Donors to state tax board candidates skirt $250 limit

Business / Business News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Two days after California's elected tax board gave SpaceX exemptions worth millions of dollars last year, the rocket company donated $7,500, at the request of board President Jerome Horton, to a nonprofit group founded by his wife.

SpaceX made the donation as a sponsor of a public conference headlined by Horton as he was ...Read more

Atlantic Coast cities rise up against offshore drilling plans

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- As the Obama administration prepares to open the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling for the first time in decades, the coast is in rebellion.

Governments in more than 70 cities and counties in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida have passed resolutions opposing oil exploration or drilling off their coasts, pushing the president...Read more

Gail MarksJarvis: Scared about investing? You can let robots handle it

Business / Business News /

If you feel dumb about investing, maybe a robot can do it for you.

In fact, that's what traditional investment advisers are worried about as more flesh-and-blood investors turn to computer-driven "robo advisers."

Robo clients tend to have some money to invest but generally are not rich. They're drawn to no-frills, inexpensive services. You don...Read more

IPads, big-screen TVs, gaming consoles were top sellers on Thanksgiving

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. said it sold an iPad an average of every second on Thanksgiving Day. And Wal-Mart said it sold enough movies on Thursday to watch for close to 3,000 years.

The Black Friday shopping bonanza appears to be off to a strong start, but the final numbers won't be in until later this weekend.

There were some hiccups.

...Read more

Some stores along Chicago's Magnificent Mile blocked during Black Friday protests

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Through a steady drizzle, hundreds of activists marched down Chicago's Magnificent Mile and blocked the entrances to some of the main drag's highest-end stores during a Black Friday morning protest of the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

The entrances to Apple, Ralph Lauren, ...Read more

Despite changing retail landscape, Black Friday draws big, deal-seeking crowds

Business / Business News /

Thanksgiving door-buster deals may have cut down the Black Friday crowds, but many shoppers still went out Friday in search of deals -- sometimes more for the sake of tradition than the markdowns.

Kellie Johnson, 54, and Kellie Schruhl, 73, had bought 14 gifts for friends and family by 10 a.m. visiting stores including Target, Cost Plus World ...Read more

American Express drops perk for Small Business Saturday

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Over the past five years, American Express has dangled a carrot to encourage cardholders to patronize independent stores on Small Business Saturday: statement credits from $10 to $30.

As the sixth annual homage to mom-and-pop shops starts Saturday, AmEx cardholders who make a conscious decision to forgo the big chains must settle for...Read more

Consumer Confidential: You've bought it. Now what about returning it?

Business / Business News /

It's Black Friday, so people's thoughts turn from a celebration of thankfulness to spending gobs of cash on modestly discounted consumer goods.

I'm not here to judge.

But I am here to offer some tips on two of the big Rs of the holiday shopping season: rebates and returns.

"There's a lot of variability with how manufacturers and retailers ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: More on downshifting

Business / Business News /

Q: I always enjoy your columns, but the recent one on downshifting confused me a little. We have a 2013 Toyota Corolla with 7,000 miles and a 2012 Toyota Sienna with 44,000 miles. Both have automatic transmissions. When we bought the cars, the two different dealers both told me that the automatic transmission could be downshifted when braking ...Read more

Under the Hood: Key keeps getting stuck in ignition

Business / Business News /

Q: It's very difficult to remove the key from the ignition of my 1991 Honda Civic when the car is cold. As the car warms up, this issue seems to go away, and there is no problem removing the key when the vehicle is not running. These are factory keys I am using. I have tried Lock-Ease and other lock lubricants to no avail. Do I have to replace ...Read more

Larry Printz: Had your fill of turkey? Before you answer, check your garage

Business / Business News /

By now, you've probably had your fill of turkey. Nevertheless, when it comes to automobiles, there are any number of turkeys. Give this list a look, and then give thanks that most of these turkeys have passed from new car showrooms.

Acura ZDX (2010-2013)

Why it's foul: Automakers misunderstand that a sport utility vehicle's off-road ability is...Read more

Mark Phelan: Hits and misses at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Business / Business News /

Auto show season kicked off in Los Angeles last week with beauty, beasts and bores. Here's what's new:

Hit: Buick LaCrosse

The only large sedan debuting in Los Angeles, the LaCrosse design should translate well from the auto show stand to the road. The body has a number of subtle shapes, including multiple creases on the rear fenders. The ...Read more

Need an EV battery fill-up? At many charging stations, get in line

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joe Siudzinski travels around town just fine in his six electric vehicles. He can get by with a 15-minute charge on a round trip from his home to the San Francisco airport, or a breakfast break and a longer top-off on a drive to Monterey, about 50 miles south.

But he's found a bug in the network: people. They park gasoline ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Yellen will check her list twice before Fed raises rates

Business / Business News /

Janet Yellen will never be confused for Santa Claus. But the chair of the Federal Reserve shares the habit of double-checking her work before coming to a conclusion.

Federal Reserve bankers get their last major economic statistic in the week ahead before their interest rate meeting in mid-December. On Friday, November employment data will be ...Read more

Auto review: Nissan redesigns the Maxima sport sedan for 2016, giving it a new sculpted exterior

Business / Business News /

The Nissan Maxima has been completely redesigned for 2016, with all-new sheet metal featuring deeply sculpted character lines created using a special stamping technique.

Maxima has evolved over the past 35 years from a tight, sporty four-door to a luxurious full-size sedan. The restyling of the eighth-generation model includes a new grille, ...Read more

For cable networks, holiday movies are the gift that keeps on giving

Business / Business News /

Even Ebenezer Scrooge might have been impressed with how TV networks are profiting from holiday movies.

Along with early displays of decorations by retailers, the continuous loop of holiday music on radio and the festive color of Starbucks coffee cups, nothing rings in the season quite like the volley of holiday movies that flood the small ...Read more

Fuel cell cars and filling stations are slow to arrive

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Several years after automotive experts began predicting hydrogen fuel cell technology would be the powertrain of the future, the future still isn't here.

Car companies are building, leasing and even selling fuel cell cars. Hydrogen fuel providers are building filling stations. But both sides are moving slowly -- caught in a ...Read more

Auto review: 2016 Lexus RX 350 comforts, doesn't innovate

Business / Business News /

Leadership is a slippery quality. It cannot be given, but must be earned. It's easy to claim leadership -- just look at this season's political debates or virtually any commercial, no matter how dubious the product -- but difficult to define it.

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 (I give it four out of four stars) is likely to continue the luxury SUV's ...Read more

Ferrari engine, FCA tech, trident badging everywhere, the Ghibli showcases Maserati's growth

Business / Business News /

The Maserati Ghibli is a midsize sports sedan with a Ferrari engine, a Chrysler infotainment system and Maserati trident badging everywhere.

The Ghibli ("gib-lee") represents the growing pains of the 21st century global hodgepodge automaker.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, led by fellow Italian Sergio Marchionne, who deems giant automotive mergers ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Selling a house to buy a house

Business / Business News /

Homeowners sell their homes and buy other homes for a variety of reasons, including a need to live closer to a place of employment, to be closer to family, to enjoy a better climate, or simply to upgrade. This article is about finding the best sequence of steps in the process.

--The importance of equity in the existing house: Whatever the ...Read more