Jan 30 The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Though not a total financial loss, the announced sale of the Motorola Mobility unit for $2.91 billion to Lenovo Group Ltd , less than two years after Google paid $12.5 billion for it, is a sign of fits and starts at the company in the mobile age. ()
* Banks have begun selling bonds backed by foreclosed homes turned into rentals in the United States, bringing calls for Congress to look into the deals. ()
* In a unanimous decision, the Federal Reserve said it would pull back on its stimulus program by another $10 billion, pointing to an improving economy that had "picked up in recent quarters." ()
* The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing nearly $1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs, setting the stage for final passage of a new five-year farm bill that has been stalled for more than two years. ()
* China's role as the largest buyer of a long list of commodities means that emerging markets are heavily exposed to any economic slowdown, but the most vulnerable producers may be the mines and farms in China itself. ()
* In the fourth quarter of 2013, 53 percent of Facebook's advertising revenue came from pitches delivered to iPads, smartphones and other mobile devices, with many of those ads highly targeted by gender, age and other demographics.()
* The Washington Post has significantly increased its budget and plans to make dozens of newsroom hires under its new owner, the Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, the paper's executive editor, Marty Baron, said in an interview on Wednesday. ()
* Law enforcement officials testified on Wednesday that virtual currencies like Bitcoin have opened up new avenues for crime that government has not been able to keep up with. ()
* The European Union on Wednesday revealed a long-awaited proposal to reduce the systemic risk posed by big banks, a measure that would bring the bloc's regulations more closely into line with those of the United States. But it is unlikely to become law anytime soon. ()
* Faced with growing criticism and lawsuits, an oil industry task force representing hundreds of companies in North Dakota pledged on Wednesday to make an all-out effort to capture almost all the natural gas that is being flared in the Bakken shale oil field by the end of the decade. ()
* Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the Justice Department was committed to finding the hackers behind the holiday season theft of credit card data from millions of Target customers. The same day, Target said that hackers were able to get into the company's system using a vendor's credentials. ()
* After doubling over the last year, Boeing's stock dropped 5.3 percent on Wednesday when the plane maker projected flattening profits in 2014. ()
* Making good on a State of the Union address promise, President Obama on Wednesday ordered the creation of new employer-sponsored savings accounts intended to help more people get started saving for retirement. ()
* Axa Equitable is taking an ax to its name, trimming it to Axa so it will conform in the United States with the France-based company's brand elsewhere. The new name is on display in a campaign that Axa is ready to introduce to American consumers. ()
* Billionaire investor Steven Cohen kept one of his closest associates at SAC Capital Advisors in the dark about the hedge fund's rapid selling of a substantial stock position in two drug companies - Elan and Wyeth, just days before the companies reported disappointing results of a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug. ()
* Citigroup said internally on Wednesday that it was making an effort to improve the lives of the analysts and associates in its investment bank, the two lowest employee levels in that division. Those junior bankers are now encouraged to stay out of the office from 10 pm on Friday through 10 am on Sunday. Citigroup also said on Wednesday that junior bankers were expected to take all of their annual vacation days. ()
* The Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco has acquired a controlling stake in the Chilean bank CorpBanca, a move that follows its growing ambitions to expand in Latin America. ()
Algeria plans bank privatisations as oil money dries up
ALGIERS, Sept 25 Algeria plans to allow its dominant state banks to list on the local stock exchange to help develop its financial markets and diversify sources of funding after the oil price slide, a senior financial official said.
MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - Sept 25
Sept 25 Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Sunday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch for their accuracy.