PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Oct 18

Reuters

Oct 18 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on theNew York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified thesestories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Britain said on Thursday that it would allow Chinese firmsto buy stakes in British nuclear power plants and eventuallyacquire majority holdings. The agreement, which comes withcaveats, opens the way for China's fast-growing nuclear industryto play a significant role in Britain's plans to proceed withconstruction of its first new reactor in nearly two decades.()

* The hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors is moving closer to aplea deal with prosecutors that would force it to wind down itsbusiness of managing money for outside investors, punctuatingits decline from the envy of Wall Street to a firm caught in thegovernment's cross hairs. An agreement to stop operating as aninvestment adviser is one feature of a larger agreement SAC isnegotiating as it seeks to resolve insider trading charges,according to people briefed on the case. ()

* On Thursday Goldman Sachs Group Inc announced thatrevenue in its fixed-income, currency and commodities division,a powerful unit inside the bank that in better years hasproduced more than 35 percent of its entire revenue, dropped 44percent from year-ago levels. The weakness renewed worries aboutthe headwinds that Goldman and other banks are facing in bigmoney-producing areas like fixed-income trading. ()

* Google Inc impressed investors, but people'schanging behavior on mobile phones and even on desktopsthreatens the company's main business. The results revealed thecompany's deep challenges: as its desktop search and advertisingbusinesses mature, along with overall business in the UnitedStates, its growth rate is slowing and the amount of money itmakes from each ad it sells is falling. ()

* The United States government sputtered back to lifeThursday after President Obama and Congress ended a 16-dayshutdown, reopening tourist spots and clearing the way forfederal agencies to deliver services and welcome back hundredsof thousands of furloughed workers. ()

* There is a confusion over the text of the deal thatCongress just approved and President Obama signed, but it doesnot kill the debt ceiling. At first glance, the "defaultprevention" section of the bill seemed to imply that thepresident would have the authority in the future to increase thecountry's debt unilaterally, and that Congress could stop himonly by passing a bill forbidding it. ()

* Roughly 1,500 fires burn above western North Dakotabecause of the deliberate burning of natural gas by companiesrushing to drill for oil without having sufficient pipelines totransport their production. With cheap gas bubbling to the topwith expensive oil, the companies do not have an economicincentive to build the necessary gas pipelines, so they flarethe excess gas instead. ()

* As European interest in American craft beers begins tomirror the mania for them stateside, the Duvel Moortgat Breweryof Belgium on Thursday announced a deal to buy the BoulevardBrewing Co, a craft brewery in Kansas City, Missouri. ()

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