PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - April 15
April 15 (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.
* Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N: Cotización) and Northwest Airlines Corp's NWA.N boards approved a merger that would create the world's largest airline by traffic if the deal wins over regulators and employees. The combined carrier would keep Delta's name and Atlanta headquarters.
* Russian oil production has begun to stagnate and even slump, adding to market uncertainties that have helped push oil prices to record highs.
* Brazil's Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Cotización) appeared to have made a major offshore oil strike, a discovery that could turn the country into a big oil exporter.
* Mixing austerity and tax cuts, Senator John McCain will lay out an economic plan that includes increased Medicare premiums for wealthy seniors and a one-year freeze on spending along with a proposal to review a vast swath of federal programs.
* Reflecting the stunning speed with which a funding crisis engulfed Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N, the Wall Street firm reported a profit of 86 cents a share for its fiscal first quarter, which ended just weeks before it agreed to be sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Cotización) for $10 a share.
* Chrysler LLC [CBS.UL] and Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T: Cotización) announced they will join forces to produce full-size pickup trucks for the U.S. market and small cars for North America, Europe and other markets, a development many in the auto industry expected after the two had confirmed talks earlier this year.
* The performance of government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie Mac FRE.N could have a direct impact on the national economy and, more importantly, U.S. credit standing.
* Wachovia Corp's WB.N announcement that it is raising about $7 billion in capital, slashing its dividend by 41 percent and logging a loss of $393 million in the first quarter left many investors angry -- Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Thompson feeling buyer's remorse over the $25 billion takeover of Golden West Financial Corp in 2006. Continuación...