Nov 29 (Reuters) - The New York Times reported the following stories on its business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Credit flowing to American companies is drying up at a pace not seen in decades, threatening the creation of jobs and the expansion of businesses, while intensifying worries that the economy may be headed for recession.
* Coming off a setback at the hands of the cable television industry, the head of the Federal Communications Commission moved to reassert himself on Wednesday by proposing that the commission quickly adopt a rule that would prevent Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), the nation's biggest cable company, from becoming larger, commission officials said.
* Capping a series of wild swings, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI soared to its biggest one-day percentage gain in more than four years on Wednesday after a top Federal Reserve official hinted at another interest rate cut and oil fell below $91 a barrel.
* As governments in the Middle East take big stakes in American companies, China's state-run investment fund has quietly shifted its focus from overseas deals to bolstering the country's troubled banking system.
* Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N), in danger for much of this year of losing its quirky dominance in the domestic airline industry, could soon be standing, once again, head and shoulders above the competition.
* The Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N, the investment bank, said yesterday that it would cut 4 percent of its staff in further fallout from mortgage-related turmoil.
* The latest battleground in the federalism wars at the Supreme Court is an unlikely one: the state of Maine, which is trying to prevent under-age consumers from buying cigarettes over the Internet.
* The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, a unit of Reynolds American Inc RAI.N, disclosed this week that it would run no ads in 2008 in consumer magazines and newspapers for cigarette brands like Camel, Winston, Pall Mall and American Spirit.
* The Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that public companies could block investors from putting director candidates on corporate ballots, a major setback for shareholders seeking a greater say in boardroom affairs.
* President George Bush announced that Keith Hennessey was his choice for chairman of the National Economic Council, succeeding Allan Hubbard, who is joining a growing line of top presidential advisers leaving the administration as it heads into its final year.
* Paul Jacobs, chief executive of Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), the maker of chips for mobile phones, insisted it was pure coincidence that he found himself within a few blocks of where the iPhone, the cellphone media player from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) was introduced to France on Wednesday.
* China will allow market forces to exert more influence over the value of the yuan as the country moves toward a fully convertible currency, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday.