PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 16

July 16 Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:12am EDT

July 16 (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.

* The Senate moved closer to a clash that could stall a range of legislative business, after an unusual, closed-door meeting failed to resolve a dispute over President Barack Obama's executive-branch nominees. ()

* Lowering health-care costs is tougher than improving the quality of care, according to first-year results from a key pilot program under the federal health law. ()

* The nation's biggest publicly traded home builders are on a buying spree, snapping up small privately held companies who made it through the housing slump but now are struggling to find financing. ()

* China unveiled a litany of bribery and misconduct allegations against GlaxoSmithKline, a move that industry experts said could presage a broader crackdown in a lucrative market for pharmaceutical and medical companies. ()

* Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, launched an investigation into an arrangement in which the University of Michigan sells early peeks at its consumer-sentiment survey to a select group of investors through Thomson Reuters. ()

* The European Banking Authority said that 3,175 European finance-sector workers earned more than 1 million euros ($1.30 million) each in 2011, the vast majority of them based in the UK. ()

* First Data Corp, owned by private equity firm KKR & Co , will suspend 401(k) contributions to employees and replace cash bonuses with stock as part of its new chief executive's strategy to return the credit-card processor to profitability. ()

* Chinese search giant Baidu Inc said it would buy 91 Wireless Websoft Ltd, one of China's mobile app stores, for $1.9 billion from NetDragon Websoft Inc, as it ramps up to compete for business from China's growing population of smartphone-carrying consumers. ()

* Opposing lawyers said former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive Fabrice Tourre was either a liar who cost investors $1 billion or a "scapegoat" whom securities regulators intend to blame for risks taken by sophisticated buyers and sellers ahead of the financial crisis. ()

* London-based auctioneer Christie's said it is planning to hold its first sale in India this winter in an expansion that reflects the growing clout of Indian collectors in the global art marketplace. ()

* Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co boosted exposure to interest-rate risk in June at time when yields jumped, a move that led to the fund's record quarterly loss in the second quarter. ()