Pandora shares fall on heels of Microsoft push

Shares of Oakland-based Pandora Media fell 3 percent Monday on worries about increasing competition after Microsoft announced that it would roll out a new music service.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is offering an Xbox free music streaming service, along with a subscription plan akin to those offered by Spotify and Rhapsody. Microsoft also will sell songs and albums a la carte, much like the iTunes service offered by Apple (AAPL). Microsoft will charge $10 a month on the Xbox and on phones.

Internet radio service Pandora is the nation's largest free online radio streaming service. Its business model is based on paying royalty fees to artists and their record labels, then generating revenue from advertising. Investors fear Pandora could be battered by competition from big rivals such as Apple and Microsoft.

Pandora fell 29 cents to finish at $9.11 Monday.

Port copes with strip club expense

The Port of Oakland said Monday it is attempting to strengthen its expense and expenditure policies after an employee was reimbursed for $4,500 that was spent at a strip club in 2008.

"The Board of Port Commissioners has taken several steps to address Port expenditures, including developing and implementing new policies, and conducting an audit," Oakland port board President Gilda Gonzales said in a prepared release.

The port has also discovered a 2008 receipt for about $4,500 from a strip club, the port said.

The strip club's nature was not immediately apparent because the receipt was for a business called D. Houston Inc., which is the corporate parent of Texas-based Treasuries Strip.

Multiple actions are under way by the East Bay shipping and transportation complex to strengthen the port's expense reimbursement policies and procedures to prevent improper expenditure of Port funds.

Gap gets upgrade from analyst, shares rise

San Francisco-based Gap is doing a better job of managing how much merchandise it keeps in stores, and the retailer has improved its products, drawing more customers, a Janney analyst said Monday as part of a higher earnings estimate for the chain.

In addition to its namesake Gap stores, the retailer operates Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta.

The retailer is focusing on diverse merchandising categories in each of the chains. At Gap, the retailer is focusing on denim products while at Banana Republic it's been emphasizing suits.

Shares rose 0.5 percent.

-- Staff