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By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc plans to spin off its 15 percent stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , responding to pressure to hand over to shareholders its prized e-commerce investment valued at roughly $40 billion. Shares of Yahoo rose about 7 percent to $51.45 in after-hours trading on Tuesday, following the tax-free spinoff announcement and earnings which just beat analysts forecasts even as its revenues slightly lagged estimates. The move to spin off the Alibaba stake satisfies a persistent investor demand, but could also ratchet up pressure on Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to make quicker progress in strengthening Yahoo's struggling media and advertising business. There's nothing shielding her." Shareholders feel that Yahoo and its stake in Alibaba would be worth more separately, as long as the Alibaba shares are not subject to the standard 35 percent tax rate that would be incurred from selling the shares.
By Ellen Wulfhorst and Scott Malone BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A powerful blizzard struck Boston and surrounding New England on Tuesday, leaving some 4.5 million people grappling with as much as three feet of snow and coastal flooding but sparing New York City residents who had braced for a significant blast. Snow was forecast to keep falling into early Wednesday in eastern New England, possibly setting a record snowfall in Boston. At Logan International Airport, 23.3 inches (59.2 cm) of snow was on the ground early evening, swept higher in parts by strong winds. "There are drifts now of four, five and six feet in some places," Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said.