April 26 (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.
* Late Thursday afternoon, in a 63-to-30 procedural vote, the Senate cleared the way for passage of a bill to effectively end tax-free shopping online. A final Senate vote is scheduled for May 6. ()
* Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc on Thursday said it would roll out its own version of e-cigarettes in the second half of 2013 amid signs the battery-powered devices - which convert heated, nicotine-laced liquid into vapor - are beginning to erode sales of traditional cigarettes in the United States, less than a decade after surfacing. ()
* European Union regulators have given Google Inc’s competitors and other interested parties a month to respond to the search engine’s proposals to address concerns that it is abusing its dominance in Internet search. ()
* Japan’s transport ministry Friday said it is planning to lift the order grounding flights of Boeing Co 787 Dreamliners by Japanese airlines, following a formal decision by its U.S. counterpart to do the same. ()
* Exxon Mobil Corp’s first-quarter profit rose slightly compared to last year but its production of oil and natural gas fell, as the energy giant continued to struggle in a world where large oil-and-gas fields are harder to find. ()
* Industrial conglomerate 3M Co, joining a host of U.S. companies downgrading expectations for the year, reduced its forecast for 2013 earnings on Thursday but said it would proceed with plans to increase spending on new factories and research. ()
* Financier George Soros has bought a 7.91 percent stake in J C Penney Co, a vote of confidence in the beleaguered retailer as it tries to reverse a deep decline in sales. ()