January 27, 2009 / 5:57 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - New York Times business news - Jan 27

Jan 27 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the New York Times business pages on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Home Depot (HD.N), Caterpillar (CAT.N), Sprint Nextel (S.N) and at least eight other companies announced they would cut more than 75,000 jobs in the United States and around the world — a gloomy start to the workweek for employees anxious about holding their own as the economy sinks.

* Medicare, with little public debate, has expanded its coverage of drugs for cancer treatments not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

* Pfizer’s (PFE.N) move to buy Wyeth WYE.N dims the hopes of struggling small biotechnology companies that wanted to sell themselves or their products to larger businesses.

* Timothy F. Geithner was sworn in as secretary of the Treasury, confirmed by a Senate majority that concluded that his experience in government and finance outweighed concerns about recent disclosures of some $34,000 in past tax delinquencies.

* Automakers said that rapid installation of stricter emissions standards could force them to drastically cut production of larger, more profitable vehicles in a time of severe financial duress.

* John Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch, defended his decisions on several fronts as he made his exit from Bank of America Corp (BAC.N). But Thain sounded a bit contrite about that $35,000 commode.

* December sales of existing homes beat expectations but also closed out the worst year for the real estate market in more than a decade.

* After investors punished its stock last week, Barclays Plc (BARC.L) attempted to restore trust in its earnings, saying it did not need fresh capital. It also announced that it would write down an additional 8 billion pounds ($11 billion) for 2008.

* The Senate voted to delay next month’s transition to digital television until June 12 because some viewers would not be ready for the switch.

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