PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 6

jueves 6 de diciembre de 2007 07:19 CET

Dec 6 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The pharmaceutical industry will hit a wall in the coming years as dozens of drugs lose patent protection by 2012. Generic competition is expected to wipe $67 billion from top companies' annual U.S. sales. At the same time, the industry's science engine has stalled.

* Auto-loan defaults are ticking up to their highest level in several years amid tighter lending terms and rising interest rates.

* The three banks -- Citigroup Inc (C.N: Cotización), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Cotización) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Cotización) -- assembling a "super fund" aimed at helping to ease the global credit crunch are scaling back its size due to a lack of interest from financial firms that are supposed to benefit from the plan, according to people familiar with the matter.

* U.S. President George W. Bush is set to unveil a plan to help struggling homeowners avoid losing their properties, including a five-year freeze on low, introductory mortgage rates that would jump in the next few years.

* Investment funds of states and counties nationwide may be vulnerable to the subprime fallout. Florida's will reopen Thursday.

* A majority of Supreme Court justices seemed skeptical of the President George W. Bush administration's arguments that Guantanamo prisoners have no right to challenge their detentions.

* Genzyme Corp's GENZ.O chief executive officer said the biotechnology company doesn't plan to put itself up for sale despite interest shown by Carl Icahn.

* MBIA Inc's (MBI.N: Cotización) shares slid 16 percent after Moody's said it considers the bond insurer "somewhat likely" to fall short of its capital needs.

* Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp MRX.N is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell antiwrinkle therapy Reloxin for cosmetic use, putting pressure on Allergan Inc's (AGN.N: Cotización) Botox.