Oct 3 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in theWall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories anddoes not vouch for their accuracy.
* Obama and congressional leaders met for the first timesince the federal government shut down, emerging with noevidence of progress toward resolving their impasse overspending and health care. ()
* Activist hedge-fund manager William Ackman hasrestructured his big bet against Herbalife Ltd toprotect against further paper losses. Ackman said he wanted tomitigate his firm's risks while still providing for big gains ifHerbalife shares decline within the near future, as he expects.()
* Federal prosecutors are investigating whether the topexecutive at Cantor Fitzgerald LP's gambling unit participatedin his company accepting illegal sports bets, according topeople familiar with the matter. ()
* The United States is overtaking Russia as the world'slargest producer of oil and natural gas, a startling shift thatis reshaping markets and eroding the clout of traditionalenergy-rich nations. ()
* Dan Loeb is adding art criticism to his investor activism,accusing the management of auction powerhouse Sotheby's of failing to understand what kind of art sells best. The hedgefund manager is seeking to oust William Ruprecht as the chairmanand chief executive officer of Sotheby's, claiming the auctionhouse's leader has failed to grasp the modern art world. Loeb,himself an avid art collector, says he should be on the board.()
* BlackBerry has drawn the interest of CerberusCapital and other firms that specialize in distressedinvesting, according to people familiar with the matter. ()
* The civil case against Bank of America is shininga spotlight on mortgage practices that unfolded more than fiveyears ago. But the testimony so far is also a reminder of howdifficult it is to prove outright fraud. ()
* Banks in Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg that own about $1billion of bankrupt Detroit's bonds are taking a page out of thehedge fund playbook to carve out their share of the city'smeager cash pile. ()
* After wrangling for months with U.S. regulators over newswaps-trading rules, banks, brokers and investors had a newgrievance Wednesday as the regulations took effect: TheCommodity Futures Trading Commission's out-of-office message wason. Market participants groused that the agency wasn't availablefor guidance following a raft of clarifications on the new rulesin recent weeks. Just 4 percent of staffers at the CFTC, themain U.S. regulator for derivatives, were working Wednesdaybecause of the partial government shutdown. ()
* Thousands of customers of MF Global Inc are on the vergeof receiving the rest of the estimated $1.6 billion they lost inthe collapse of the brokerage in 2011. ()
* A federal appeals court ordered a lower-court judge tohalt payments to some Gulf Coast businesses that say theysuffered damage after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.In Wednesday's ruling, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appealsordered District Court Judge Carl Barbier to craft a "narrowlytailored injunction" that would halt some payouts while thelower court continues to study questions raised by BP PLC.
- Company Legal & Law Matters
- William Ackman