April 15, 2014 / 6:15 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - April 15

April 15 (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.

* Jeff Immelt may give up leadership of General Electric Co sooner than his expected 20-year tenure, as he and fellow directors re-evaluate the right term for its chief executive, people familiar with GE's thinking said. (r.reuters.com/xek58v)

* Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Michael Corbat vowed to find an "industrial-strength" solution to the regulatory problems dogging the bank. Speaking after Citigroup reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Monday, Corbat faced more than a dozen questions from analysts on the bank's recent failure to win regulatory approval to return capital to shareholders. (r.reuters.com/sak58v)

* Boeing Co said it has reached a partial agreement on details of a new deal with one of its largest suppliers, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc, though after months of talks, the two sides have yet to finalize a long-term pact for key parts of its main commercial jet programs. The proposed agreement would replace a deal that ran out in 2013 and was then extended, covering parts such as fuselages produced for Boeing's best-selling 737 plane. (r.reuters.com/guk58v)

* Google Inc on Monday acquired a maker of solar-powered drones - a startup that Facebook Inc had also considered acquiring - as the technology giants battle to extend their influence and find new users in the far corners of the earth. Google didn't disclose the purchase price for New Mexico-based Titan Aerospace, which is developing jet-sized drones that are intended to fly nonstop for years. (r.reuters.com/wuk58v)

* A fee system that is a major source of revenue for exchanges and some high-frequency trading firms is coming under the heightened scrutiny of regulators concerned that market prices are being distorted, according to top Securities and Exchange Commission officials. (r.reuters.com/juk58v)

* Some of Twitter Inc's biggest and earliest backers said they don't intend to sell shares when rules barring them from doing so expire next month, a vote of confidence in the young public company, whose shares have tumbled in recent months. (r.reuters.com/muk58v)

* In the first courtroom appearance by a Samsung executive during the high-stakes patent case against Apple Inc , former U.S. mobile division CEO Dale Sohn said the South Korean firm successfully changed its approach from marketing its products together with mobile carriers to promoting its own brand. Sohn said Samsung's gains in the U.S. smartphone market are the result of a strategy shift begun in 2011, not because it "followed" Apple. (r.reuters.com/tak58v)

* General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra took new steps on Monday to revamp the auto maker's senior staff as it copes with the internal and external fallout from recent massive and troubled safety recalls. GM said its heads of human resources and communications had left the company Monday. GM said the two left to pursue "personal interests" and their exits weren't connected to a nearly decade-long delay in recalling vehicles. (r.reuters.com/vak58v)

* A federal court has barred Medtronic Inc from selling its new artificial heart valve to most patients in the United States, despite finding that the device is "safer" and has "a lower risk of death" than a competing device. (r.reuters.com/buk58v)

* A federal appeals court struck down part of a controversial rule requiring publicly traded U.S. companies to say whether their products contain certain minerals from war-torn central Africa, citing free-speech concerns. (r.reuters.com/wak58v)

* Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpeles said he would not come to the United States later this week to answer questions about the Japanese bitcoin exchange's U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge on Monday. Mt. Gox's bankruptcy lawyers said that Karpeles is "not willing to travel to the U.S.," despite an order from Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan. (r.reuters.com/nek58v)

* More than 51,500 stockbrokers failed a basic exam needed to sell securities at least once, according to data that Wall Street regulators don't disclose to investors, and those who repeatedly failed have on average worse disciplinary records. Securities regulators, notified this month of the Journal analysis, said they would consider giving more information to investors. (r.reuters.com/rek58v) (Compiled by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore)

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