Oct 18 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Sprint Nextel Corp is seeking greater control of Clearwire Corp, the wireless network operator in which it owns close to a majority stake, through negotiations with its partners in the company, people briefed on the matter said.
* One way or the other, NK Rosneft’ OAO, the Russian state oil company, is poised to significantly expand its oil and gas holdings in Russia. And BP Plc, its latest Western partner, could benefit from whatever move Rosneft makes.
* Exxon Mobil Corp agreed to buy Celtic Exploration Ltd for about $3.1 billion in cash and stock, as it sought to expand its presence in the energy-rich shale formations of western Canada.
* The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding NV agreed to buy Cymer Inc, a maker of microchip components, for 1.95 billion euros ($2.56 billion).
* Following the doping scandal, Lance Armstrong fell further from grace on Wednesday. Nike Inc, the sports brand most closely associated with his racing days, was among several companies severing ties with him.
* A judge handed Warner Brothers a major victory in its quest to defend its Superman franchise, ruling that heirs of the comic book hero’s co-creators have no right to seize control of half of the lucrative property.
* Federal prosecutors want Rajat Gupta to spend as much as 10 years in prison for insider trading. However, Gupta’s lawyers have pleaded for a lenient sentence of probation, accompanied by an order that he perform community service.
* eBay Inc reported that net income in the third quarter rose $597 million, or 45 cents a share, a 22 percent jump from the quarter a year earlier. Revenue climbed 15 percent to $3.4 billion.
* Bank of America Corp reported a slim $340 million quarterly profit even after doling out huge payments to settle legal claims from its takeover of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis.