PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 3
Jan 3 (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.
* Oil briefly touched $100 a barrel, from just over $10 a barrel a decade ago. The rise is altering the wealth and influence of nations and industries. Oil's surge adds to the pressure on the U.S. economy.
* Iowa kicks off the presidential nominating contest, offering the first test of whether a populist message can resonate in 2008. This year's presidential campaign is the most wide-open in eight decades. In Iowa in particular, the races in both parties have been close from the start.
* The Justice Department opened a criminal probe into the destruction of CIA tapes. Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed an outside prosecutor, John Durham, to conduct the investigation.
* Lockheed Marting Corp (LMT.N: Cotización) agreed to pay a former African-American employee $2.5 million to settle a bias suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
* A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity contracted sharply in December, a sign the economic slowdown is weighing on export-related businesses.
* Some U.S. Federal Reserve members agreed they might need to cut rates again amid pessimism about consumer spending, minutes from last month's meeting show.
* China's stock market faces several hurdles, including slowing earnings growth at financial and energy companies.