PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – April 23

April 23 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Friday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Polio’s spread across Africa marks a setback for Bill
Gates’s career as full-time philanthropist. It also threatens
one of the world’s most ambitious health campaigns: the effort
to destroy the disease once and for all.

* An unrelenting rise in the cost of raw materials —
largely driven by mounting demand from Asia — is cutting
corporate profits, hitting stocks and, in some cases, pushing
up consumer prices.

* Bond prices fell after the European Union’s Eurostat
agency suggested Greece’s debt crisis is worse than investors
believed — all but ensuring Greece will require a bailout in
coming weeks and suggesting markets expect Athens to default.

* Citigroup Inc’s (C.N: ) unsuccessful bid for the teetering
banking operations of Washington Mutual Inc proposed that the
U.S. government absorb a majority of the thrift’s loan losses
and limited Citigroup’s financial exposure to $10 billion,
according to a document released by regulators.

* Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: ) fiscal third-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)
grew 35 percent as the software giant benefited from a strong
response from the release of the company’s Windows 7 operating
system.

* A state court upheld a Maine official’s decision to deny
a profit margin for a WellPoint Inc (WLP.N: ) unit in a
health-insurance rate request — a ruling that may resonate in
other states where regulators are battling premium hikes.

* Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: ) posted a sharp increase in
first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.), in a sign the online retail giant’s sales
are accelerating as consumer spending rises. But the Seattle
company continued to decline to disclose detailed sales figures
for its heavily promoted Kindle e-book reader, which faces new
competition from Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.)’s (AAPL.O: ) iPad.

* Fresh from a deal to acquire Ford Motor Co’s (F.N: ) Volvo
car unit, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co is undertaking
another ambitious move: a complete retooling of its branding
strategy as it attempts to secure a position as one of China’s
top auto makers.

* The recovering economy lifted spending on plastic and
reduced the cost of covering bad loans at American Express Co
(AXP.N: ) and Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N: ), boosting the
companies’ first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)s.

* US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N: ) dropped out of merger talks
with UAL Corp’s (UAUA.O: ) United Airlines, clearing the way for
United to focus on talks with Continental Airlines Inc (CAL.N: )
over a possible combination. At the same time, though, US
Airways’ withdrawal reduces the pressure on Continental to
consummate such a deal.

* CenturyTel Inc’s (CTL.N: ) $10.6 billion deal for Qwest
Communications International Inc (Q.N: ) is a big bet by the
Louisiana telecommunications company that it can fight off the
relentless decline in the U.S. local-phone business by getting
bigger.

Stock Market Analysis

PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – April 23