January 8, 2009 / 5:06 AM / 10 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 8

Jan 8 (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.

* Delinquencies on mortgages for hotels, shopping malls and office buildings were sharply higher in the fourth quarter.

* The chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd SATY.BO, one of India’s largest technology companies said he concocted key financial results, including a fictitious cash balance of more than $1 billion, sending shock waves across India and likely prompting investors to question other corporate results as the once-hot economy slows.

* Obama’s economic team is pressing ahead with a costly economic-stimulus plan despite a projected $1.2 trillion budget deficit this year.

* Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) announced a milestone for the next version of Windows and a raft of deals designed to boost its online search business. Steve Ballmer unveiled the plans in his first keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show.

* Computer maker Lenovo Group (0992.HK) said it expects to report a loss for the quarter just ended. The company set layoffs and cuts to executive pay.

* Wyeth WYE.N is in talks to purchase Dutch vaccine maker Crucell NV CRCL.AS as the big U.S. drug maker attempts to grab a larger share of one of the industry’s fastest-growing segments.

* Prosecutors argued that money manager Bernard Madoff poses a “danger to the community” and should go to jail pending his trial, after he mailed valuables including diamond watches to friends and family, according to a written court motion made public.

* Citigroup Inc (C.N) is leading other lenders in advanced talks with key senators on legislation that would allow judges to set new repayment terms for millions of mortgage holders who wind up in bankruptcy court, people involved in the talks say.

* The family of deceased German billionaire Adolf Merckle said it will put generic drug maker Ratiopharm GmbH up for sale after securing a bridge loan to prop up the teetering family business empire.

* Exelon Corp (EXC.N) said it would extend its tender offer for NRG Energy Inc by seven weeks to Feb. 25, having garnered 45.6 percent of shares outstanding since going public with its $6.5 billion bid in mid-November. Exelon also dangled the possibility it may propose its own slate of directors for NRG’s board, having been twice rebuffed by existing directors, who have concluded Exelon’s offer is too low.

* A federal judge ruled that MGA Entertainment Inc could continue to sell its Bratz dolls through Dec. 31 before being forced to turn over the franchise to its rival, Mattel Inc MAT.N.

* MGM Mirage (MGM.N) is scaling back its massive City Center project under construction on the Las Vegas Strip as part of its emerging strategy to cut costs, raise cash and sharpen focus.

* Kevin Warsh, a Federal Reserve governor, is among the leading candidates to become the next president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to people familiar with the matter.

* Mary L. Schapiro, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for chair at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is likely to face some tough questions from senators next week on how she intends to reform the battered securities regulator.

* Time Warner Inc TWX.N will record $25 billion in write-downs for the fourth quarter, with nearly $15 billion tied to Time Warner Cable TWC.N amid a deteriorating advertising market.

* Intel Corp (INTC.O) issued a second warning about business conditions in the fourth quarter, a sign that computer demand is sinking so fast that accurate forecasting is difficult.

* Decisions by Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and other institutions to sell down their stakes in Chinese banks signal more trouble for Beijing’s strategy of using foreign expertise to build a world-class banking system.

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is “aggressively” lobbying lawmakers to temporarily suspend a law that requires businesses to pay income taxes on transactions related to buying back debt at discounted rates.

* UBS AG UBSN.VX said it has exposure to troubled chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries, raising market concerns that it may make further write-downs in the first quarter of this year.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reopened its investigation into possible insider trading of Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) shares by hedge fund Pequot Capital Management Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

* The European Commission said that in October it raided several companies that make the microchips used in so-called smart cards, amid suspicion the firms were colluding with each other.

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