Friday morning headlines

Stocks open flat: Investors still looking for the latest updates from Washington. Dow is hovering around the line.

Volatile prices: L.A. area inflation fell a full percentage point from October to November, the result of a huge drop in gas prices - and much bigger than the 0.3 percent decline nationally. But over a 12-month period, prices were up 2.1 percent. (BLS).

Gas prices still falling: They're over a buck a gallon lower than the record high in early October, according to the Auto Club. Average price per gallon is $3.654.

SolarCity jumps after first day of trading: The San Matao-based solar company, whose backers include Tesla founder Elon Musk, was forced to lower its offering price because of limited interest, but wound up raising $92 million on Thursday. (DealBook)

KB Home in Playa Vista: The L.A.-based homebuilder plans to put up more than 100 condos and detached homes in the planned community. KB has built other properties in Playa Vista. (LAT)

Rick Caruso buying in the Palisades: The L.A. developer has purchased a parcel of 10 retail properties in the town center. Terms were not disclosed, but the LAT, citing sources, said it's in the $40 million to $50 million range.

City has new tech chief: Steve Renker has been named to head L.A.'s budget-challenged Information Technology Agency. Renker held a similar position in Riverside. (Daily News)

Sweatshop practices uncovered: Federal and state authorities found widespread violations of minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping regulations at a building on Hill Street. Clothing was being made for Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Wet Seal, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and others. From the LA Weekly:

Investigators found many garment employees were paid a piece rate -- that is, paid for each piece they sewed or cut -- without regard to minimum wage or overtime pay requirements. On average, workers' wages amounted to less than $6.50 per hour -- well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and the California minimum wage of $8 per hour. None of these employees received the overtime premium of time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 per week, as required under the FLSA. Significant record-keeping violations also were disclosed, including falsified time cards and under-reporting or failing to maintain accurate records of actual hours worked by garment employees.

More by Mark Lacter:
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Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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