April 23The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* French President Nicolas Sarkozy was thrust into a fight
for his political survival after lagging behind Socialist
candidate François Hollande in the first round of France's
* Beam Inc is expected to announce Monday a deal to
buy Pinnacle vodka and another brand from White Rock
Distilleries Inc for around $600 million, according to people
familiar with the matter.
* A group of former officials from the old brokerage firm
E.F. Hutton & Co plan to start a new boutique financial-advisory
firm under the same name.
* Customers of MF Global Holdings Ltd are pushing
regulators to get tougher on JPMorgan Chase about money
that went missing from accounts just before the firm's collapse.
* Wal-Mart Stores faces significant legal risks
after it disclosed that it is investigating its operations in
Mexico for possible violations of the U.S. law that prohibits
bribery in foreign countries, legal experts said.
* Avon Products Inc, famous for sending its
representatives door to door, is losing traction in the U.S.,
where many time-stressed consumers are increasingly buying their
cosmetics on the Web. Operating profit per representative in the
U.S. has plunged 75 percent over the past decade, according
to an analysis by Sanford C. Bernstein.
* US Airways Group Inc's move to garner support from
three unions at AMR Corp's American Airlines for a merger
between the two companies is designed to woo American Airlines
workers but stop short of saddling a combined carrier with
contracts that would hobble operations.
* Despite renewed fears about the euro-zone debt crisis,
recent gains in U.S. Treasurys have been modest, likely owing to
increasing doubt that the Federal Reserve will provide further
stimulus for the U.S. economy.