Nov 7 (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.
* General Motors Corp (GM.N) will take a $39 billion third-quarter noncash charge to write down deferred-tax credits, a signal that it expects to continue to struggle financially despite significant restructuring and cost cutting in the past two years.
* Two red states turned slightly blue in off-year elections as Kentucky’s Republican governor lost, and Democrats picked up at least three seats in Virginia’s state Senate.
* Two analysts project Morgan Stanley (MS.N) may take a fourth-quarter write-down of $3 billion to $6 billion as a result of the subprime-mortgage crisis.
* Gasoline has trailed oil’s rise to nearly $100 a barrel, but fuel prices now look poised to take off as holiday demand rises and refining margins stabilize.
* Rudy Giuliani has rebuffed calls to disclose details about the clients and dealings of Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm he founded in 2002. He could face questions about his business ties if he wins the Republican nomination.
* Natalie Bancroft, the daughter of Hugh Bancroft III, will serve on News Corp’s NWSa.N board. The Bancroft family missed a 30-day deadline to nominate its own candidate, ceding the choice to Rupert Murdoch, Dow Jones & Co Inc’s DJ.N prospective owner.
* Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) plans to offer giveaways and discounts on sought-after items to its best-spending customers this holiday season.
* The European Central Bank and Bank of England are expected to keep key rates steady Thursday amid data showing slowing economic growth.
* Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) is expected to sign a $1 billion pact with a jet-engine parts supplier, expanding the airline’s maintenance unit.
* Bonuses for Wall Street pros are projected to fall for the first time since 2002. Two compensation experts are set to release projections for bonus payments this year on Wall Street, and the numbers aren’t pretty.
* Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto plans to meet with opposition parties to initiate nationwide protests against the state of emergency declared Saturday by President Pervez Musharraf, according to her spokesman.
* While the Democratic House appears poised to approve U.S. President George W. Bush’s proposed trade deal with Peru, Bush continues to struggle to inject momentum into his broader free-trade agenda.
* As striking screenwriters continued attempts to close down film and TV production, television networks and media companies are calculating they can contain the damage so long as the strike doesn’t last much beyond January.
* Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said it fired its Chief Information Officer Stuart Scott for violating company policies but declined to provide details.
* Nasdaq Stock Market Inc (NDAQ.O) will make its first big leap into the U.S. derivatives trading business by purchasing the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for about $650 million, people familiar with the matter said.
* IndyMac Bancorp Inc IMB.N posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss as surging bad loans forced the company to pump up credit reserves by 47 percent.
* An unusually dramatic congressional hearing on Yahoo Inc’s YHOO.O role in the imprisonment of at least two dissidents in China exposed the company to withering criticism and underscored the risks for Western companies seeking to expand there.