PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 21

Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:21pm IST

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Dec 21 - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The New York Stock Exchange, the cornerstone of American capitalism for 220 years, agreed to be sold as part of an $8.2 billion takeover by IntercontinentalExchange Inc. ()

* Facebook Inc said it has begun testing a system for users to send messages to people outside their immediate circle of social contacts for a payment of $1, as the company continues to find new ways to capitalize on its popularity. ()

* Apple Inc is taking its case for a sales ban on Samsung Electronics Co mobile devices to a higher court. ()

* Research In Motion Ltd swung back to profitability in its fiscal third quarter, but the BlackBerry maker fell short of resolving some of its biggest challenges as it gears up to introduce its new line of smartphones next month. ()

* AMR Corp's American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc are nearing a tentative deal on how their pilots would be treated in a potential merger, a crucial step toward determining whether the two airlines will combine when the former emerges from bankruptcy proceedings next year, said people close to the discussions. ()

* PSA Peugeot Citro├źn and General Motors Co said that they will deepen and accelerate a 10-month alliance aimed at cutting costs and fixing their loss-making European operations with a new joint project to develop a small engine. ()

* JP Morgan Chase & Co is buying daily-deals startup Bloomspot Inc as it looks to target customers with merchant offers to spur card spending. ()

* Pershing Square Capital Management LP's William Ackman took to a New York City stage to press his case for selling short the stock of Herbalife Ltd, a nutritional-supplement maker he calls a pyramid scheme. ()

* Eli Lilly and Co agreed to pay $29.4 million in a settlement of U.S. government allegations that the drugmaker's units made improper payments to foreign government officials to win business. ()

* House Speaker John Boehner, facing a rebellion in his party's conservative ranks, abandoned his own plan to avert tax increases for most Americans, throwing Washington's high-stakes budget negotiations into disarray and bringing the prospect of tumbling over the "fiscal cliff" into sudden focus. ()

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