PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Oct 29

Oct 29 (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.

* Halliburton Co (HAL.N: ) found repeated problems with the
cement it was planning to install in BP Plc’s (BP.L: ) doomed oil
well but used it anyway — perhaps without alerting BP —
according to federal investigators studying the Gulf of Mexico
disaster.

* General Motors Co [GM.UL] has made progress tidying up
its balance sheet ahead of a planned initial public stock
offering next month, but there’s still a big question it has to
answer for potential investors: Is GM fixed? The auto maker
said Thursday that it will return another $2.1 billion of the
nearly $50 billion in bailout funds it got from U.S. taxpayers.

* Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: ) quarterly profit climbed 51
percent as it benefited from a strong demand for its Windows 7
operating system and Office 2010, despite concerns about
consumer demand for computers.

* Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tried to persuade
Florida Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of his U.S.
Senate race and support Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent
candidacy in hopes of thwarting a victory by Republican Marco
Rubio.

* Powered mostly by middle-aged, middle-class Americans
with limited political experience, the tea-party movement burst
out of economic upheaval and the sense among some conservatives
that
the GOP had discarded them.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Vivus
Inc’s (VVUS.O: ) obesity drug Qnexa, marking the second time in
less than a week it has refused to sign off on a drug to treat
obesity.

* Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is
telling administration officials they should avoid writing
narrow regulations that banks can seek to exploit or evade.

* The Tokyo Stock Exchange said there has been suspicious
trading activity in shares of companies that have recently
announced capital-raising plans, and that it is looking into
the matter.

* The microlending movement that was supposed to help lift
millions of people in India out of poverty has in recent weeks
fallen into chaos. It is a rare black mark for an industry that
has been praised.

* Boeing Co (BA.N: ) and federal air-safety officials are
stepping up scrutiny of certain Boeing 757 aircraft after a
two-foot hole opened earlier this week in the fuselage of an
American Airlines jet cruising at 31,000 feet, resulting in
rapid cabin decompression.

* The U.S. construction industry, virtually on life support
during the economic downturn, will begin a slow recovery next
year, according to a forecast set to be released. Next year,
the value of new projects that start construction is expected
to climb to $445.5 billion, an 8 percent rise from this year
when that figure hit a post-recession low, according to the
closely watched McGraw-Hill Construction forecast.

* Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: ) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc
(RDSa.L: ) reported big increases in third-quarter earnings,
benefiting from higher oil prices and shrugging off low prices
for U.S. natural gas.

PRESS DIGEST – Wall Street Journal – Oct 29