PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - April 8

April 8 Mon Apr 8, 2013 4:11am EDT

April 8 (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.

* Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Coelho said he would look for fresh spending cuts to keep the country's 78-billion-euro ($101.57 billion) international bailout program on track following a Constitutional Court decision that threw his government into crisis by striking down some of its planned austerity measures. ()

* Greece's two largest lenders - National Bank of Greece SA and Eurobank Ergasias SA - are heading for state control after their merger was halted by the government over the weekend. ()

* Investors have asked to pull around $1.5 billion from veteran stock-picker Jeffrey Vinik's hedge-fund firm after a period of poor performance, according to people briefed on the matter. The withdrawal requests amount to around 18 percent of the roughly $8 billion that was run by Vinik Asset Management. ().

* Advertisers and broadcasters in the Middle East are joining together to try to crack open the regional television advertising market by changing how ad rates are calculated, a move that could spur a sharp increase in spending by global firms such as General Motors Co, Unilever Plc and Ford Motor Co. ()

* San Francisco startup Unified Patents Inc plans to recruit companies for a collective effort to deter patent lawsuits or legal threats against technology companies. The first to join Unified are Internet giant Google Inc and NetApp Inc , which makes data-storage hardware. ()

* Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose to its highest level since August 2008 in early trading as the yen continued to weaken against the U.S. dollar in the wake of stronger-than-expected monetary easing measures announced by the Bank of Japan last week. ()

* Just months after grabbing a chunk of the U.S. movie-theater market, China's Dalian Wanda Group Corp is moving toward becoming a global power in film exhibition, holding talks to purchase a European chain. ()

* The U.S. housing market has broken out of a deep slump, and prices are shooting up faster than anyone thought possible a year ago. But the speed at which prices are rising is prompting murmurs of concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve's campaign to reduce interest rates could be giving the housing market a sugar high. ()

* The unexpectedly large number of U.S. workers who piled into the Social Security Administration's disability program during the recession and its aftermath threatens to cost the country's economy tens of billions a year in lost wages and diminished tax revenues. ()