March 8 (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.
* Activist investor Carl Icahn said he would push to replace Dell Inc’s board and pursue “years of litigation” if the computer maker refused to accept his demand for a refinancing that would pay a hefty dividend to shareholders.
* Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility hardware unit has begun laying off about 1,200 employees, or more than 10 percent of its headcount, according to a company email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, as the smartphone maker continues trying to return to profitability.
* Upending a closely watched ritual in place since 1996, New York securities firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc told employees Thursday it now plans to promote a new crop of managing directors every two years, instead of each year.
* New York private equity firm KKR & Co LP has reached a deal to buy industrial-pumps manufacturer Gardner Denver Inc for $76 a share, valuing the company at roughly $3.74 billion, said a person familiar with the matter.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve served notice that the financial industry’s health continues to improve, potentially clearing the way for large U.S. banks to funnel tens of billions of dollars to investors in increased dividend payments and share buybacks.
* European Central Bank President Mario Draghi played down fears that Italy’s indecisive election could reignite Europe’s debt crisis, saying financial markets have taken the election results in stride and that Italy’s current political mess doesn’t threaten its budget discipline.
* Pandora Media Inc posted a 54 percent jump in revenue as the internet radio company provided evidence that cost increases are slowing. It also announced its chief executive will be stepping down.
* Facebook Inc, hoping to keep users logged on longer as it faces competition from myriad new social apps, is tweaking its news feed again.