PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - May 5

Mon May 5, 2014 1:46am EDT

May 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.

* U.S.-based companies this year have proposed or agreed to $637.95 billion worth of mergers or acquisitions - either as the buyer or the target. The rise in merger-and-acquisition activity comes as investors increasingly shun riskier, high-growth areas of the market, especially newly minted stocks. (r.reuters.com/ceq98v)

* As Alibaba prepares to submit its first major filings as early as this week in what could be one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history, Jack Ma - now executive chairman - still looms large in the company's dealings. Even though he is no longer CEO, Ma remains the face of Alibaba. (r.reuters.com/deq98v)

* Crackdowns and new rules on banks are creating a hot employment market in one corner of Wall Street: risk and compliance. Due to stepped-up regulatory oversight and some high-profile lapses, banks are boosting hiring of workers who evaluate risks and make sure their firms comply with laws and regulations. JP Morgan Chase & Co has been the most aggressive, with plans to add more than 13,000 people to its staff tasked with bolstering controls. (r.reuters.com/duq98v)

* Apple Inc won a $119 million jury verdict against Samsung Electronics Co for infringing on three of its patents. But it didn't achieve a key goal: inflicting pain on its Korean rival. The late Friday verdict also did little to derail the momentum of Google Inc's Android operating system, which has eclipsed Apple's, first with high-end iPhone alternatives from Samsung and now with low-cost smartphones from Chinese manufacturers. (r.reuters.com/huq98v)

* Warren Buffett is widely celebrated for his plain-spoken, straight-shooting manner, but the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc showed on Saturday before thousands of shareholders that he sometimes values degrees of nuance. Shareholders and analysts peppered Buffett and Charles Munger, Berkshire's vice chairman, with questions about where Berkshire's weaknesses lie, and whether Buffett's eldest son, Howard Buffett, is the right man to be Berkshire's future non-executive chairman. (r.reuters.com/jeq98v)

* Symantec Corp invented commercial antivirus software to protect computers from hackers a quarter century ago. Now the company says such tactics are doomed to failure. Antivirus "is dead," says Brian Dye, Symantec's senior vice president for information security. "We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way." (r.reuters.com/heq98v)

* Banks are again doling out money to hedge funds and other investors to finance purchases of complex debt securities, returning to a practice that helped fuel the debt boom ahead of the financial crisis. RBC Capital Markets, Société Générale and Wells Fargo & Co are among the banks offering to let investors borrow money, also known as providing leverage, to buy collateralized loan obligations, say investors and bankers. (r.reuters.com/zeq98v) (Compiled by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore)

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