March 27 (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.
* Citigroup Inc failed to get Federal Reserve approval to reward investors with higher dividends and stock buybacks, a surprising blow to Chief Executive Michael Corbat's effort to bolster the bank's reputation following a 2008 government rescue. The Fed rejected capital plans from five large banks and approved 25 as part of its annual "stress tests" measuring a firm's ability to continue lending during a severe economic downturn. (link.reuters.com/xeb97v)
* Bank of America Corp and former Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis took big steps to put the financial crisis behind them by paying state and federal agencies to settle lawsuits over the acquisitions of Countrywide Financial Corp and Merrill Lynch & Co. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said it would pay $9.5 billion to settle mortgage claims with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their federal regulator. (link.reuters.com/bub97v)
* Brookstone Inc, which sells consumer gadgets ranging from travel electronics to massage chairs, is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as early as Sunday, with a plan in place to be bought by another specialty retailer Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc, people familiar with the matter said. (link.reuters.com/jeb97v)
* Microsoft Corp's new boss on Thursday will have his first shot at outlining a new, less Windows-dependent path for the company. Chief Executive Satya Nadella, at an event in San Francisco, is expected to disclose a new version of Microsoft's popular Office software for the iPad, people familiar with the matter said. (link.reuters.com/hub97v)
* An internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures conducted by lawyers hired by the Christie administration is expected to absolve additional members of Governor Chris Christie's senior staff from being involved in the matter. (link.reuters.com/kub97v) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)