Feb 22 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* U.S. retailers are lowering forecasts and adjusting marketing plans as higher taxes and fuel costs are leaving consumers with smaller paychecks.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose 8.6 percent, helped by a lower tax rate and expense controls, while same-store sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores were at the low end of the company's guidance.
* The cutting-edge jetliners Boeing Co had bet its future on sat grounded, unsettling images of passengers on escape chutes splashed across TV, when Chief Executive Jim McNerney sent handwritten apologies to the chairmen of the airlines whose 787 Dreamliner batteries went up in smoke.
* Hewlett-Packard Co's quarterly profit and revenue traveled a familiar downhill trajectory on Thursday. But the results sent its stock in an unfamiliar direction: up.
* Greenlight Capital Inc founder David Einhorn defended and detailed his plan for Apple Inc to issue a new type of stock, in an attempt to rally shareholder support for his plan to get the company to return more cash to shareholders.
* Google Inc on Thursday unveiled the first touch-screen laptops powered by its Chrome operating system-the latest foray into hardware development for the company best known for its Internet search and mobile software.
* Facebook Inc co-founder Eduardo Saverin doesn't expect to repeat the scale of success he had with the popular social network, but he says Asia's rapidly expanding consumer market offers fertile ground for fresh innovation and investment.
* Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone Group Plc , left the door open to the possibility of a near-term deal that would change the ownership of one of the world's most closely watched business partnerships: mobile-phone giant Verizon Wireless Inc
* Republicans head into the next budget battle with President Barack Obama torn between two long-standing goals: Strengthening the military and cutting federal spending.