PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 31

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:52pm EST

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Jan 31 (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.

* Until this week, European emerging markets had largely dodged the vicious selloff that has swept through their peers elsewhere. But now they are cracking. ()

* Big banks are beginning to loosen their tight grip on lending, creating a new opening for consumer and business borrowing that could underpin a brightening economic outlook.()

* Veteran Microsoft executive Satya Nadella has emerged as the leading candidate to be the software company's next CEO, as directors wrestle with the role of Chairman Bill Gates. ()

* A potent mix of rising exports, consumer spending and business investment helped the U.S. economy end the year on solid footing. ()

* Holiday sales lifted Amazon.com Inc's fourth-quarter revenue 20 percent over a year earlier, spurring profit but not enough to match Wall Street projections. The Seattle retailer's shares tumbled in after-hours trading on the results and a disappointing outlook for its current quarter. ()

* Saks, under new ownership, is pushing into a higher luxury strata, but at the same time plans to expand its Off Fifth outlet stores-and muss them up a little. ()

* Google posted a 17 percent increase in revenue and a 17 percent increase in net income in the fourth quarter compared with the prior year, one day after it announced plans to sell its unprofitable Motorola smartphone unit to Lenovo Group Inc for $2.9 billion. ()

* Zynga Inc is making its biggest acquisition ever, pushing further into mobile videogames, while cutting its workforce for the third time in two years. ()

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