April 23, 2008 / 6:58 AM / 11 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - April 23

April 23 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The SEC refused a congressional request to disclose why an investigation into Bear Stearns’s BSC.N valuation of complex debt securities was dropped. The agency cited confidentiality in its decision involving the late-stage probe.

* Yahoo Inc’s YHOO.O profit more than tripled on an investment gain. Revenue rose 9 percent despite weakness in online-ad sales. But Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) chief executive officer said good results wouldn’t lead his company to raise its bid.

* International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) plans to announce a new type of computer designed for the giant data centers operated by so-called Web 2.0 companies, such as Internet-search and email providers.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N) shareholders peppered executives and directors of the bank with criticism at an annual meeting that stretched for nearly four hours, but all the directors were re-elected with at least two-thirds of the vote.

* Marcus Brauchli, who took over as The Wall Street Journal managing editor less than a year ago, confirmed Tuesday he was stepping down.

* GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) will buy Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc SIRT.O for $720 million, placing a substantial bet on the potential of early-stage research on drugs touted for their potential to slow the aging process.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under fire from Congress for gaps in its foreign drug inspection, would need about $70 million to inspect more than 3,000 foreign drug facilities every two years, a Government Accountability Office official said.

* Internet giant eBay Inc (EBAY.O) said it filed suit against Craigslist’s directors for allegedly unfairly diluting its interest in the classified-listings Web site.

* U.S. auto makers must increase the average fuel efficiency of their cars and trucks to 31.6 miles per gallon from today’s 25 by 2015 under new rules issued by the Bush administration.

* U.S. sales of previously owned homes declined in March as the housing-market slump continued, but two gauges of home prices provided a glimmer of hope that the downturn might be easing a bit.

* Airline stocks were bludgeoned after crude-oil prices set a record high of more than $119 a barrel and United Airlines parent UAL Corp UAUA.O delivered a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss.

* Defying weakness in both the economy and the apparel market, VF Corp (VFC.N) posted a 7.7 percent increase in first-quarter profit, reflecting strong sales at its own stores as well as overseas.

* Broadcom Corp BRCM.O agreed to pay $12 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges it falsified its reported income by backdating stock-option grants over a five-year period.

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