Survey: Home prices risein half of major U.S. cities

Home prices rose in August in half of major cities measured by a private survey, a sign that prices are stabilizing in some hard-hit portions of the country.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday that prices rose in August from July in 10 of the 20 cities tracked. That marked the fifth straight month that at least half of the cities in the survey showed monthly gains.

The biggest price increases were in Washington, Chicago and Detroit. The greatest declines were in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

The index, which covers half of all U.S. homes, measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average.

Prices are certain to fall again once banks resume millions of foreclosures. They have been delayed because of a yearlong government investigation into mortgage lending practices.

IBM promotes Romettyto be its first female CEO

IBM Corp. ushered in Virginia Rometty as the company’s first female CEO on Tuesday, with Sam Palmisano stepping down.

Palmisano, who turned 60 this year, has been CEO for nearly a decade. He will stay on as chairman.
Rometty, 54, known as “Ginni,” is in charge of IBM’s sales and marketing. She has long been whispered about by industry watchers as Palmisano’s likely heir.

With Rometty’s appointment, effective Jan. 1, women will be in charge of two of the world’s largest technology companies.

Meg Whitman became CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. last month. After joining eBay Inc. when it was a fledgling startup during the dot-com boom, she guided it to become an Internet auction powerhouse.

First Solar’s chief departs;stock plunges 25 percent

The CEO of the nation’s largest solar company is out, First Solar said Tuesday, sending its shares tumbling more than 25 percent.

Rob Gillette, who took over at the company two years ago, becomes the latest in a series of high-level departures at First Solar Inc., based in Tempe, Ariz.

First Solar would say only that Gillette was “no longer serving as chief executive officer.”
A First Solar spokesman wouldn’t comment further about Gillette’s departure. Shares fell $14.68, or 25.33 percent, to $43.27 per share – the biggest one-day drop in company history, according to FactSet.

– From news service reports