Stories for November 2005

Wednesday, November 30

Edwards Sets '06 Profit, Sales Goals

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. expects revenue next year to rise 8% to 10%, the heart valve maker said during a meeting with analysts Wednesday.

Economic Growth Revised Up

Economic growth was much stronger last quarter than first thought as spending rose more than estimated, while divergent inflation signals in government and private-sector data on Wednesday left economists puzzled over price pressures.

Collectors Buys Diamond Evaluator

Newport Beach-based Collectors Universe Inc. said Wednesday it plans to buy Canada's Gemprint Corp. for $7.5 million.

RIM Dealt Blow in BlackBerry Case

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. was dealt another legal setback in a key patent infringement case on Wednesday, raising pressure to settle or face a possible shutdown of its U.S. mobile e-mail service.

Economic Growth Revised Higher

U.S. economic growth was much stronger in the third quarter than first thought as consumers and businesses spent more than estimated, but Gulf Coast hurricanes sideswiped corporate profits, a government report showed on Wednesday.

Ford May Sell English Jaguar Plant

Ford Motor Co. is mulling the sale of its historic Browns Lane plant near Coventry, central England, that was the home of its iconic Jaguar brand since 1928, Jaguar said on Wednesday.

Home Loan Applications Slide

Mortgage applications fell for a third straight week, dragged down by a decline in home refinancings to a 16-month low even as interest rates dipped, an industry trade group figures showed on Wednesday.

Quality Systems Falls on Downgrade

Shares of Tustin-based Quality Systems Inc. slumped 8% Wednesday after a Piper Jaffray analyst downgraded its shares.

Shareholders Refile Wet Seal Suit

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. said Wednesday that a shareholder lawsuit against the teen apparel maker and some of its former directors has been refiled.

Tuesday, November 29

Edwards Unveils New Valve Procedure

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. unveiled a new option in its heart valve franchise on Tuesday.

Wet Seal Loss Narrows on Sales Gain

Teen clothing retailer Wet Seal Inc. said Tuesday its loss narrowed in the third quarter on a jump in sales.

Laguna Playhouse Gets Big Gift

The Laguna Playhouse said Tuesday it received its largest gift ever, a $5 million pledge from James "Jim" Mellor and his wife, Suzanne, that will help the theater fund its expansion.

Saigon National Bank to Open

Saigon National Bank plans to open its doors in the heart of Little Saigon on Wednesday, the bank's top official said.

Time Warner Dissidents Hire Lazard

Dissident Time Warner Inc. shareholders led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn stepped up their campaign against the media conglomerate on Tuesday, saying they will launch a proxy contest to replace "a majority" of its board.

Kaiser Clears Bankruptcy Hurdle

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. has cleared a big hurdle in its bid to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

October New Home Sales Surge

Sales of new homes shot up unexpectedly in October, climbing 13% to hit a record pace, according to a government report on Tuesday at odds with other signs of a slowdown in the long-hot housing market.

Calpine's CEO, CFO Relinquish Jobs

Power merchant Calpine Corp. said Tuesday that its longtime chief executive and its chief financial officer have both relinquished their jobs, the latest distress signal at a company struggling to stay afloat.

Wachovia to Sell Units to U.S. Bancorp

Wachovia Corp., the nation's fourth largest bank, said Tuesday it is selling its corporate trust, institutional and document custody and structured finance trust service units to U.S. Bancorp for $720 million in cash.

Consumer Sentiment Improves

Consumer confidence picked up in November as Americans took comfort from falling gasoline prices and better job prospects, according to a report published on Tuesday.

Monday, November 28

Baker Tanks Sale Wraps Up

New York-based private equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC and several partners said on Monday they completed their acquisition of Seal Beach-based Baker Tanks Inc. from Chicago-based Code Hennessy & Simmons.

TriZetto Making $60M Buy

Newport Beach-based healthcare software company TriZetto Group Inc. said last week it plans to buy Boston's CareKey Inc. for $60 million, plus $40 million or more if the company hits financial goals.

Mais Oui: Pinot Provence a Real Slice of France in OC

French cooking thrives at Pinot Provence, in the Executive Dining column

Hospitals, Retailers Drive Hiring Gains at Big Employers

ABOUT THE LIST - The county's biggest employers recorded a second straight year of employment growth

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Koll Moving on Baja Residential Plans

Koll is moving ahead on its residential development plans in Cabo San Lucas

Angel Investors: $11M Through Oct.

The Tech Coast Angels investor group is on track to post its biggest year since 2000. The venture network's investment in Southern California companies rose 65% to $10.7 million through October, compared to a year earlier.

Boutique Erica Dee Plans Second Store; Sorry Mall

The owner of the Erica Dee boutique is scouting for other locations, in the Marketplace column

Family Mattress Maker Sprung Out of Poverty

Custom Comfort Mattress won the up-and-coming award

Existing Home Sales Fall 2.7%

Sales of existing homes slowed in October to a 7.09 million unit pace, but the median price rose 16.6% from a year earlier, the largest jump since July 1979, a trade group said on Monday.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Toll-Road Backer Miffed by Clint; Irvine Co. Recruits

Toll-Road Backer Miffed by Clint; Irvine Co. Recruits

Valeant's Shares Fall as Investors Await Pivotal Drug Results

Valeant shares have been falling as investors await results from key drug trials

LETTERS

A couple of lawmaker ratings show a wider gulf among democrats than republicans in California, in Letters

Eyes Turn to Other Automakers After Nissan Goes to Tennessee

Orange County automakers say they have no plans to follow Nissan out of California

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Electronics Win in Black Friday Sales

Electronics retailers and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. were the early winners while some apparel chains faltered as the holiday shopping season started with a mixed Thanksgiving weekend, analysts said on Monday.

American Pharmaceutical to Buy Holder

American Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. said Monday it is buying its largest shareholder, privately held American BioScience Inc., for stock worth about $4.1 billion, creating a biopharmaceutical company with annual revenue of more than $500 million.

