PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - March 25

martes 25 de marzo de 2008 06:38 CET

March 25 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Cotización) raised its bid for Bear Stearns to $10 a share. The new bid gives JPMorgan a 39.5 percent stake in Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N right away, meaning only a few Bear shareholders need to support the deal for it to be approved.

* A glut of foreclosed homes is starting to drive down U.S. home prices as lenders put more properties on the market and buyers show signs of interest. Ability of lenders to manage this fire sale will be crucial to determining how long the housing market stays in the dumps.

* A number of student lenders are backing out of the federal student-loan program amid the credit crunch and government subsidy cuts. Big banks might be reluctant to pick up the slack because they are stretched by the credit crisis.

* Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Cotización) will expand gas drilling in several areas around the country and, in a departure, drilling for oil as well, a sign that natural-gas producers are betting on prolonged high energy prices.

* The Justice Department approved the merger of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc (SIRI.O: Cotización) and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc XMSR.O, saying the deal will not harm competition. The two satellite radio providers still need approval from the Federal Communications Commission to combine their operations.

* Carl Icahn rejected an offer from Motorola Inc MOT.N that would have given him two board seats. The activist investor also sued the company for access to crucial board documents.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission outlined actions it is contemplating to give U.S. investors easier access to overseas markets. Some investor groups worry the commission is moving too quickly to ensure investor protection.

* Protesters disrupted the Beijing Olympics torch-lighting ceremony in Greece. Activists plan to play spoiler along the torch relay's course to oppose a long list of China's policies.   Continuación...