Dec 31 The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Amid stumbles and scares, U.S. stocks clambered to a
second straight year of gains, in which the Dow reached levels
not seen since the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
* Martha Kunkle died in 1995. But that didn't stop her
signature from appearing on thousands of affidavits submitted
by one of the nation's largest debt collectors, Portfolio
Recovery Associates Inc (PRAA.O).
* Nintendo 7974.OS warned that young children shouldn't
play 3-D games on a hotly anticipated new game device, citing
possible health risks.
* The companies are urging the U.S. Federal Reserve to drop
a proposal that would require credit-card issuers to consider
only a borrower's "independent" income rather than household
* A mutual-fund company from Toronto that started offering
funds to U.S. investors last year has promptly won the crown
for having the best-performing stock fund and best fund of any
kind for 2010.
* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved about 21
drugs in 2010, a relatively modest figure that shows the
pharmaceutical industry hasn't yet escaped its drought in
* Chartis Inc, the property-and-casualty insurance unit of
American International Group Inc (AIG.N), said it has taken
steps to improve disclosures about guarantees its subsidiaries
provided to other AIG units, after a state regulator found
"deficiencies" in its reporting.
* Groupon Inc, the daily online coupon service that
recently spurned a takeover offer from Google Inc (GOOG.O), has
raised $500 million of a nearly $1 billion round of new
funding, according to a regulatory filing.
* A California woman, accused of providing inside
information on publicly traded companies to hedge funds, was
ordered jailed until Monday after failing to meeting conditions
* When Fiat SpA FIA.MI spins off its truck and tractor
divisions into a separate company on Saturday, the remaining
company with its cars and vans will be the riskier bet for
investors but could offer greater potential to grow in value,
* The U.S. Treasury Department is converting $5.5 billion
of its preferred stock in auto-finance company Ally Financial
Inc into common stock so that the federal government is in a
better position to exit the investment.
* Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell last week
to the lowest level in more than two years, offering another
hopeful sign that the job market is improving as the economy
regains some momentum.