PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Nov 14

Nov 14 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


* A contract between JPMorgan Chase and a consulting firm run by the daughter of the former prime minister points to the bank's strategy to build its influence in China. ()


* Snapchat, a social media service based in Venice Beach, California, has become one of the most sought-after businesses in the technology industry. ()


* Janet L. Yellen, President Obama's choice to lead the Federal Reserve for the next four years, plans to tell senators at her confirmation hearing on Thursday that continuing the Fed's enormous stimulus campaign is the best way to revive the economy and hasten the program's end. ()

* Just over 106,000 people picked health plans in the first month of open enrollment through the state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's health secretary said Wednesday, a fraction of the administration's initial estimate for enrollment during that period. ()


* The race for consumers' dollars has prodded more retailers to open their doors on Thanksgiving, a day before the traditional start of the holiday season. ()


* On Thursday IBM will announce that Watson, the computing system that beat all the humans on "Jeopardy!" two years ago, will be available in a form more than twice as powerful via the Internet. ()


* Online real estate brokerage Redfin has raised $50 million in a new round of mezzanine capital, led by Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price. Five existing investors, including Greylock Partners and DFJ Venture Capital, also participated. ()


* JPMorgan called off a question-and-answer session with James Lee, its vice chairman and top deal maker, after Twitter users complied with its request for queries with a stream of ribald questions and hostile jokes. ()


* A Brazilian tour operator backed by the Carlyle Group could raise as much as 1 billion reais ($428 million) for its existing shareholders through a planned offering. ()


* Goldman Sachs has promoted 280 executives to managing director, one step down from the brass ring of partner. Promotions are up 5 percent over last year, when the firm named 266 employees managing director. ()