PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Dec 20

Dec 20 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Reuters has not verified
these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* A witness working for the U.S. in a major insider-trading
investigation made more than 60 calls with corporate managers,
seeking to gather evidence for the government. The activity by
the witness — who was identified by prosecutors in a complaint
unveiled Thursday only as “CW-2” — suggests that the
insider-trading investigation could grow significantly from the
initial charges.

* In the wake of family scandal and his brother’s suicide,
pursuits and relationships serve as an anchor for Andrew
Madoff, the son of convicted Wall Street swindler Bernard
Madoff.

* Investors are increasingly differentiating between U.S.
state and local governments with strong finances and those
facing big fiscal woes. The growing interest-rate spreads bring
echoes of the European debt crisis.

* This holiday season, online retailers are testing a
critical hiring decision: machine versus man. Which approach is
better is a matter of debate.

* The British finance minister insists he doesn’t aim to
boost London by soft-pedaling on U.K. regulation of banks in
the wake of new U.S. rules, but he did use a visit to New York
to try to impress the attractions of London.

* After years of promises and false starts, TV commercials
targeted at individual homes may finally be ready for prime
time. DirecTV Group Inc (DTV.O: ) is planning the biggest rollout
yet of “addressable ads,” allowing advertisers to reach close
to 10 million homes with commercials tailored to each
household. Dog owners, for instance, could see ads for dog
food, not kitty litter, while families with children could be
shown minivan spots.

* Looking to become the world’s leading clothing retailer,
Japan’s Fast Retailing Co (9983.T: ) plans to introduce its
Uniqlo stores in the fast-growing Indian and Brazilian markets
and to vastly expand its presence in China, where the number of
stores are intended to leapfrog those in Japan by 2020.

* The largest IPO in the U.S. this year was Detroit auto
maker General Motors Co (GM.N: ), but Chinese companies grabbed
an outsized amount of attention from American investors in
2010. A record 38 initial public offerings from China-based
businesses listed this year in the U.S., raising $4 billion,
with slightly more than half of them hitting the market after
Labor Day, according to data from Dealogic.

PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Dec 20