Aging in the Workplace forum today in Everett

The Senior Consortium of Snohomish County is set to conduct a forum, Aging in the Workplace from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. today at Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave. in Everett. The forum is geared for employers in Snohomish County interested in exploring the challenges, opportunities and solutions in an aging work force. Issues such as retention of mature workers, hiring, training, technology, health benefits, care giving, accommodations and intergenerational communication are expected to be discussed. For more information on the forum, contact Christina Harrison at 425-265-2294 or e-mail charrison@sssc.org.

Microsoft still not interested in Yahoo

Microsoft Corp. is no longer interested in buying all of Yahoo Inc., Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Wednesday, though he told shareholders that the company would still be “very open” to a collaboration on Internet search. His comments sent Yahoo shares diving more than 20 percent. Yahoo spurned a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft in May, and later rejected Microsoft’s bid to buy only its search engine. Ballmer has said repeatedly of late that the buyout remains off the table, though a search-related deal is possible. But Wednesday marked the first time he had renewed that stance since the resignation announced this week by Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang, who had resisted Microsoft’s overtures.

Citigroup shares drop to 15-year low

Citigroup Inc. shares hit a 15-year low Wednesday as an analyst predicted the bank will have to cut the value of some of its assets by an additional $3 billion. Citi shares tumbled Wednesday, falling $1.96, or 23 percent, to $6.40. Earlier in the day, shares hit a 15-year low of $6.25. Citi, which has been battered by the ongoing credit crisis, has seen its shares lose 53 percent of their value in November. Shares fell as Fox-Pitt Kelton analyst David Trone predicted further losses for the bank, while Citi separately announced it would be acquiring the remaining assets from its structured investment vehicles and liquidate a hedge fund that’s value plummeted 53 percent in October. Also this week, Citi said it will cut an additional 53,000 jobs on top of 22,000 cuts it previously announced as it aims to return to profitability.

New home starts hit 50-year low

Construction of new homes plunged last month to the lowest level on records going back nearly 50 years as U.S. builders slashed production while Wall Street nosedived. Embattled homebuilders, who enjoyed a five-year boom, are now building new homes and apartments at a record-low pace, according to government data released Wednesday. New building permits, a barometer of future activity, also plummeted to the lowest pace on record. The Commerce Department reported that construction of new homes and apartments fell 4.5 percent in October, the fourth straight monthly decline. Construction sank to an annual rate of 791,000 units from an upwardly revised September rate of 828,000 units. The results were the lowest on government records dating back to January 1959.

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