December 18, 2012 |
Retailers are pulling back on sales of assault weapons and investors are abandoning gun makers' stocks as the nation's grief focuses on the funerals of the 20 children and six adults killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage in Newtown, Conn. Calling the deadly assault "tragic and devastating," private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said Tuesday that it will sell its 95% stake in Freedom Group Inc., which makes the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that police said was used in the attack.
November 15, 2012 |
Rising home prices are helping trim the ranks of underwater homeowners in Los Angeles and Orange counties, a new report by real estate information company Zillow Inc. says. There were an estimated 438,012 homes underwater in Los Angeles and Orange counties in the third quarter. A home is underwater when the outstanding debt on the property is more than what the home would fetch in a sale. That represented about 25.9% of homes with mortgages in the region, down from 28.9% in the second quarter. The website estimates that there is roughly $58.9 billion worth of negative equity in the two counties. In a news release, Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said the decrease in negative equity should help homeowners looking to refinance out of costly loans or sell their properties.
November 1, 2012 |
KAPOLEI, Hawaii - For all those visitors to Waikiki Beach who see Honolulu as a South Sea paradise, Maeda Timson would like to invite them to climb into her minivan and drive for a moment in her world. She leaves her home in this fast-growing suburb every morning at 6:20 for what has become an hour and a half commute to her job as vice president at Bank of Hawaii in downtown Honolulu. Sometimes it takes two hours to go the 23 miles. "Where's the quality of life?" Timson said.
October 11, 2012 |
They didn't go there. Did they? Did the No on 31 campaign , funded mostly by organized labor and backed by the California Democratic Party, really invoke the "Tea Party" as being on the right (right as in “correct”) side of the issue? Did they really cite fringy populist conservatives who worry about a United Nations takeover of California? Yeah, they kinda did. How else would you interpret the Google ad that says “Learn why California Democrats and Tea Party both say vote No”?
October 7, 2012 |
With interest rates at near-record lows, these have not been good times for investors looking to generate low-risk income. Money-market accounts are paying an average of 0.5%. (Think about that: A $1-million deposit into an average money-market will yield a whopping $5,000 a year.) Even five-year CDs are yielding just 1.5% on average. So, where's an income-hungry investor to turn? One option is high-yield bonds, which are paying about 6% but carry risk that issuing companies may default, eroding the bonds' value.
October 6, 2012 |
In a swift overhaul, top officials of troubled teen clothier Wet Seal Inc. - including the chairman - were ousted and replaced by board members handpicked by an activist shareholder that directed the coup. The Foothill Ranch retailer, which operates about 550 mall-based stores under the Wet Seal and Arden B. brands, has been under attack for months by its third largest shareholder, New York City private equity firm Clinton Group. "The company now has a newly formed board where the majority have specialty retail experience," Greg Taxin, managing director of Clinton Group, said in an interview.
October 1, 2012 |
NEW YORK -- Stocks rallied 1% in early trading, as investors saw more reasons to be optimistic about Europe's debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 143 points, or 1.1%, to 13,581 shortly after the opening bell on Wall Street. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,456. The Nasdaq was up 28 points, or 0.9%, to 3,144. Stress tests of Spain's troubled banks reportedly turned out better than expected. Investors also digested a report showing U.S. manufacturing increased in September, following three months of decline.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2012 |
Jennifer Jaff was on the brink of attending law school when her doctor tried to stop her because she had a debilitating chronic illness. "I decided I couldn't stay in bed the rest of my life," she later said. "I had to live. " Decades later she was a partner in a Connecticut law firm when the Crohn's disease that she had been diagnosed with as a teenager finally got in the way of her work as a trial lawyer. She started looking around and "found all these patients who had questions and needed help," she told the Hartford Courant last year.
September 13, 2012 |
Question: When is a contract not worth the paper it's printed on? Answer: When it contains weasel words so broad in scope that one party is free to change whatever it wants, whenever it wants. Janet Bandur and her husband, Darrell, discovered this after Wells Fargo contacted them recently to say that their home equity line of credit was being closed because "it is no longer compatible with today's systems. " The Bandurs were told they had one year to pay off the roughly $87,000 they had outstanding on the account.
September 12, 2012 |
New data show the number of underwater borrowers in the U.S. is continuing to decline as home prices improve, meaning one of the most stubborn roadblocks to the housing market's recovery is slowly lifting. The Santa Ana research firm CoreLogic estimates that the number of homeowners in the U.S. who owed more on their homes than those properties are worth totaled 10.8 million American households, or about 22.3% of all homes with mortgages, at the end of the second quarter. That was an improvement from the first quarter, when there were about 11.4 million underwater homes, amounting to about 23.7% of all mortgaged homes.