January 5, 2010 / 6:03 AM / 9 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 5

Jan 5 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Apple Inc (AAPL.O) plans to unveil a multimedia tablet later this month, but doesn’t plan on shipping the product until March. The device is expected to have a 10-inch to 11-inch touch screen.

* U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at its fastest pace in more than three years. Surveys in Asia and Europe also showed expansion quickening.

* Novartis AG NOVN.VX said it would pay Nestle SA NESN.VX $28.1 billion as part of its long-running bid to acquire Alcon Inc ACL.N, a U.S. eye-care company, culminating in the biggest takeover in Swiss corporate history.

* Morgan Stanley (MS.N) named Jonathan Pruzan and Eric Bischof co-heads of its financial institutions group among other executive appointments.

* General Electric Co (GE.N) is realigning the industrial business formerly part of the division that makes appliances and light bulbs.

* H&R Block Inc (HRB.N) will refund as much as $19.4 million in fees to customers as part of a settlement that resolves a lawsuit over its Express IRA product.

* Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd —the Indian unit of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) — unveiled Tuesday the concept of its small car, Etios, at the Auto Expo in New Delhi.

* Kia Motors America (000270.KS) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) are partnering to provide a new system that will allow drivers and passengers to make phone calls and control a car’s audio system through voice commands.

* The Internal Revenue Service said it intends to regulate the legions of American tax-preparation companies, the first time the agency has sought to oversee these businesses. The move could affect how tax returns are prepared for tens of millions of people.

* Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N), like many other pharmaceutical companies, is seeking to make its drug-development efforts more productive as it copes with thin new-product pipelines. Its approach: hiring outside contractors to run tests on its drug candidates.

* Drug maker Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB.O) said on Monday it has launched a search for a successor to its chief executive and president, who plans to retire this summer.

* Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co disclosed plans to merge its two largest business units, continuing efforts under parent News Corp (NWSA.O) to foster more cooperation at the company.

* A federal judge on Monday refused to reconsider or postpone the 40-month prison sentence given to a former UBS AG UBSN.VX (UBS.N) banker who helped U.S. tax authorities build their ground-breaking case against the Swiss bank.

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