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PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Dec 11

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


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


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


* Discovery Communications Inc is considering a bid for Food Network majority owner Scripps Networks Interactive Inc said a person familiar with the matter, signaling that a consolidation wave among television channel owners may be on its way. ()


* Massachusetts gambling regulators set the table Tuesday for another public vote on whether the Suffolk Downs thoroughbred track near Boston's Logan Airport can proceed with efforts 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 its profit in the three months ended Oct. 31 fell 20 percent from the year-earlier quarter as sales rose just 2 percent. That follows rival Remington Outdoor Co's forecast a day earlier for sales growth between about 34 percent and 37 percent for 2013, slowing from the 51 percent surge in the first nine months of this year. ()


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


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


* Entergy Corp's plan to shed its electricity-transmission business hit a wall on Tuesday when regulators in Mississippi rejected the transfer of the big utility's transmission assets to another company. ()


* After three years of seizing market share from Chinese rivals, foreign auto makers are starting to take it from each other. Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co are poised to end the year with significant market-share gains in the world's No. 1 auto market, having been quick to meet demand for sport-utility vehicles and new models tailored to Chinese tastes. ()


* U.S. natural-gas production hit its highest level since at least 2009 in November, according to a government report released Tuesday, and domestic production is expected to grow in 2014. ()