 was down six points to 1,914. The Nasdaq was down 28 points to 4,592. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 216.

State’s Economy Growing

California’s economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the nation’s over the next five years but is projected to slow down after next year, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.'s annual forecast, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, while the housing recovery will continue, salaries are not keeping up with the rising home prices statewide.

New Mandates for Oil Refineries

Environmentalists and health advocates are applauding federal rules signed into law this week that aim to monitor pollution released from oil refineries, the Daily Breeze reports. The mandates require reduced emissions and, for the first time, require refineries, including the six in Southern California, to put canisters along their fence lines that regularly sample the air for hazardous material.

Young Billionaire

Evan Spiegel, chief executive of Venice’s Snapchat’s, at the age of 25, is the youngest billionaire in the world with a net worth of $2.1 billion, according to Forbes, the Los Angeles Times reports. His co-founder of the social-networking startup, Bobby Murphy, is also on the Forbes 400 list for the first time.

Job Numbers Up in September

The private sector added 200,000 jobs this month – partly due to a boost from big companies – which was above the 194,000 expected, according to a report this morning from payroll firm ADP, CNBC reports.

Party On

A Hollywood Hills house is being dubbed the new Playboy mansion because of its frequent parties and bikini-clad guests, leaving neighbors fuming, the Daily Mail reports. The couple, the Yottas, are renting the house for $40,000 a month and use the parties to market their companies. They say people who live nearby are probably just jealous of their “Yotta Life.”

Wi-Fi While You Wait

Who said waiting for the bus has to be boring? Soon, riders will be able to use Wi-Fi, charge their cell phones and get real-time information about bus arrivals, LAist reports. While there’s one stop in historic South Central that currently has the capability, bus shelters with the new technology are scheduled to pop up over the next nine months.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 193 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,242. The S&P 500 was up 25 points to 1,909. The Nasdaq was up 65 points to 4,583. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 214.

Office Complex Sold in Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo, between the trendy Arts District and bustling downtown, appears to be drawing more interest from developers. An Atlanta real estate company has purchased the Brunswig Square office and retail complex in Little Tokyo for a price estimated to be in the mid-$60-million range, the Los Angeles Times reports. The buyer wants to preserve the building’s character and orient it toward creative tenants.

Hiring for Christmas Already?

It’s still September, but already the holiday season is starting to rev up for retailers. JC Penney said it is planning to hire 1,500 seasonal employees in Los Angeles this year, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. Customer service positions as well as cashiers are among the positions that will be filled. There’s no word on whether the goal is to actually make sales clerks available to help.

Restaurants Opening at the Village

L.A.’s newest mall, the Village at Westfield Topanga, opened recently but all 17 restaurants were delayed while work continued. However, the first restaurants started opening Monday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. About 100 people lined up early to be among the first to eat at the new Panera Bread and for the chance to win free coffee for a month.

New Bel Air Mansions to Sell for $115 Million

A group of developers is offering to build trophy houses, rivaling the size of the White House, near the Hotel Bel Air at a starting price of $115 million, Bloomberg reports. The first lot in Park Bel Air is expected to go on the market Tuesday. Buyers may choose to buy a lot for $45 million and develop it themselves. Construction is expected to begin on the first estate in February.

Major Buy

Comcast NBCUniversal, the parent company of Universal Studios Hollywood, has paid $1.5-billion to buy a 51 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, the Los Angeles Times reports. The park has a license from NBCUniversal to operate rides such as Jurassic Park, the Ride and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Company officials say they plan to introduce attractions to the park over the next five years.

First Model X SUVs Here

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc. is scheduled to deliver the first of its Model X vehicles Tuesday night, Bloomberg reports. The electric sport utility van allows customers to choose whether to have six or seven seats, comes with “falcon wing” doors that open vertically and has a battery range of about 250 miles. Starting price: $75,000

Nothing Like Deep-fried Guacamole

The Los Angeles County Fair may have been four days shorter this year, but attendance was up 6 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports. Fair organizers attributed the higher numbers to a stronger economy, better weather and, of course, the introduction of deep-fried guacamole offered by Charles Boghosian, also known as Chicken Charlie, one of the fair’s most popular food vendors.