PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Nov 12

Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:06am EST

Nov 12 (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.

* Initial reports suggest that fewer than 50,000 people successfully navigated the troubled federal health-care website to enroll in private health-insurance plans as of last week, two people familiar with the matter said. ()

* America's jobs recovery is proceeding on two separate tracks - a pattern that is persisting far longer than after past economic rebounds and lately has been growing worse. Despite three years of steady job gains, and four years of economic growth, many Americans have yet to experience much that could be described as a recovery. That sort of pattern isn't unusual in the aftermath of a recession, but it usually eases as growth picks up steam. ()

* Hedge funds are making a large bet on municipal debt, bringing aggressive tactics to a $3.7 trillion market long known as humdrum. ()

* Freddie Mac and Bank of America are in settlement talks to resolve disputes over more than $1.4 billion in faulty mortgages Freddie has said Bank of America should have to take back. ()

* Federal prosecutors and the SEC's internal watchdog recently probed the personal financial holdings of some SEC employees in New York, a move that could again shine a spotlight on the agency's internal compliance efforts. ()

* Just a handful of companies have taken goodwill write-downs this year on past acquisitions that have soured. Last year U.S. companies slashed the value of their past acquisitions by $51 billion because the deals didn't pan out as expected, according to a study set for release Tuesday. That was the highest yearly total for such write-downs since the financial crisis. ()

* Sotheby's said its third-quarter loss narrowed as the auction house logged an increase in private sale commissions and auction commission revenue. ()

* Target has come up with an answer to Amazon.com . Copy it. The discount chain's latest online offerings have a distinct Amazon feel-from recurring deliveries for diapers to on-demand streaming video. ()

* Google said it will begin allowing Nielsen to measure audiences for ads on its YouTube website, a decision that could give ad buyers more confidence to shift dollars to online video. ()

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