January 30, 2008 / 6:47 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 30

Jan 30 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the New York Times business pages on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Politicians in France increased calls for the resignation of top executives at Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), ahead of the board’s regular meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.

* The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened criminal inquiries into 14 companies as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the troubled mortgage industry, FBI officials said.

* In a major revamping of its sluggish clothing business, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) will shut two divisions at its headquarters in Arkansas, eliminate dozens of positions and move dozens more to New York City.

* After announcing a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profits, Yahoo Inc YHOO.O issued a disappointing outlook for this year, suggesting that investors would have to wait until 2009 for a turnaround. The company also said that as part of its plan to revive its fortunes, it would cut 1,000 jobs by mid-February to reduce costs and narrow its focus to its most important businesses.

* After a stunning cut one week ago, the Federal Reserve appears poised to announce another rate cut on Wednesday as insurance against a recession.

* In a move that will make it easier for small and medium-size public companies to raise money, federal regulators are about to the ease rules on the sale of restricted shares.

* The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve a $146 billion fiscal stimulus package, but the bipartisan deal is at risk as Senate Democrats forged ahead with their own, more expensive plan and jockeyed over what to include in it.

* Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N, the mortgage lender and loan servicer, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $422 million, but the results were not expected to hinder its proposed $4.1 billion takeover by Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).

* Members of Congress sent a letter to the chief executive of Mattel Inc MAT.N, accusing the company of not living up to its promise to keep lead-tainted toys out of children’s hands.

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