PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Aug 5

Tue Aug 5, 2014 1:17am EDT

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Aug 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.

* A rush of newly insured patients using health services has boosted hospital operators' fortunes but has racked up costs that insurers didn't anticipate, corporate filings and interviews with executives show. (on.wsj.com/1zPE63s)

* Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire in Gaza starting Tuesday as Israeli forces were winding down their month-long campaign in the Palestinian territory. The deal followed Israel's pullout of most of its forces from the Gaza Strip over the weekend. (on.wsj.com/1o6bfVL)

* Sand prices are rising and companies are racing to build new mines in South Dakota and other locations as demand intensifies for the silica crystals that energy companies use to frack oil and gas wells. Sand is a key ingredient in items from solar panels to smartphones, but in recent years billions of pounds of it have been poured down wells to help coax more fuel out of the ground. (on.wsj.com/1kjHzUa)

* Moody's Investors Service warned New York officials and investors Monday that the state's much-improved rating is at risk as the federal government tries to claw back nearly $1.3 billion in Medicaid payments. Moody's said the potential Medicaid repayment is a "credit negative" for the state. The "repayment would result in an unwelcome drain on the state's cash balances," the report said, and future repayments would "pinch the state's liquidity." (on.wsj.com/1kjIQur)

* The Securities and Exchange Commission said in federal court on Monday that it is seeking up to $750 million in sanctions from Texas entrepreneur Sam Wyly and the estate of his deceased brother, Charles Wyly. (on.wsj.com/1qUTafs)

* As regulators try to untangle the financial mess surrounding EspĂ­rito Santo International SA, multiple threads lead back to a small Swiss company whose business interests are intermingled with the powerful Portuguese conglomerate. (on.wsj.com/1luFfoG)

* A federal investigation into the handling of an anti-corruption commission by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office appears to have damaged the rising Democratic star's standing at home without hurting his chances at re-election, according to a new poll. (on.wsj.com/1zPAePY)

* FedEx Corp and United Parcel Service Inc are increasingly moving their own packages through the U.S. Postal Service, putting pressure on the quasi-governmental agency and raising questions about whether the USPS is charging enough for the service. (on.wsj.com/1o9dV48)

* China is using its six-year-old antimonopoly law to put foreign businesses under increasing pressure, a development that experts say will intensify as Beijing seeks greater sway over the prices paid by Chinese companies and consumers. (on.wsj.com/1luGc0c)

* LinkedIn Corp said Monday it paid nearly $6 million in back wages and damages to 359 current and former employees who the U.S. Labor Department says weren't properly paid for overtime worked between February 2012 and February 2014. (on.wsj.com/1pUZBsC)

* General Motors Co must turn over documents related to its subprime auto-lending under a subpoena issued by the U.S. Justice Department, the Detroit auto maker disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday. (on.wsj.com/1s86AAT)

* France will likely miss its deficit reduction targets due to weaker-than-hoped economic growth and risks the government will fail to implement spending cuts fully, Moody's Investors Service said Monday. (on.wsj.com/WXRHYM)

* Two insurers are teaming up to create health-information exchanges, making the medical records of about nine million plan members available to participating doctors and hospitals. Blue Shield of California and WellPoint Inc's Anthem Blue Cross said they would spend $80 million to fund the first three years of the California Integrated Data Exchange. The new entity, set to be announced on Tuesday, will be set up as an independent nonprofit organization, though each insurer is appointing a member of its board. (on.wsj.com/1xZYsEg) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bangalore; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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