PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - May 17

Fri May 17, 2013 1:42am EDT

May 17 (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.

* Financial regulators are taking a harder line on exchanges amid concerns over their ability to police the markets they operate, as the SEC prepares to hit one with a record penalty.

The deeper scrutiny has prompted some exchange officials to push back against a new regulatory stance that they say leaves them more vulnerable to potential penalties and sanctions. ()

* A so-so first quarter earnings season hasn't dented investors' enthusiasm for stocks. Profit at large U.S. companies modestly exceeded Wall Street analysts' expectations, while revenue was weak and many companies ratcheted down growth projections. However stock prices have been rising, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 16 percent for the year and 4.2 percent since earnings season began April 8. ()

* The booming market for commercial-mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) is on the verge of passing a dubious milestone - losses on a class of bonds that have been popular with investors for the big returns they promised.

The securities, dubbed "AJ" have found favor with investors because they combine high payouts, or yield, and greater relative protection against losses than some other high-yielding securities. But now, the potential sale of a troubled Atlantic City luxury mall, named the Pier Shops at Caesars, could saddle investors with the first losses on AJ securities created during the U.S. housing boom. The property is on the block after an earlier sale fell through. ()

* The ousted chief executive of Tuesday Morning Corp , Kathleen Mason, is suing her former employer, alleging she was discriminated against after developing breast cancer. ()

* Eight members of Congress on Thursday asked Google Inc Chief Executive Larry Page to give assurances about privacy safeguards for the company's high-profile Google Glass wearable-computing device.

The demands come as Google holds its annual developer conference in San Francisco, where it is coaching hundreds of developers on how to write programs for the device. ()

* Foreign-exchange traders at Citigroup Inc will soon move from Bloomberg LP's chat tool to their own internal system, as part of a push to reduce data costs and migrate more people onto its own proprietary technology, people familiar with the bank's plans said. ()

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