Allergan's Inamed Offer Hinged on Medicis SEC Filing

Allergan's bid for Inamed hinged on a regulatory filing, in the Healthcare column

From Don Jos & #233; to Rodrigo's: Frasers Press Restaurant Growth

The owners of the Don Jos & #233; restaurant chain won the large business award

REAL ESTATE WATCH - Airport Area/Central Coast

On Tap: More Office Rent Increases. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Perry Ellis Acquires Gotcha International

Surf apparel company Gotcha International LP, which was founded in 1978 and later filed for bankruptcy, is being sold to Miami-based Perry Ellis International Inc.

Valeant to Buy Hep-C Drug Rights

Costa Mesa-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Monday it plans to buy the U.S. and Canadian rights to Infergen, a hepatitis C drug, from Brisbane-based InterMune Inc.

Tech Coast Angels Eye Top Year Since Bust

The Tech Coast Angels are on track for their biggest year since 2000

Texas Pacific Group Plans to Sell $18M Conexant Stake

The Texas Pacific Group plans to sell an $18 million stake in Conexant, which is on a roll on Wall Street, in the Technology column

County Pension Fund Investment Manager Comes Up for Review

OC's public pension fund could hire a new investment manager

Americas Trade Deal Bogs Down Amid Agriculture Subsidy Fight

A big free trade pact in the Americas has hit some snags over farm subsidies

D.e.m.o Looking to Ring in 2006 With Bling-Bling Fling

Pacific Sunwear's urban d.e.m.o. chain is promoting a "ring in the bling" contest, in the Media & Marketing column

O'Connor Mortuary: Passed on TV Show, Buried John Wayne

FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS: O'Connor Mortuary won the longevity award

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

EXECUTIVE BRIEFCASE

"Many Happy Returns" debuts in the U.S. at the Laguna Playhouse, an Executive Briefcase review.

Foreclosures Down in October

Orange County foreclosures fell 27% to 188 homes in October, versus a month earlier, Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc. said Monday. Foreclosures had jumped 22% in September.

OC Housing Picture Slows

The median price of an Orange County home sold in October fell 1% to $701,520, compared to a month earlier, but was 12.8% higher than a year ago, the California Association of Realtors said on Monday.

Life After Layoff: Ellison Onto Third Generation, Into Target

Ellison's die-cutting business won the medium business award

Small-Building Sale Shows a Hot Sector Maintains Pace

Brisk activity at a couple of small-buildings-for-sale projects shows the sector's momentum continues, in the Real Estate column

Herringtons Make Bears for Giorgio, Hard Rock, Mercedes

Herrington Teddy Bear won the small company award

Friday, November 25

Teva Wins EU Approval for Ivax

Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. won permission from the European Commission on Friday to buy U.S. rival Ivax Corp. for $7.4 billion to make Teva the world's top generic drugmaker.

Taser Gets Delisting Notice

Taser International Inc. on Friday said Nasdaq intends to delist its stock because of a delay in filing its quarterly report, sending its shares down 10%.

Koll Plans Homes in Baja

Newport Beach's Koll Co. plans to develop 233 homes at the tip of the Baja peninsula, ending a five-year hiatus from building in Mexico.

Black Friday: South Coast Plaza

Carolers were singing sweetly. But they barely could be heard over the din at South Coast Plaza on Friday as shoppers swarmed to kick off the busiest shopping day of the year.

Construction Prices Stall High-Rise

Irvine's Crown Realty & Development Corp. is rethinking plans to build a 180,000-square-foot office building in Santa Ana amid higher prices for steel, concrete and lumber.

Wednesday, November 23

Arcelor: $3.75B Offer for Dofasco

Luxembourg-based steel giant Arcelor SA made a $3.75 billion hostile takeover offer for Canadian steelmaker Dofasco Inc. on Wednesday, its first foray into North America and a shift from its previous strategy of making acquisitions in developing markets.

Peregrine Stock Sale to Fund Trials

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that it is selling $6.7 million in shares to an unnamed investor to help fund drug development.

Family Businesses Honored

Family businesses spanning generations were honored last week at the annual Family Owned Business awards luncheon put on by the Business Journal and California State University, Fullerton's Family Business Council.

Jobless Claims Up

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits grew by a larger-than-expected 30,000 last week, government data showed on Wednesday, taking claims to their highest point since mid-October.

Placer Dome Rejects Barrick's $9.2B Bid

Gold mining company Placer Dome Inc. on Wednesday said its board is recommending shareholders reject a $9.2 billion takeover bid by Barrick Gold Corp., calling the offer "inadequate" and "opportunistic."

Scientific-Atlanta Sued Over Cisco Deal

Cable television set-top box maker Scientific-Atlanta Inc. on Wednesday said it has been named in two class-action lawsuits over its deal to be bought by Cisco Systems Inc. for $6.9 billion.

Raptor Lands $7.7M Funding

Raptor Networks Technology Inc. landed $7.7 million in funding in a stock sale led by Brookstreet Securities Corp. of Irvine, the company said Wednesday.

Mortgage Applications Fall Last Week

Mortgage applications fell last week, dragged down by a slump in home refinancings which hit a 16-month low as interest rates remained close to their highest levels this year, industry trade group figures showed on Wednesday.

Nov. Consumer Sentiment Seen Higher

The final November reading on the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is expected to show that consumers' mood improved from October levels, economists said.

Tuesday, November 22

Tech Data Profit Falls on Europe

Computer products distributor Tech Data Corp. said quarterly profit fell, hurt by restructuring charges in Europe.

Standard Pacific Gets Vegas Lots

Irvine's Standard Pacific Corp. and four partners bought 2,675 acres in Las Vegas, the homebuilder said Tuesday.

