April 6, 2014 |
The stock market is hitting new highs - just as corporate profit growth is slowing to a crawl. Rising earnings helped drive share prices to a series of record peaks in the last few years. But that dynamic could be tested this week when companies such as Alcoa Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. begin releasing first-quarter results. Quarterly profits are expected to drop for just the second time in four years. The decline would be relatively small: 1.2% for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, according to FactSet Research Systems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 |
Reginald Clarke is someone Obamacare was designed to help. The 55-year-old, who was homeless for a time, now has an apartment in Gardena and a street-cleaning job that pays him $14,000 a year. He hadn't visited a doctor in four or five years. Then, last fall, his girlfriend told him he would be eligible for Medi-Cal starting Jan. 1. "I was excited. I could go get a physical," he said. "There are a few things I need. " But joy turned to exasperation when Clarke's application, filed in December, was mistakenly rejected - and then seemed to disappear from county and state computer systems.
April 4, 2014 |
Diesel-powered cars save on fuel, but many of them won't save you any money. That's because they cost thousands more to buy in the first place, compared with similar gas-powered models. And many automakers usually offer diesel engines only in combination with a pricey set of standard features. So it can take years - if ever - to make up for those upfront costs through savings at the pump. That's what makes the latest addition to Volkswagen's growing diesel fleet, the Jetta TDI Value Edition, so intriguing.
April 3, 2014 |
Among the frequently asked questions on Yelp's website, there's this: "Will Yelp remove or reorder bad reviews if a business pays for sponsorship?" And the answer: "No. You can't pay us to remove or reorder your bad reviews - it's just that simple. " It's not that simple, at least if you listen to the many small-business owners who say Yelp routinely uses bad reviews and competitors' ads as leverage to get merchants to cough up some cash. "They continually harass you and strong-arm you to get you to pay for their service," said Randy Boelsems, 64, who runs a boating supply company in Fountain Valley.
April 1, 2014 |
The longtime Malibu home of the late comedian Dick Martin and his actress wife, Dolly, is for sale at $11.5 million. The Cape Cod-inspired beach house, built in 1946, has unobstructed ocean views and a wooden walkway that leads to the sand. Features of the one-bedroom house include vaulted ceilings, brick fireplaces, French doors, a beach-facing deck and a wine cellar. There are four bathrooms and 2,551 square feet of living space. A self-contained guest house, separated from the main house by a rose garden and fruit trees, has a fireplace and an open-beam ceiling.
April 1, 2014 |
After an international bidding war, a Westside mansion often described as a French palace has changed hands for $102 million, making it the most expensive residential sale ever recorded in Southern California. As is often the case with high-end properties, the identity of the trophy home's unnamed buyer has been obscured behind layers of lawyers, agents and a limited liability company. But the real estate equivalent of a bread crumb trail suggests that the purchaser of the opulent estate is onetime junk bond king Michael Milken, who has spent more than two decades devoted to philanthropic efforts since he pleaded guilty in 1990 to securities fraud.