PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - May 27

Tue May 27, 2014 1:30am EDT

May 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.

* Top U.S. securities regulators are embracing a plan designed to shift more stock trading onto exchanges and away from private trading venues operated by banks and other firms, according to people familiar with the discussions. The move, which could deliver a blow to bank trading operations, is expected to be part of a coming Securities and Exchange Commission pilot program aimed at boosting trading in the stocks of smaller companies. (r.reuters.com/qef69v)

* Pfizer Inc dropped its pursuit of British rival AstraZeneca Plc, leaving both drug makers to overcome aging pipelines and market pressures alone. Pfizer had been chasing AstraZeneca since November in an effort to create the world's biggest pharmaceutical company. (r.reuters.com/xef69v)

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc needs a more independent board in order to improve directors' handling of a protracted foreign-bribery probe and executive pay, a prominent proxy adviser said. Institutional Shareholder Services Inc, which advises big shareholders like mutual funds how to vote on corporate ballots, is concerned the company has not disclosed which, if any, of its executives might be found culpable in an investigation into alleged bribery overseas. (r.reuters.com/zef69v)

* Intuit Inc has agreed to buy bill-payment service Check Inc. for $360 million, according to two people familiar with the situation. The deal was signed on Friday and the two companies plan to announce it Tuesday, one of the people said. (r.reuters.com/buf69v)

* Federal and state officials are conducting probes into for-profit colleges over concerns that schools are marketing career-training programs that lack proper accreditation for students in certain fields, according to government agencies and regulatory filings. (r.reuters.com/duf69v)

(Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)

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