PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Dec 27

Dec 27 (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.

* In the face of several hazards, the stock market is
hitting two-year highs and investors are feeling more bullish
than they have in years. Even the market’s “fear gauge” is
trading near its lowest levels since April.

* After nearly three years of planning and delays, and
start-up costs in excess of $107 million, OWN: The Oprah
Winfrey Network is set to air at noon Saturday, replacing cable
channel Discovery Health.

* Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao voiced confidence Sunday that
his government can contain rising prices, seeking to reassure
the public about inflation a day after the central bank raised
interest rates for the second time in 10 weeks.

* Some major retailers are making it easier to return gifts
this holiday season, after years of toughening up policies and
generating complaints from consumers.

* Hard times are generating a growing number of financial
scams in which victims are tempted to invest money on the false
promise of big returns, often from supposed caches of overseas
money.

* When they were top executives at Citigroup Inc (C.N: ),
Sallie Krawcheck and Todd Thomson had a well-known rivalry.
Now, years later, they are dueling again, this time over the
business of managing rich people’s money.

* The hard-pressed administration of Japanese Prime
Minister Naoto Kan has unveiled its budget for the fiscal year
starting in April, narrowly abiding pledges to limit spending
and borrowing, but winning few plaudits from analysts who said
it wouldn’t make much headway in solving long-term fiscal
problems or spurring growth.

* State-owned shipbuilder Vinashin’s default on a $600
million loan late last week is just the latest crisis
challenging Communist-run Vietnam’s ability to get its economy
under control after years of pell-mell growth and spiraling
inflation.

* Australia’s economic boom is spurring a steady stream of
unexpected visitors looking for work: Americans. U.S. citizens
are heading to Australia in small but growing numbers as
near-10 percent unemployment at home drives more to look for
jobs Down Under, where China’s thirst for iron ore and energy
is transforming the Pacific nation into an economic powerhouse.

* Chip makers soon will deliver one of biggest advances in
years in the technology that powers laptop and desktop
computers. But how much consumers — and the chip companies —
will benefit is in question.

PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Dec 27