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Local Digest

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

EMPLOYMENT

Verizon cutting 1,000 area jobs, union says

The largest union for Verizon Communications workers said the company is laying off more than 1,000 employees in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

Verizon spokesman Alberto Canal said the layoffs are part of the already-announced plan to cut 8,000 jobs before the end of the year. Canal confirmed that there have been layoffs this week but could not confirm the number given by the union.

The Communications Workers of America criticized the company for the cuts, pointing to its profit. Canal said the layoffs are a last resort after buyouts.

-- Associated Press

ECONOMY

Fannie Mae sees end to the housing slump

Fannie Mae, responsible for almost one in four U.S. residential mortgages, said the three-year housing slump may end in 2010 with an 11 percent jump in home sales as the economic recession is "unofficially" over.

The economic rebound will still be "relatively weak" compared with other recoveries from deep recessions, the District-based company said in an economic and housing forecast. Median home prices are still likely to fall next year, by less than 1 percent, as sales rise, Fannie Mae said.

-- Bloomberg News

MORTGAGES

E-Trade is resolving its crisis, CEO says

E-Trade Financial has almost resolved its bad-mortgage crisis that caused the fourth-largest online brokerage to post losses for two years, chief executive Donald Layton said.

"The issue is: When are the bad-mortgage assets finally going to have low enough losses that the profits from the brokerage business overcome it?" Layton said in a Bloomberg Television interview Tuesday from Washington. Most investors are "pretty confident it's not that far in the future."

Layton told CNBC in an interview earlier Tuesday that E-Trade is "about 80 percent out of the problem" related to its mortgage investments. The company has been battered by losses since the subprime market collapsed in 2007.

-- Bloomberg News

CONTRACTING

SAIC completes stock reclassification

Defense contractor Science Applications International, or SAIC, has completed the reclassification of its class A preferred stock into common stock.

The reclassification became effective Monday. SAIC's stockholders approved the move at the company's annual meeting June 19.

SAIC, based in McLean, asked shareholders to approve the change because it decided its dual-class structure was confusing to investors and more costly to administer. SAIC shares fell 18 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $18.27 Tuesday.

-- Associated Press

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