Time is running out for property tax rebates
Eligible Pennsylvanians have until Dec. 31 to apply for a rebate for this year under Pennsylvania's property tax/rent rebate program. The program benefits residents age 65 and older, widows and widowers 50 and older and people with disabilities 18 and older. The income limits are $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650 but supplemental rebates can boost the total to $975. Information: 1-888-222-9190 or www.revenue.state.pa.us.
PNC online access is snarled for a third week
For the third week in a row, customers at PNC Bank Thursday morning were reporting problems accessing their accounts online. Spokeswoman Amy Vargo said the issue was "minor" and was quickly resolved. She said she didn't know if the problems were tied to recent denial-of-service attack threats on PNC and a handful of other big banks. PNC urged customers experiencing access problems to keep trying or to visit an ATM, branch office or to call 1-888-762-2265.
PPG shareholders can begin stock tender
PPG Industries began the tender offer related to the spinoff of its commodity chemicals business to Georgia Gulf. PPG shareholders can tender some or all of their stock for shares in a separate company. Those shares will convert into Georgia Gulf stock once the spinoff is completed. PPG said it expects shareholders who accept the offer will receive about $1.11 in Georgia Gulf stock for every $1 in PPG stock they surrender. The tender offer is scheduled to expire Jan. 28.
Toshiba considers selling stake in Westinghouse
Toshiba Corp. is in talks to sell a stake in its Westinghouse Electric atomic-power unit as industry growth slows. The company is in discussions with three parties on a possible sale of as much as 16 percent in the business, Toru Ohara, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Toshiba, told Bloomberg News on Thursday, confirming comments by president Norio Sasaki reported earlier by MarketWatch. A sale would allow it to offload shares after being forced to buy 20 percent of Westinghouse when Shaw Group Inc. exercised an option to sell its stock. Toshiba would maintain a controlling interest in Westinghouse.
Jobless applications fall to nearly five-year low
The average number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month fell to the lowest level since March 2008. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 in the week ended Dec. 22. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to a nearly five-year low of 356,750. The Christmas holiday may have distorted the figures, according to a department spokesman who noted that many state unemployment offices were closed Monday and Tuesday and could not provide exact data. Normally, the government might estimate application data for one or two states. Last week, it had to use estimates for 19.
Also in business ...
Sales of new homes rose 4.4 percent in November from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
From staff and wire reports