Samsung, Toshiba Shares Fall

Shares of Samsung Electronics Co., Toshiba Corp. and other chip makers fell after a deal between two U.S. rivals to produce chips for digital cameras and music players triggered worries of a supply glut.

Juice Plant Closing in Fullerton

It's official. The maker of Florida's Natural orange juice is closing its Fullerton plant after putting workers there on notice last month about the prospect of a shutdown.

Cooper Slumps on Lower Outlook

Lake Forest-based Cooper Cos. took another hammering on Wall Street on Tuesday after the company lowered its profit and sales expectations for the most recent quarter.

Medicis: Reject Allergan Offer

The battle for Inamed Corp. heated up Tuesday after Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. asked Inamed's board to reject a bigger buyout offer from Irvine-based Allergan Inc.

Monday, November 21

LETTERS

Measure D's revenue raid was rightly rejected. PLUS, Terror, Iraq

Latest Campaign From Jaguar's New Agency Debuts

Irvine's Jaguar Cars has a new ad campaign, in the Media & Marketing column

MetLife Takes Biggest Q3 Office Lease

MetLife Takes Biggest Q3 Office Lease

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Pfizer To Buy Incyte

Pfizer Inc. is set to pay Incyte Corp. as much as $803 million for the development, manufacture and marketing rights of drugs to treat chronic inflammatory conditions, the companies said on Monday.

Perry Ellis Buying Gotcha

Surf apparel company Gotcha International LP, which was founded in 1978 and later filed for bankruptcy, said Monday it is being sold to Miami-based Perry Ellis International Inc.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Mentor Bullish About Medicis Deal

Breast implant maker Mentor Corp. remained bullish on Monday about a potential linkup with wrinkle treatment maker Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., which is facing off with Irvine-based Allergan Inc. to buy Inamed Corp.

Hotel Sales Brisk in California, Slower in OC; Local Prices Solid

Hotel Sales Brisk in California, Slower in OC; Local Prices Solid

Biggest Q3 Industrial Lease Signed in Buena Park

Largest OC industrial leases in the third quarter

Shopping Centers Court Boutiques to Stand Out; Some Click, Some Miss

Shopping centers are courting small boutiques with varied results

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Wal-Mart Keeps Pressing Bid for Bank After Being Spurned in OC

Wal-Mart keeps pushing its bid to start a bank

PIZZA PUSH

Lake Forest's John's Incredible Pizza is planning an expansion and an OC debut,

Irvine, Chapman VIPs Join China Caravan; Julie Meets Queen Liz

Irvine, Chapman VIPs Join China Caravan; Julie Meets Queen Liz

Struggling Circuit Board Makers Seeing Higher Prices

It looks like circuit board prices are stablizing, in the Technology column

OC Office Market

Increasing demand for office space continued during the third quarter as overall net absorption remained well above 1.5 million square feet.

Cooper Buys Surgical Companies

Shares of Lake Forest-based Cooper Cos. fell 10.7% Monday on news that it bought two surgical device companies that will be a drag on earnings for the next couple of years.

Another New Face at St. Joseph Health: COO

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi wants to be the "CEO's COO" at St. Joseph Health System

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Lease Rates Rise, Vacancy Declines, Absorption Gains

Orange County's retail market posted more strong results in the third quarter.

Toyota Eyes Bank for Dealers, Customers; Clouded by Wal-Mart

Toyota is starting to flex its financial muscle in California

Closing Juice Plant: Parking, Homes, Shops?

The maker of Florida's Natural orange juice is closing its Fullerton plant

Landlords Boost Office Rents as Vacancy Rates Post Steep Drop

Landlords Boost Office Rents as Vacancy Rates Post Steep Drop

Steel, Concrete Prices Stall High-Rise Plan

Higher prices for steel and other materials have slowed a high-rise office development in Santa Ana

Corinthian Faces Florida Subpoena

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. said that one of its schools in Florida has received a subpoena from the state attorney general over its advertising and marketing policies, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday.

Discovery Business Center Largest Project Being Built in Q3

Biggest office construction under way in the third quarter

The California Debt

California should be cautious when considering more bond proposals

Bedrosian Pays $24M in Biggest Q3 Industrial Sale

Biggest industrial building sales in the third quarter

Lease Rates Rise, Vacancy Declines, Activity Improves

Orange County's industrial real estate market had a positive third quarter after a slow second quarter

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Medical Software Startup Medsphere Appoints Chief

Venture-backed software maker Medsphere Systems has a new chief executive, in the Healthcare column

Volcom Investors Selling 5 Million Shares

Volcom Investors Selling 5 Million Shares

Acquisition Spree Fuels Gains at Powerwave

Acquisitions have fueled Powerwave's gains

TriZetto Making $60M Buy

Newport Beach-based healthcare software company TriZetto Group Inc. said Monday it is buying Boston's CareKey Inc. for $60 million, plus $40 million or more if the company hits financial goals.

Advanced Medical Pulls Trigger on Restructuring Plan

Advanced Medical Optics has pulled the trigger on a restructuring plan

Competition for Space Heats Up

Competition for Space Heats Up

California's Office Markets

Brokers expect Orange County's 7% office vacancy rate to fall further in coming months.

Tustin Gateway Biggest Industrial Construction at 266,865 Square Feet

Biggest industrial construction under way in the third quarter

100 Bayview Goes for $117M in Q3's Biggest Sale

100 Bayview Goes for $117M in Q3's Biggest Sale

West Coast Office Markets

Strong activity during the third quarter once again lifted the market, resulting in absorption gains practically across the board.

Out-of-State Recruiters See Opportunity in Election Outcome

Out-of-state recruiters see a silver lining to voters' rejection of the governor's reform initiatives

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Market

Low-rise office buildings continue to trade hands at lofty levels. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Going Dutch: G-Star Jeans Plans Fashion Island Store

Holland's G-Star Raw is planning a Fashion Island store, in the Marketplace column

Platinum Triangle Office Complex Sold,Not for Homes

Some office complexes in the Platinum Triangle recently sold,only not with plans to build homes, in the Real Estate column

Circuit Board Maker Melding Operations With Anaheim Lease

A contract electronics maker is consolidating operations in Anaheim

National Office Markets

The market posted slower absorption in the third quarter but the net results still suggest a healthier leasing position for landlords.

