PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - March 26

March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:55am EDT

March 26 (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.

* Facebook Inc made its second big acquisition of the year, agreeing Tuesday to acquire Oculus VR Inc, a 20-month-old maker of virtual-reality goggles, for $2 billion in cash and stock. The deal highlights the intense competition among big technology companies for promising startups, even when those startups, like Oculus and WhatsApp, have little revenue. (link.reuters.com/ras87v)

* BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Laurence Fink has privately warned big companies that dividends and buybacks that activists favor may create quick returns at the expense of long-term investment. In doing so, the head of the world's largest money manager by assets lent his voice to a popular criticism of activist investors, even as his firm sometimes aligns with and may benefit from their efforts. (link.reuters.com/tas87v)

* One of JPMorgan Chase & Co's top executives quit suddenly to take a top job in private equity firm Carlyle Group , a departure that raises new questions about who will eventually succeed Chief Executive James Dimon. Michael Cavanagh's decision to leave his job as co-head of J.P. Morgan's Wall Street operations marks the latest in a long line of departures from Dimon's inner circle. (link.reuters.com/xas87v)

* The Securities and Exchange Commission, under pressure from the asset-management industry, is preparing to exempt a majority of money-market mutual funds from a central plank of rules intended to curb risks in the $2.6 trillion market, according to people familiar with the agency's discussions. (link.reuters.com/wyr87v)

* Activist investor Dan Loeb sued auction house Sotheby's to remove its so-called poison pill, setting up a crucial first test for a new generation of corporate defenses aimed at thwarting activist hedge funds. (link.reuters.com/fes87v)

* America's moviegoing audience shrank yet again in 2013, and theater owners are considering a radical idea to turn the tide: cutting ticket prices. A report from the Motion Picture Association of America released Tuesday said that domestic movie box-office sales rose to $10.9 billion last year, from $10.8 billion in 2012, but the number of tickets sold slipped yet again, this time 1.5 percent to 1.34 billion. (link.reuters.com/kes87v)

* Rescue crews continued to search through the night after a devastating weekend mudslide killed at least 16 people. Crews recovered two more bodies Tuesday but believe they located eight more, possibly bringing the death toll to 24. (link.reuters.com/pes87v) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)