PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 26
Jan 26 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Lending fell 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter at 10 of the 13 biggest beneficiaries of the Treasury's TARP. Banks argue prudent lending takes time and demand is ebbing.
* Pfizer (PFE.N: Cotización) is expected to pay $68 billion to acquire rival Wyeth WYE.N in what would be the largest pharmaceutical deal in nearly a decade.
* Some of the nation's largest auto-parts makers are planning for potential bankruptcy filings, or are scrambling to avoid them, amid uncertainty about Washington's willingness to increase its $17.4 billion bailout plan for Detroit's Big Three auto makers.
* Hotel occupancies are projected to hit a 20-year low, putting many properties in danger of missing payments to lenders.
* To strengthen its finance unit, General Electric Co (GE.N: Cotización) has cut its short-term borrowing, tapped government guarantees to refinance some of its debt at lower interest rates and bolstered deposits. But investors and analysts question whether those steps will be enough to preserve the conglomerate's endangered Triple-A credit rating.
* Bank of America Corp's (BAC.N: Cotización) handling of its acquisition of troubled Merrill Lynch & Co has put Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis on the hot seat with irate shareholders. Among those disappointed in the steep decline in the bank's stock are two veterans who helped Mr. Lewis rise to the top.
* Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Cotización) may report its 2008 results earlier than planned, a person familiar with the matter said, as the bank seeks to quell investor concerns that further losses will force it to turn to the U.K. government for help.
* UBS AG UBSN.VX is under legal pressure as U.S. prosecutors expand their investigation into whether the Swiss bank helped tens of thousands of Americans avoid paying taxes, said several people involved in the case. Continuación...