Lawyer Takes Fine Wine Route With Sonoma's Trinitas

Sonoma's Trinitas Cellars has a legal connection in OC, in the Executive Dining column

Friday, November 18

Cisco Buying Scientific-Atlanta

Cisco Systems Inc. on Friday said it would buy Scientific-Atlanta Inc., a leading U.S. maker of cable television set-top boxes, for $6.9 billion in a deal that would move the networking equipment giant more deeply into the consumer market.

GE Raises 2006 Forecast

General Electric Co. on Friday forecast sharper earnings growth for 2006, boosted its dividend and stock buyback plan and agreed to sell most of its reinsurance business to Swiss Re for up to $7.6 billion.

Yamaha, Patriot Settle Spat

Cypress-based Yamaha Motor Corp. USA has settled a motorcycle spat with San Clemente's Patriot Motorcycles Co.

Buy.com Details IPO

Aliso Viejo-based Internet retailer Buy.com Inc. is looking to raise up to $55 million in an initial public offering, the company said in a regulatory filing Friday.

OC Unemployment at 3.8%

Orange County's unemployment rate was 3.8% in October, up from a revised 3.7% in September but down from 4% a year ago, the Employment Development Department said Friday.

Oil Falls Below June Mark

Oil sank below $56 on Friday for the first time since the end of June as investors grew confident that hefty fuel stockpiles would see the world's consumers through cold winter weather.

Thursday, November 17

HP Profit Falls on Job Cut Charges

No. 2 computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. on Thursday posted a lower quarterly net profit, due in part to charges related to ongoing jobs cuts.

Ameriquest Parent Cuts 1,500 Jobs

Rising interest rates took their toll on Orange-based ACC Capital Holdings on Thursday, with the parent of the the nation's largest subprime lender saying it plans to cut 10% of its workforce, or roughly 1,500 employees.

Microsemi: Higher Profit Beats Estimates

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp. saw higher profits that beat estimates for the quarter ended Oct. 2, the chipmaker said Thursday.

PacifiCare Holders OK Buyout

Shareholders of Cypress-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. gave near-unanimous approval to UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s $8.1 billion buyout offer on Thursday.

Broadcom Funds Broadlight Round

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. contributed to a $10 million round of funding for venture-backed Broadlight Inc., the company said Thursday.

Jobless Claims Lowest Since April

The number of workers filing for initial jobless aid fell sharply last week, a government report showed on Thursday, pushing the claims total to its lowest point since April.

Housing Starts Drop

Housing starts fell 5.6% in October as construction of both single-family and multifamily homes slid, while a drop in permits for future groundbreaking was the largest in more than six years, the government said on Thursday.

Tenet Investors See Bleak Future

Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s shareholder committee on Thursday said it believes the future of the hospital operator "remains bleak" and called for a complete investigation into the deaths that occurred in Tenet's New Orleans hospitals after Hurricane Katrina.

Disney: Lower Profit, Movies Slow

Walt Disney Co. on Thursday reported a lower quarterly profit, weighed down by poor performance at its movie studio.

Wednesday, November 16

Senate Panel Gives Nod to Bernanke

The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday approved the nomination of Ben Bernanke to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, sending it to the full Senate for a final confirming vote.

Consumer Prices Up on Housing Costs

U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2% in October despite a dip in energy prices as the cost of housing notched the largest gain in nearly five years, government data showed on Wednesday.

Tyco Outlook Falls Short

Diversified manufacturer Tyco International Ltd. on Wednesday said quarterly net profit doubled, but its revenue and current-quarter outlook missed Wall Street estimates.

Oracle Making Acquisitions

Oracle Corp. said on Wednesday it acquired two privately held companies for an undisclosed sum that it said will bolster its offerings in the fast-growing security software market.

Draper's & Damon's Acquired

Draper's & Damon's Inc., an Irvine-based seller of dresses for baby boomer women, is being acquired by San Francisco private equity firm Golden Gate Capital LP for undisclosed terms.

D.R. Horton Posts Strong Profit

D.R. Horton Inc., the No. 1 U.S. homebuilder, on Wednesday posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its outlook for the current year on strong demand nationwide.

Stake in Irvine Office Complex for Sale

Cigna Corp. is looking to sell half of its stake in an office complex where another high-rise is planned, according to real estate sources.

Inamed Reviews Allergan Offer

Santa Barbara-based Inamed Corp. is reviewing rival bids for the maker of breast implants and skin products after Allergan Inc. weighed in with a higher $3.2 billion offer on Tuesday.

OPEC Boosts '06 Demand Forecast

The world will need OPEC's oil even more this winter and next year as high oil prices have failed to slow galloping economic growth, the producer group said on Wednesday.

UCI Medical's Cygan Put on Leave

Ralph Cygan, chief executive of UCI Medical Center, was placed on temporary administrative leave Wednesday afternoon, nearly a week after the Orange hospital's liver transplant program was shuttered.

BAX Deal Sealed

It's official. Germany's Deutsche Bahn AG is buying Irvine-based BAX Global Inc. for $1.1 billion after months of speculation and a week of reports about a pending deal.

Tuesday, November 15

Producer Prices Surge, Retail Falls

U.S. producer prices rose unexpectedly in October as rocketing home heating costs outflanked cheaper gasoline, while retail sales fell on lower auto sales but by less than analysts had expected.

Retail Sales, Wholesale Prices Slightly Off

Retail sales performed far better than expected in October as consumers took encouragement from falling gasoline prices.

