Afternoon Roundup: Today's Top Stories


AtThe Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. We have scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all on one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.

In what seemed to be a surprising move, Yahoo!'s (NAS: YHOO) board ousted Carol Bartz form her chief executive position. The decision was made after a study conducted by independent directors showed the company was not performing as well as it could. Bartz leaves amid a series of challenges and high amount of competition affecting the once highflying company. After the announcement was made, the company's stock rose 6% in afterhours trading. The board named CFO Tim Morse as the interim CEO.

Bartz's departure is a clear sign of how older Internet companies have been struggling to hold their audiences. Yahoo!, which was the No. 1 search engine in the early 1990s, has lost ground to Google (NAS: GOOG) and Facebook. Read more atThe Wall Street Journal.

The struggling Bank of America (NYS: BAC) shook up its management team. The bank ousted two top executives, Sallie Krawcheck, one of the top women in Wall Street, and Joe Price, a Bank of America veteran. David Darnell and Tom Montag were named co-chief operating officers. Montag will oversee all the banking and market activities, including highly profitable Merrill Lynch.

Soured mortgages are draining the bank's fund, and a restructuring seemed to be needed. Other possibilities have been to spin off the Merrill Lynch division and put Countrywide, the most problematic division, into bankruptcy. The company has said these possibilities are highly unlikely. Read more atDealbook.

Europe's biggest bank, HSBC (NYS: HBC) , announced it would cut 3,000 jobs in Hong Kong over the next three years. The move is the first step in an aggressive cost-cutting plan. The cuts are part of CEO Stuart Gulliver's objective to save $3.5 billion annually. This will involve nearly 30,000 job losses by the end of 2013, though Gulliver said 15,000 more could be added in Asia and emerging markets.

The first countries to be restructured are Hong Kong, the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and Mexico. The bank has already cut nearly 5,000 jobs from its overall workforce and is expected to cut nearly 25,000 jobs by 2013 -- one-tenth of its worldwide workforce. Read more atReuters.

Personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) announced it would release eight new PCs in the next two months before it spins off the business. Four of the models will be touchscreen. The models will be released beginning this month with starting prices between $600 and $900. The new series will include a computer for small business for as low as $850.

The company said the spin-off of its PC division could generate $41 billion but could take a whole year to complete. The remaining divisions would focus on developing new software including webOS, which the company gained after buying Palm. HP is also working on producing a final run of its TouchPad tablet after reducing the price to $99 for a 16GB model. Read more atBloomberg.

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court approved the eurozone's 2010 bailout plans for Greece and subsequent aid proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The court also said future eurozone bailouts would need approval from the parliament's budget committee. This would be an easier hurdle to overcome.

U.S. markets reacted positively to the German decision with the market opening higher in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) gained 131.1 points or 1.18%, while the S&P 500 increased by 1.37% and the Nasdaq rose by 1.51%. Read more atThe Wall Street JournalandReuters.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. If you are interested in getting all the news and commentary on these stocks sign up to My Watchlisthere-- it's free!

At the time thisarticle was published Michelle Zayed doesn't own any stocks mentioned.The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Bank of America, and Yahoo!.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Google and Yahoo!. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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