PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Feb 5

Wed Feb 5, 2014 1:22am EST

Feb 5 (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.

* Satya Nadella is Microsoft Corp's new CEO. But he ascends as co-founder Bill Gates returns to a more central role at a company struggling to catch up in mobile and other fast-moving technologies. ()

* The new health law is projected to reduce the total number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time jobs in 2021, a bigger impact on the workforce than previously expected, according to a nonpartisan congressional report. The analysis, by the Congressional Budget Office, says a key factor is people scaling back how much they work and instead getting health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. ()

* Small banks across the United States are facing a crunch-time decision over federal aid received during the financial crisis: repay the funds soon or face a steeper interest-rate bill. ()

* Morgan Stanley agreed to pay the top U.S. housing regulator $1.25 billion, the largest legal expense for the Wall Street firm relating to the financial crisis, to settle a lawsuit that it sold mortgage bonds to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without adequately disclosing their risks. ()

* Target Corp's chief financial officer told Congress that software on another 25 checkout machines continued to steal payment-card data three days after the discounter had said the malware was removed. ()

* RadioShack Corp plans to close about 500 stores in the coming months as the electronics retailer continues to work with advisers on its restructuring. ()

* J.C. Penney Co Inc's sales rose just 2 percent in its latest quarter, renewing fears about the retailer and sending its stock down sharply. ()

* The United States is lagging behind other developed nations in the international race to place more women on corporate boards. While the ranks of female directors at big public companies are growing faster in several countries, thanks to legal mandates or extensive voluntary efforts. ()

* The United States' budding commercial space industry has sparked an intense debate over the extent to which the federal government should regulate private space flights for tourists and orbital-vehicle operations. ()

* Sony Corp is in talks to sell its unprofitable Vaio personal computer operations to a Japanese investment fund.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb threatened to cut jobs at two French plants after the government said it planned to seek wider use of cheaper generics. ()

* Time Warner Inc plans to lay off just under 500 employees, or about 6 percent of its global staff, as part of a broader effort to simplify the operating structure of its magazines, a person close to the company said. ()

* Adidas AG sued rival Under Armour Inc on Tuesday, alleging it infringed on 10 Adidas patents used in the German company's fitness tracking system called miCoach. ()

* Medical researchers around the world are embracing genetic-sequencing technologies. Among the most eager are scientists in Saudi Arabia, which is plagued with diseases that have genetic roots. ()

* Toyota Motor Corp said solid vehicle sales and a sharply weaker yen pushed its net profit up more than fivefold in the latest quarter, prompting it to forecast a record profit for the full fiscal year. ()

* Google Inc has awarded $100 million in restricted stock to Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as a cash bonus of $6 million tied to the search giant's 2013 performance. ()

* BP Plc's fourth-quarter profit fell 25 percent, hit by lower refining margins and lost income from asset sales, as the company continued to try to recover from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. ()

* Michael Kors Holdings Ltd reported a big jump in profit for its fiscal third quarter and said it planned to expand men's clothing and accessories into a $1 billion business, a move that could further dent rival Coach Inc . ()

* Chrysler Group said its Ram 1500 EcoDiesel truck has earned a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-estimated rating of 28 miles a gallon in highway driving, setting a new bar to top for truck brands, and especially Ford Motor Co's lightweight, aluminum-bodied F-150, due out later this year. ()

* Panasonic Corp saw a double-digit rise in profit for the third quarter, as stellar growth in a string of lesser-known niche businesses offset the decline of its vaunted television business. ()

* Christie's has withdrawn 85 artworks by Spanish surrealist Joan Miro from its auctions in London this week, after an uproar in Portugal over the government's move to sell the works in an attempt to cut its debt. ()

* Both sides declared victory after jurors delivered a mixed verdict on a civil lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Life Partners Holdings Inc a Texas seller of life-insurance investments. ()

* A small group of investors are pressuring Yahoo Inc to revise its approach to hiring and compensation following Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's expensive firing of her No. 2 executive. ()

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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