Home Prices Up Again, Sales Pace Slower

The median price of a home sold in Orange County hit $606,000 in October, up 14% from a year earlier and just off September's $610,000 mark. But sales slowed from September's pace.

JPMorgan Eyes Overseas Retail

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive William Harrison said the No. 3 U.S. bank wants to have an international retail presence within the next three to five years with a focus on emerging-market countries.

Fed Won't Rush Inflation Target

Ben Bernanke, nominated to be Federal Reserve chairman, on Tuesday vowed to fight for U.S. price stability, and said while a stated inflation goal could improve monetary policy, he would not rush such a step.

Pension Agency Reports $22.8B Shortfall

The federal agency that insures the private pensions of 44 million workers said Tuesday that its deficit was $22.8 billion in 2005, as big airlines in bankruptcy dumped their pension liabilities.

J & J; Cuts Guidant Offer

Johnson & Johnson will pay 15% less for medical-device maker Guidant Corp. than previously agreed, rescuing a deal that nearly collapsed following safety concerns and litigation over Guidant's products.

Monday, November 14

Another Year of Asset Gains, Profit Dips for Credit Unions

ABOUT THE LIST - Another Year of Asset Gains, Profit Dips for Credit Unions

PacifiCare: Vote Near on Sale as Hurdles Fall

PacifiCare shareholders are set to vote on UnitedHealth's buyout offer

One More Spectrum Project for Bacchus

Bacchus Development continues to do small buildings for sale in the Irvine Spectrum, in the Real Estate column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Real Estate Watch: High-Rise Office Market

High-rise office vacancy in OC continued to tighten in the third quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Board Approves BAX Buy

The board of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG approved the planned buy of Irvine-based BAX Global Inc. over the weekend, according to Reuters.

Sybron Ups Outlook

Sybron Dental Specialties Inc. of Newport Beach raised its earnings outlook for the September quarter but said it needs more time to finalize results.

Bizarro PC World: Dell Slumping as Gateway Gaining

A mixed-up world: Gateway is gaining while Dell is slumping, in the Technology column

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Businesses Bracing for Fallout From Election

After the election,where the business agenda goes from here

El Pollo Loco Pushes Soup, as Sale, Expansion Cook

El Pollo Loco is pushing its latest menu addition: chicken tortilla soup, in the Media & Marketing column

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Don Koll Recovering From October Stroke

Local real estate pioneer Don Koll is recovering from a stroke

Ev3 Raises Micro Therapeutics Offer

Ev3 Inc. upped its offer Monday for the part of Irvine-based Micro Therapeutics Inc. that it doesn't already own.

Hotels Find That Holiday Revelry Is Back in Fashion

The pace of holiday party bookings has hotels in a good mood

Companies Stick With Retiree Drug Coverage, For Now

Two of the largest employers in OC have opted to make no change in their retirees' drug plans, in the Healthcare column

Ceradyne Debt Offering Could Bankroll Diversification Buy

Armor maker Ceradyne's $200 million line of credit could be used for growth

Accounting Students Tally Job Offers; Happy OC Engineers

Hines is looking to buy as much as $1 billion of OC real estate during the next few years

Knight Ridder Eyes Sale

Newspaper publisher Knight Ridder said on Monday that it would explore a possible sale of the company, bowing to demands from two large investors that are unhappy with the depressed stock price.

BANK CHATTER

Bankers Watch Rates, Real Estate and Economy

Business as Usual

The election results show it's business as usual in California, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

Quest Chief Eyeing Oracle, Microsoft

Quest Software could face competition from Oracle and Microsoft down the road

Western Digital Boss: Watching, Reacting

Western Digital's chief executive is all business

Javier's Cantina: Mexican Classics With Modern Twist

Javier's Cantina has opened at the Irvine Spectrum, in the Executive Dining column

LETTERS

Looking back at the election; Lawsuits, in Letters

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Marriott Buy Hotels From Starwood

Host Marriott Corp. said on Monday it had agreed to pay about $4 billion to acquire a portfolio of 38 luxury and upscale hotels from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Newspapers Post Further Declines; Register Dip Softened by Saturday Gain

The Register's circulation dip was softened by a gain in Saturday sales

Irvine Center Towers Stake Up for Grabs; Irvine Co. Interested?

Cigna is looking to sell some of its stake in its Irvine Center Towers complex, where another tower is planned

ASSET RICH

ABOUT THE LIST - Local Commercial Banks Post Another Year of Solid Asset Growth

Tough Quarter for MTI

Irvine-based MTI Technology Corp. saw sluggish sales and wider losses during the quarter ending Oct. 1, the company said Monday.

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Koch to Buy Georgia-Pacific

Paper producer Georgia-Pacific Corp. agreed on Sunday to be bought by conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc. for $13.2 billion in a deal that will make it a privately held Koch subsidiary.

ON THE RISE

With Profit and Deposit Growth Persisting, Challenge for Banks is Rising Interest Rates

Friday, November 11

Hines Wants $1B in OC Real Estate

Hines Interests LP, which owns one parcel of land in Orange County worth about $12 million, has set a high goal for itself,to own $1 billion worth of buildings in the county within three years.

GM Workers Ratify Health Deal

Unionized workers at General Motors Corp., the largest auto maker, have ratified a landmark deal to help the automaker cut its massive healthcare costs, the United Auto Workers union said on Friday.

Gauge of Economy Rises in Latest Week

A leading gauge of the economy rose in the latest week due to stronger housing activity and higher stock prices, a report said on Friday.

Intel sets $25B Buyback

Chipmaker Intel Corp. on Thursday said it will buy back as much as $25 billion in stock and boost its quarterly dividend 25 percent to 10 cents a share.

Daimler Sells Mitsubishi Stake

DaimlerChrysler AG cut its losses on an investment in Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which has its U.S. base in Cypress.

PacifiCare Investors to Vote on Sale

Shareholders of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. are expected to approve UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s $8.1 billion buy of the Cypress-based health plan operator next week.

Serena to be Acquired by Silver Lake

Serena Software Inc. said on Friday it had agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in a deal valued at about $1.2 billion.

Thursday, November 10

Trade Gap at Record

Record oil prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a drop in overall exports helped push the U.S. trade deficit to a record $66.1 billion in September, shattering the previous high of $60.4 billion set in February, the government said on Thursday

Solid Quarter for Pacific Sunwear

Teen retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported strong third-quarter results Thursday and reaffirmed fourth-quarter expectations, but added it "must be cautious about the overall retail environment."

GM Down on Accounting Error

Shares of General Motors Corp. fell more than 6% on Thursday, spiraling to a 23-year low after Banc of America Securities warned of an increased risk of bankruptcy at the financially struggling auto giant, Reuters reported.

Garamendi: Cut Workers' Comp 15%

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi recommended on Thursday an additional 15.3% cut in workers' compensation insurance rates paid by businesses to cover employees injured at work.

Ford: Will Eke Out Gains in '06

Ford Motor Co.'s new cars and crossover sport utility vehicles will help it eke out a slight gain in U.S. market share next year, a top executive said on Thursday.

Target Profit Up

Target Corp. said on Thursday that quarterly profit rose a better-than-expected 34% on strong sales and big gains in its credit card business, but gave a disappointing forecast for the critical holiday season.

Parts Impact Dell Results

Dell Inc., the biggest personal computer maker, on Thursday said quarterly profit fell amid costs to cut jobs and repair faulty parts in business computers.

Planetwide Games Plans to Go Public

The owner of surfwear maker Gotcha International LP is looking to take an Internet-based video game and software developer public.

Bosa Buys More Park Place Land

Bosa Development Corp. said Thursday it has paid $40 million for more land at Park Place in Irvine, with an eye to building additional condominium high-rise towers.

Consumer Sentiment on the Rise

U.S. consumers' mood brightened even more than expected in early November as gasoline prices receded from record highs and the impact of late-summer hurricanes faded, a report showed on Thursday, according to a Reuters report.

ECC Profitable on Derivatives Gain

Irvine-based subprime lender ECC Capital Corp. on Thursday reported third-quarter income of $24 million, fueled by a gain in the value of its derivative investments.

Wednesday, November 9

Amtrak President David Gunn Is Fired

Amtrak's board of directors on Wednesday fired President David Gunn, saying the debt-laden rail carrier needs "a leader with vision and experience."

Lower William Lyon Sales, Profits

Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes Inc. reported lower third-quarter sales and profits on Wednesday.

Governor Vows to Work With Foes

Voters shot down all eight propositions on Tuesday's special election ballot, striking a blow to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bid to sidestep the Legislature by appealing to the people.

Blackstone to Buy La Quinta for $3.4B

Hotel chain La Quinta Properties Inc. on Wednesday said it agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Blackstone group for $3.4 billion in cash and debt, sending its shares up.

Mortgage Applications Up Last Week

Mortgage applications increased last week, driven by a brisk rise in demand for loans to purchase homes even as interest rates rose to 16-month highs, an industry group's figures showed on Wednesday.

BofA, JPMorgan See More Bad Loans

Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., two of the largest U.S. credit card issuers, on Wednesday said they expect to face hundreds of millions of dollars of bad loans in the fourth quarter because of October's surge in bankruptcy filings.

Report: Drugmakers Looked at Serono

Serono has held talks with four leading drugmakers about a potential $15 billion takeover in recent weeks, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Broadcom Raises Sales Forecast

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. raised its sales expectations on Wednesday, sending its shares up more than 7%.

Cisco Profits Hit by Options Cost

Computer and telecommunications network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. on Wednesday posted a slightly lower quarterly profit due to the cost of expensing stock options.

Paul Frank Out at Clothing Maker

Designer, Paul Frank, the offbeat mastermind whose cartoon characters are a hallmark of clothing maker Paul Frank Industries Inc., has left the company he started with a sewing machine 10 years ago.

Oil Execs Defend Profits at Senate

Top executives of big oil companies on Wednesday defended surging profits at a time of high prices, and warned a Senate hearing that a windfall profit tax could stymie investment and lead prices still higher.

Tuesday, November 8

Rising Rates Impact Impac

Newport Beach-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. reported a 39% drop in income available to shareholders to $30 million in the third quarter, versus a year earlier.

Nearly 7 Million Set to Vote Today

An estimated 6.8 million Californians are expected to go to the polls today despite early concerns, and Republican hopes, that the all-initiative special election would be largely ignored by voters.

Linens 'n Things to Go Private

Linens 'n Things Inc. on Tuesday agreed to be acquired by a private equity firm and its partners in a $1.3 billion deal that will take retailer private.

Toll Brothers Cuts Forecast, Stocks Fall

Toll Brothers Inc. on Tuesday cut its outlook for 2006, saying tougher land-use reviews will mean a lower supply of houses and softening demand in some markets will slow its ability to raise prices, sending its shares tumbling.

UnitedHealth: 2006 Profit Will Rise

UnitedHealth Group Inc. on Tuesday said it forecasts a higher 2006 profit.

U.S., China Reach Textile Pact

The U.S. and China reached a three-year agreement on Tuesday to rein in China's booming clothing and textile shipments to the United States, solving an issue that had threatened to cool ties.

First American in $150M LeadClick Buy

Santa Ana-based First American Corp. and an affiliate, First Advantage Corp. in St. Petersburg, Fla., said they bought a stake in LeadClick Media Inc. for $150 million.

Monday, November 7

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Ingram Micro: Retention From Big Buy Better Than Projected

The early returns on Ingram Micro's buy of Tech Data are better than expected

More on Boom Boom: Billionaire's In; Stars Downgraded to Rumor

There's more on the Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach

Developer Shaw Eyes OC With Corona Lemon Plant Makeover

A former Sunkist processing plant in Corona is set to give way to offices and industrial space designed for OC businesses looking to move

GIVING

Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

BAX Global Selling for $1.2B

BAX Global Inc., an Irvine-based unit of Brink's Co., is selling to German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG for up to $1.2 billion, according to reports.

Quest Beats, Tempers Q4 View

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. saw gains in revenue and adjusted earnings in the third quarter but the software maker's guidance for the current quarter fell short of estimates.

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

SEC Probes Guidant, J & J; Sued

Guidant Corp. on Monday said it was suing Johnson & Johnson to force the completion of J & J;'s acquisition of Guidant.

Mortgage Processor Expands India Outsourcing Unit

An Irvine mortgage loan processor has tapped into an increasingly common source to help clients cut costs: India

Analysts Suggest FileNet's Cash Be Given to Investors

Some analysts want FileNet to give back part of its cash hoard, in the Technology column

Judge Upholds Comerica Injunction

Comercia Inc. said Monday it won a court order preventing 24 former employees who were hired by Irvine-based Commercial Capital Bancorp from using, destroying or disclosing trade secrets in their current jobs.

Johnny Rockets Opens in Pittsburgh, Pushes Cruises

Johnny Rockets is pushing ahead with plans to double its size, in the Media & Marketing column

RIPPLE EFFECTS

Hurricanes Pack Insurance Punch; Seen Impacting Costs for Property Owners

Protecting Benefits in the Gulf

Protecting Benefits in the Gulf

KUDOS

A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

New Times Deal Review Could Be Drawn Out, Likely a Go

Regulators aren't likely to ask for big changes in New Times' buy of the OC Weekly's owner

MORE RELIEF

Employers Can Expect More Workers' Comp Rate Cuts; Amount a Wild Card

Wafer Maker SUMCO Sets $1.3B IPO

SUMCO Corp., the No. 2 maker of silicon wafers, priced its initial public offering at the top end of expectations at $1.34 billion, making it Japan's biggest IPO this year.

Anaheim Buy Boosts Bedrosian's Industrial Holdings

Tile mogul Larry Bedrosian continues to expand his real estate holdings here, in the Real Estate column

Aliso Viejo Hotel Construction Set to Start Early '06

Construction of a Renaissance ClubSport hotel in Aliso Viejo is slated to begin early next year

Stent Developer Raises $32 Million

Stent maker Devax raised $32 million in venture funding

Cypress College Gets $1.7 Million for Training Nurses

Cypress College received some funding for its nurse training program, in the Healthcare columna

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Construction

The retail sector is leading local commercial construction. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Refco Bids Likely Around $1B

Current bids for Refco's futures brokerage business are likely to be around $1 billion, sources familiar with the bidding said on Monday.

Stocks Gain As Oil Drops

U.S. stocks ended higher on Monday after oil prices settled below $60 a barrel, easing concerns about higher energy costs and renewing investors' enthusiasm for the technology and banking sectors.

PacLife Continues Bowl Sponsorship

Pacific Life Insurance has committed to the Holiday Bowl for a few more years

PREMIUM PLANS

ABOUT THE LIST: Revenue Up at Insurance Brokerages; Eyes on Healthcare, Property

El Toro Foes Ready To Take on Tunnel; Fight Already Won?

A tunnel connecting OC to the Inland Empire is looking like a longshot

Grokster Download Service Shuts Down

Grokster Ltd., a leading developer of Internet file-sharing software popular for stealing songs and movies online, agreed Monday to shut down operations to settle a landmark piracy case filed by Hollywood and the music industry, The Associated Press has l

Implant Maker: Long-Term Sights on Dentures

Nobel Biocare has its long-term sights on the denture market

Hip Again, Original Penguin Opening at Fashion Island

The Original Penguin plans to open at Fashion Island in February, in the Marketplace column

White House to Round Out Fed Board

The White House is looking to complement Federal Reserve chairman-nominee Ben Bernanke's academic expertise in monetary policy by filling other open Fed board seats with candidates with a grounding in financial markets and regulatory issues, Republican so

CorVel Slumps on Earnings Shortfall

CorVel Corp. took a hit on Wall Street Monday after reporting that a decline in workers' compensation claims and regulatory compliance expenses impacted sales and profit in its most recent quarter.

Pete Wilson: Media Key to Tuesday's Vote; Public Union Attack Familiar

Pete Wilson: Media Key to Tuesday's Vote; Public Union Attack Familiar

Register Sees Circulation Drop

The Orange County Register saw weekday circulation fall for the six months through Sept. 30, but by how much depends on how you slice it.

Property, Health Insurance Top Hotel Chain Worries

Property, Health Insurance Top Hotel Chain Worries

LETTERS

Assemblyman Ray Haynes is using twisted logic in his defense of intelligent design, in Letters

Alstyle Tweaks Tee Production to Compete

Alstyle has tweaked its T-shirt production to compete

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Company Offers Prison Healthcare, Watches as State System Enters Receivership

A prison healthcare provider saw one of its biggest customers go into receivership

From Ritz Cove to Boom Boom Room; Touring 'The O.C.'

From Ritz Cove to Boom Boom Room; Touring 'The O.C.'

THEY SAY - A Visit With the Troops

A Visit With the Troops - Adapted from Armon Mills' Publisher's Notebook in the Oct. 31 San Diego Business Journal

D.C. Fav Sam & Harry's Coming to Newport Marriott

Sam & Harry's is bringing its D.C. steak house flavor to the county, in the Executive Dining column

Fitch's Public Finance Director: Watching How County Handles Pension Issue

A Fitch Ratings analyst says the county has some long-term challenges to work out

Friday, November 4

British Airways Lifts Outlook

British Airways PLC said Friday profit was knocked down 24% on higher fuel prices and a two-day strike at Heathrow. But the U.K. carrier lifted its sales outlook for the year on expectations of higher airfares.

E*Trade Sets BrownCo Financing

To finance its acquisition of BrownCo, E-Trade said Friday it would concurrently offer $700 million in stock, $250 million worth of senior notes due 2015 and $450 million in equity units.

Summit Getting Clubsport Hotel

Construction of a Renaissance ClubSport hotel at Summit Office Campus in Aliso Viejo is slated to begin early next year.

Development Costs Impact Spectrum

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. said its third-quarter loss widened as the company spent more money on drug development and a patent lawsuit.

Clarient Up on Pfizer News

Shares of Clarient Inc., a San Juan Capistrano-based company that provides cancer testing and drug discovery services, saw its shares surge Friday after it signed a deal with Pfizer Inc.

Job Growth Weaker than Expected

A smaller-than-expected 56,000 new U.S. jobs were created in October despite the fading impact of Hurricane Katrina, while total job growth over the two prior months was revised lower, a government report on Friday showed.

Thursday, November 3

Samsung Upbeat on Chip Outlook

Samsung Electronics Co. expects prices of its core computer memory chips to stabilize in the second half of 2006 and said lower flash chip prices would boost demand.

Profit, Sales Up at Quality Systems

Irvine-based Quality Systems Inc. on Thursday said that its third-quarter profit was up 56% from last year, beating Wall Street's expectations.

Powerwave Beats Q3 Expectations

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc. posted sales and income results for the third quarter that beat Wall Street estimates, the company reported Thursday.

Jury Finds Merck Not Liable Over Vioxx

In a major victory for Merck & Co., a jury on Thursday decided the drug maker provided adequate warning to doctors about health risks associated with its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx and did not commit consumer fraud in marketing the drug.

Mortgage Rates Highest Since June '04

Long-term fixed mortgage rates rose for an eighth consecutive week to their highest level in nearly two years, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey released Thursday.

Retail Sales Rise, Weather Helps

Retail chain store sales rose in October, as the arrival of cooler weather helped spur demand for fall clothing and merchandise.

Valeant Loss Narrows in Q3

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International posted a third-quarter net loss that narrowed from a year ago as its revenue rose 23%, helped by increased product sales and a jump in ribavirin royalties.

Sales Up at PacSun, Wet Seal

Foothill Ranch-based retailer Wet Seal Inc. continued its rebound in October while Anaheim's Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. posted its second solid month in a row.

New Century Profit Dips

New Century Financial Corp. reported a 32% drop in earnings before taxes in the third quarter to $123 million, versus a year ago.

Wednesday, November 2

Devax Raises $32M in Funding

Devax Inc., an Irvine-based startup medical device maker, said Wednesday that it wrapped up a $32 million round of venture funding.

J & J;, Guidant Battle Seen Going to Court

Johnson & Johnson's $25.4 billion acquisition of troubled heart device maker Guidant Corp., the largest U.S. healthcare deal in history, may find its final resolution in court, legal experts said on Wednesday.

Qualcomm: Higher Q4 Profit, Revenue

Wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. on Wednesday posted higher fiscal fourth-quarter earnings as revenue rose on strong demand in the market for mobile phones.

Advanced Medical Up on Profit

Shares of Advanced Medical Optics Inc. surged Wednesday after the Santa Ana eye device maker reported higher third-quarter profits, excluding charges.

Beckman Profit Down, Outlook Up

Profits fell at Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc. in the third quarter, but the company's shares jumped after the medical device maker raised its outlook on Wednesday.

Microsemi Buying APT for $130M

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp. said Wednesday it plans to buy Bend, Ore.-based Advanced Power Technology Inc. for about $130 million in cash and stock.

GE Says SEC Probe Now Formal

A Securities and Exchange Commission probe into General Electric Co. and its use of hedge accounting for derivatives was upgraded to a formal investigation in August, but GE delayed disclosure until its third-quarter financial statements last week.

Sales Fall at GM and Ford

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. reported 23% declines in October U.S. sales on Tuesday, as high gasoline prices hammered demand for big sport utility vehicles and industrywide sales slumped to their slowest pace in seven years.

Mortgage Applications Down

Mortgage applications fell for a second consecutive week as interest rates on home loans climbed to 16-month highs, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 1

Dell Shares Fall on Lowered Outlook

Shares of Dell Inc. fell 7.2% Tuesday, a day after the top U.S. PC maker said it is trimming sales and income targets for the current quarter because of sluggish growth in its U.S. and U.K. business and a $300 million expense to fix a faulty computer part

American Vanguard Buys Insecticide

Newport Beach-based chemical company American Vanguard Corp., which specializes in buying older products from big chemical makers, is buying an insecticide from Germany's BASF AG.

Factories Hum in October

The U.S. factory sector absorbed rising energy costs in October and ran at a robust pace, while construction spending hit a record high in September, according to data on Tuesday.

Allergan Beats Estimates

Shares of Allergan Inc. jumped more than 6% after the drug maker reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates on Tuesday.

Fluor Wins $1B Pact in Abu Dhabi

Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. said it won a $1 billion contract for engineering work at the Habshan Gas Complex Expansion project in Abu Dhabi.

Kia Sales Fall, Mitsubishi Up

Orange County automakers reported mixed sales in October with Kia Motors America posting its first decline in months and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. logging a gain, its second up month in the past three.

Sun Microsystems Posts Narrower Loss

Computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. on Tuesday posted a quarterly net loss that narrowed slightly from a year ago as revenue rose nearly 4%, helped by its acquisition of data storage equipment maker Storage Technology Corp.

Auto Sales Fall Sharply in October

U.S. auto sales fell sharply in October, dampened by hurricanes, fidgety consumers and high gas prices. Demand was down after a summer of heavily hyped discounts, and automakers warned that they don't expect an upswing in November.

Fed Raises Rates, Signals More to Come

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Tuesday for the 12th straight time, taking them to the highest level in more than four years and indicating more hikes will be needed to keep inflation at bay.