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PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Oct 2
October 2, 2013 / 4:44 AM / 4 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Oct 2

Oct 2 (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.

* Lawmakers and the White House dug in for a long fight as the federal government shutdown showed no signs of breaking, increasing the likelihood it will become entangled in an even larger battle over the Treasury’s ability to pay its bills.()

* The idling of the federal government moved from the momentous to the mundane on Tuesday, as thousands of workers packed up their belongings and headed home. ()

* The health-insurance marketplaces at the center of President Barack Obama’s health law saw a surge of consumer interest Tuesday that surprised even many of the law’s backers. But the debut proved patchy, with few applicants actually able to buy coverage on clogged websites that were bedeviled with technological problems. ()

* Merck said it plans to slash its 81,000-strong workforce by 20 percent over the next two years, a stark show of the diminishing research-and-development capabilities of some of America’s biggest health companies. ()

* New York’s top prosecutor plans to announce on Wednesday both an agreement with Bank of America and a lawsuit against Wells Fargo over alleged violations of a mortgage settlement reached last year. ()

* The U.S. boom in natural-gas production is luring investment from foreign manufacturers eager to tap a cheap, abundant supply of fuel and feedstocks. ()

* New troubles are piling up for U.S. banks as they prepare to release third-quarter earnings results amid warnings of weak trading revenue, a sharp decline in mortgage refinancing and rising legal costs. ()

* Brazilian commodity magnate Eike Batista’s oil firm OGX missed a crucial bond payment Tuesday, setting up one of the biggest defaults in the history of Latin America. ()

* Activist investor Carl Icahn said he pressed Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook to more than double the company’s stock buyback program to $150 billion during a dinner meeting at his apartment. ()

* The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took no action on an appeal by the government of Argentina in a closely watched sovereign debt case. The high court added eight new cases to its docket Tuesday but made no mention of Argentina’s appeal. The court could indicate as soon as next Monday what it plans to do with the case. ()

* Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc trader Fabrice Tourre is seeking to reverse a federal jury’s decision that found him liable for defrauding investors in a mortgage-linked deal that soured during the financial crisis. ()

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