March 17 (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.
- William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP is selling down his biggest investment as a disastrous bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc tears a hole in its portfolio. The activist investor said his hedge fund sold 20 million shares in Mondelez International Inc after the market closed, which would yield $834 million at current prices. (on.wsj.com/1S5mN84)
- Republicans on Wednesday didn't budge in their refusal to consider Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's choice for the Supreme Court, before this fall's elections. Following this, the GOP's strategy could shift dramatically. (on.wsj.com/1S5mQAC)
- It is just the start of the U.S. mosquito season, but companies that make bug repellent are already running factories near capacity as they anticipate surging demand in response to the spread of the Zika virus. (on.wsj.com/1S5nkGQ)
- Peabody Energy Corp warned Wednesday that it could go bankrupt, signaling the end of an era for listed U.S. corporate coal companies, even as their mines continue to fuel a big chunk of the country's power stations. (on.wsj.com/1S5mV7q)
- A sales consultant who said he paid bribes on behalf of aircraft maker Embraer SA told Brazilian prosecutors that he believes the company's top managers, including Chief Executive Frederico Curado, knew of the illicit payments, which were tied to the sale of military aircraft to the Dominican Republic. (on.wsj.com/1S5n2zY)
- Novartis AG has faced a problem in getting doctors to prescribe its heart-failure pill, Entresto, since winning regulatory approval for it in July. The drug had $21 million in sales in the six months following its launch, a fraction of the $126 million expected by industry analysts. (on.wsj.com/1S5na2r) (Compiled by Shalini Nagarajan in Bengaluru)