Aug 28 (Reuters) - 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.
* Merrill Lynch & Co Inc, one of the biggest brokerage firms on Wall Street, has agreed to pay $160 million to settle a racial bias lawsuit that wound through the federal courts for eight years, including two appeals to the United States Supreme Court. ()
* President Obama is considering military action against Syria that is intended to "deter and degrade" President Bashar al-Assad's government's ability to launch chemical weapons, but is not aimed at ousting Assad from power or forcing him to the negotiating table, administration officials said Tuesday. ()
* Weeks after the United States government charged Javier Martin-Artajo, a former JPMorgan Chase employee, with hiding trading losses that ultimately reached more than $6 billion, he had his first day in court on Tuesday as he surrendered to Spanish authorities and kicked off what could be a lengthy extradition process. ()
* Two federal regulators are preparing a series of enforcement actions and fines against JPMorgan Chase stemming from its dealings with consumers during the recession in the latest legal woes facing the nation's biggest bank. ()
* A pair of reports issued Tuesday offered bright news on the state of the economy, with home prices increasing and consumer confidence rising. Home prices rose 12.1 percent in June compared with a year earlier, nearly matching a seven-year high. However, month-over-month price gains slowed in most markets, a sign that higher mortgage rates may cool the housing recovery. ()
* The New York Times website was unavailable to readers on Tuesday afternoon after an online attack on the company's domain name registrar. The hacking was just the latest of a major media organization, with the Financial Times and the Washington Post also having their operations disrupted within the last few months. It was also the second time this month that the website of the New York Times was unavailable for several hours. ()
* The Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor, one of the oldest nuclear plants in the United States and the subject of heated battles over the decades, will close late next year, the company that owns it announced on Tuesday, less than two weeks after winning a protracted legal fight against the State of Vermont to keep it open. ()