PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 11

Reuters

Dec 11 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in theWall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories anddoes not vouch for their accuracy.

* House and Senate negotiators, in a rare bipartisan act,announced a budget agreement Tuesday designed to avert anothereconomy-rattling government shutdown and to bring a dose ofstability to Congress's fiscal policy-making over the next twoyears. ()

* The U.S. government's first major auction of wirelessairwaves since 2008 has speculators panning for gold. Afteryears of complaining about the need for more airwaves, none ofthe major carriers have signed up. Instead, the January auctionis crowded with people who don't own networks but are hoping tocash in on a scarce asset. ()

* Discovery Communications Inc is considering abid for Food Network majority owner Scripps Networks InteractiveInc said a person familiar with the matter, signalingthat a consolidation wave among television channel owners may beon its way. ()

* Massachusetts gambling regulators set the table Tuesdayfor another public vote on whether the Suffolk Downsthoroughbred track near Boston's Logan Airport can proceed withefforts to land a $1 billion resort-casino. ()

* U.S. gun sales are slowing from their recent torrid pace.Smith & Wesson Holding Corp said late Tuesday that itsprofit in the three months ended Oct. 31 fell 20 percent fromthe year-earlier quarter as sales rose just 2 percent. Thatfollows rival Remington Outdoor Co's forecast a dayearlier for sales growth between about 34 percent and 37 percentfor 2013, slowing from the 51 percent surge in the first ninemonths of this year. ()

* Thermal-coal prices may be running out of steam as Asianpower producers wind down purchases after a period of pre-winterstockpiling and an underlying supply glut reasserts itself. ()

* Jon Brod, a veteran AOL Inc executive whoco-founded the company's Patch network of local news sites, isexpected to leave AOL early next year to join a startup,according to a person familiar with the matter. ()

* Entergy Corp's plan to shed itselectricity-transmission business hit a wall on Tuesday whenregulators in Mississippi rejected the transfer of the bigutility's transmission assets to another company. ()

* After three years of seizing market share from Chineserivals, foreign auto makers are starting to take it from eachother. Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen AG andHyundai Motor Co are poised to end the year withsignificant market-share gains in the world's No. 1 auto market,having been quick to meet demand for sport-utility vehicles andnew models tailored to Chinese tastes. ()

* U.S. natural-gas production hit its highest level since atleast 2009 in November, according to a government reportreleased Tuesday, and domestic production is expected to grow in2014. ()

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