Nov 1 (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.
* Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N Chief Executive James Cayne was out of the office playing bridge and golf on critical days this summer, while two of the company’s hedge funds faced turmoil.
* The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter point to 4.5 percent, but strongly discouraged expectations of further reductions, saying the risks of weaker growth and higher inflation were roughly balanced.
* Google Inc (GOOG.O) shares skipped past $700 Wednesday amid investor enthusiasm for its wireless and social-networking initiatives, extending a run since mid-September that has made it one of the world’s most valuable companies.
* The U.S. economy grew 3.9 percent in the third quarter, weathering the summer credit crunch surprisingly well. But the economy will be hard-pressed to repeat that in coming months.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) filed a motion seeking to block public access to certain court documents in a tax dispute with North Carolina.
* Two senior traders left Citigroup Inc’s (C.N) hard-hit investment bank amid the fallout from a rough third quarter at the banking firm.
* Sales of prescription drugs in the U.S. are set to grow next year at their slowest pace in decades, as tougher regulation and cost-control measures take their toll, according to IMS Health Inc, a health-care information and consulting firm.
* Negotiations over a new contract for Hollywood film and TV writers adjourned without resolution late Wednesday, setting the stage for a possible strike.
* A federal court sided with Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) in a closely watched case on oil and natural-gas royalties, a development that could help the energy industry resist government efforts to revamp lucrative production agreements in the petroleum-rich Gulf of Mexico.
* Three plaintiffs firms are expected to seek an award of $460 million in legal fees from a securities class action against Tyco International Ltd TYC.N.