This Afternoon's Top News Stories

Here's a quick look at a few of the headlines making news this afternoon.

Wal-Mart to hire thousands
(NYS: WMT) will be offering more hours to existing employees and hiring more than 50,000 employees for the holiday season, the retailer announced today. "Throughout the holiday season, Walmart will be focused on helping more Americans have the Christmas they want and the Christmas they can afford," the company said in a press release. This follows Kohl's recent announcement that it will hire at least 52,700 holiday workers while Target says it plans to hire 80,000 to 90,000 holiday workers.

Home Depot adds Vadon to board
Home Depot
(NYS: HD) has added Mark Vadon, co-founder of online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, to its board of directors. He will be a member of the audit and finance committees. Vadon, 42, is chairman of Blue Nile's board and has also served as its CEO and president. "Mark's expertise in developing and implementing successful online strategies will be a benefit to our company and an asset to our board," Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said in a statement.

Syngenta announces big plans
Swiss agribusiness Syngenta (NYS: SYT) has made a takeover bid for Belgian company Devgen, a leader in hybrid rice and RNAi technology, for total consideration of around 403 million euros, the company announced today. The bid has been recommended by Devgen's board of directors and is supported by shareholders holding about 48% of shares, according to Syngenta. The company also announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to invest up to $85 million in a hybrid seed and crop protection production facility in Russia. If approvals are granted, Syngenta expects to begin production of seeds there in 2015 and of crop protection products in 2016.

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