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April 21, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Average movie ticket prices dropped in the first quarter of this year from the end of 2013, but were still slightly higher than a year ago. In the first quarter, the average ticket price for movie theaters in the U.S. was $7.96, down from $8.35 in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the National Assn. of Theatre Owners. Ticket prices, however, were still slightly higher than the same time a year ago, when the average price was $7.94, the trade group said. Average ticket prices -- which include matinees and theaters across the country -- reached a record level last year, climbing to $8.13.
April 21, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Higher prices are the new black for Netflix. The Los Gatos, Calif., streaming video company plans to raise prices for new customers by $1 or $2 a month this quarter, the company said Monday in its quarterly earnings release. Existing customers will continue to pay the current prices for "a generous time period," the company said. Access to the company's streaming video library currently costs $7.99 a month for suscribers in the United States, and Netflix has been experimenting with pricing models as it spends to improve its selection of movies and television shows and builds out its slate of original content.
April 20, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - It's common knowledge verging on holy writ in real estate: Spring is the absolute best time of the year to sell a house. Right? But is there hard statistical evidence that listing your house in April, May or June - flowers blooming, birds chirping, lawns greened up after a tough winter - actually nets you a higher price or a shorter time from listing to sale? Yes, but it's not as clear cut as you might imagine. There are important nuances in the data. Reviews of realty industry and academic studies suggest that although sales totals generally are highest in May and June, they are actually reflecting listings, contracts and buyer searches that occur earlier in the year.
April 19, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Sarah Luna wants to buy a home in up-and-coming northeast Los Angeles before it's too late. At 31, she has a master's degree and earns more than $70,000 as a court reporter and freelance editor. She daydreams about trading the Glendale apartment she shares for a little condo, maybe in Echo Park or Highland Park. Just one thing holds her back: The $700 she's paid every month since 2008, after she graduated from the University of Southern California - with $75,000 in student debt.
April 18, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
If you're looking to buy the iPhone 5s for cheap, RadioShack is the place to go. The electronics retailer is holding a promotion that drops the price of the 16-gigabyte Apple iPhone 5s to $99 on a two-year contract. That's a nearly 50% discount on the device, which is normally sold at $199 with a two-year contract. VIDEO: Protecting against Heartbleed Customers can save more money and get the gadget for free if they trade in an older iPhone. Fine print for the promotion says an iPhone 4s that works with either AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, is in working condition, includes its charger and has no cracks on the screen is enough to get the iPhone 5s for free.
April 17, 2014 | By Shan Li
Problems at some of the state's fuel refineries have sent gasoline prices soaring in California just in time for the kickoff of the busy driving season. A gallon of regular gasoline hit a statewide average of $4.196 on Thursday, up about 13 cents in a week, according to AAA. That's the highest price since March 2013. If gas prices keep surging, David Buzzo plans to cut down on dinners out and impulse purchases. Buzzo, a supervisor of field services for Southern California Edison, said he's always conscious of every uptick in price when filling up. "That takes away other money, luxury money," the 59-year-old Hollywood resident said.
April 16, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Volkswagen kept plenty busy at the 2014 New York Auto Show, bringing with it an all-new Golf Sportswagen, a refreshed Jetta sedan, and some pricing details on its soon-to-be-released Golf GTI hot hatch. The biggest news was VW's 2015 Golf Sportswagen. It replaces the Jetta wagon in the U.S. lineup, though that outgoing car was always based on the Golf anyway, nomenclature aside. So fear not, Sportswagen fans, your trusty hauler isn't any smaller. It actually grows. The new model is just over an inch longer and just under an inch wider.
April 15, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Home prices in Southern California are at their highest level in six years, according to new data, though those gains may be taking a bite out of sales volume. The median price of a house sold in Southern California rose from $383,000 in February to $400,000 in March, the market's highest level since February 2008, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks real estate data. The figure is up 15.8% from the same month last year and is the first noticeable increase since the torrid run-up in prices last spring and summer.
April 13, 2014 | By Adam Tschorn
There was no shortage of chuckles, guffaws, sniggers, giggles and flat-out belly laughs at the Saturday afternoon panel discussion "Make Me Laugh! Humor Writing Across Genres" at the Festival of Books, which featured Mary Lou Belli, Sandra Tsing Loh and Michael Price, and was moderated by M.G. Lord. The panelists held forth for an hour (they and the audience seemed full well ready to clock a second hour), in front of an overflowing crowd, about the TV shows that helped shape their sense of humor ("F Troop," "MASH" and "Get Smart" among them)
April 13, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The continuing push for higher minimum wages across the country has much to recommend it, but the campaign shouldn't keep us from recognizing a truly insidious practice that impoverishes low-wage workers all the more. It's known as wage theft. Wage theft, as documented in surveys, regulatory actions and lawsuits from around the country, takes many forms: Forcing hourly employees off the clock by putting them to work before they can clock in or after they clock out. Manipulating their time cards to cheat them of overtime pay. Preventing them from taking legally mandated breaks or shaving down their lunch hours.
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