PRESS DIGEST-Wall Street Journal - Aug 29

Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:35am EDT

Aug 29 (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.

* White House deliberations over a successor to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are entering their final stages, and the Fed's No. 2, Janet Yellen, is playing down her chances of getting the job. Yellen has indicated to some associates that she sees herself as the underdog and is uncomfortable with the contentious public spectacle that the succession has become. President Barack Obama is expected to announce his choice for the job sometime after Congress returns from recess on Sept. 9. ()

* Federal regulators retreated from a proposal that would have toughened rules for the mortgage securities market, a defeat for advocates of tighter standards and a victory for the housing lobby. Six regulators on Wednesday issued new proposed rules that would require banks and other issuers of mortgage-backed securities to retain 5 percent of the credit risk of the bonds on their books, as mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law. ()

* Ally Financial Inc plans to submit a revised capital plan to the Federal Reserve next week as the government-owned auto lender moves ahead with efforts to repay its crisis-era $17.2 billion bailout. ()

* Wal-Mart is planning to respond to questions from investors over its sourcing practices in Bangladesh during a briefing on Thursday, indicating that its shareholders have some concerns about a series of deadly disasters at overseas garment factories that make clothes for Wal-Mart and other retailers. ()

* Workers at a United States Steel Corp's mill in Canada are expected Friday to reject the company's latest offer on a new five-year contract, prolonging a five-month lockout that is weighing heavily on a firm trying to reverse its sagging fortunes. ()

* Verizon and Vodafone have rekindled talks over a buyout of the U.K. company's stake in their U.S. wireless joint venture, a deal that would likely cost Verizon north of $100 billion. In a sign that the talks, which had cooled off in recent months, have reached a more serious level, one of the people said Verizon is in discussions with banks about the tens of billions of dollars in loans it would need to complete the deal. ()

* Sales of BlackBerry's keyboard-equipped Q10 smartphone have been dismal, according to carrier executives and retailers in the United States and Canada. In another indication the new BlackBerry devices aren't selling well, used phone dealers aren't reporting the flood of old BlackBerrys that typically comes when updated devices are released. ()

* Northrop Grumman agreed to buy the defense unit of Australian flag carrier Qantas Airways in a deal that highlights the drive for defense contractors to boost revenues at a time of declining military budgets. ()

* The private company that conducted the last background check of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden blamed the federal government for not catching any problems with its 2011 investigation of the man who has said he leaked top-secret documents. ()

* The industry group overseeing the Nasdaq data feed at the center of last week's three-hour trading outage plans to meet next week to dissect the breakdown and discuss ways to prevent another one, according to the group's head. ()