July 19 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Global financial companies are preparing to chop thousands of banking and trading jobs, signalling their latest retreat in the face of nervous markets, uneven economic growth, tougher regulations and slumping stock prices.
* The U.S. economy is down-shifting, even as the housing sector is finally showing signs of life. A report Wednesday showed builders broke ground for more new homes in June than in any month in nearly four years. But the upturn comes as several other pockets of relative strength for the economy have wavered.
* An investor group including private-equity firm BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan’s CPP Investment Board is investing roughly $2 billion in Suddenlink Communications Inc, valuing the seventh-largest U.S. cable operator at $6.6 billion including debt.
* Credit Suisse Group AG bowing to pressure from the Swiss central bank and investors, said it would raise billions of dollars of new capital in a bid to end uncertainty about the bank’s health.
* Microsoft Corp’s long-awaited Windows 8 operating system will go on sale Oct. 26, in the company’s most critical software upgrade in a decade.
* International Business Machines Corp boosted its full-year earnings outlook, helping alleviate investor worries about technology spending, even as its revenue fell short of analysts’ forecasts for the fourth consecutive quarter.
* Duke Energy Corp’s defense of its controversial ouster of CEO Bill Johnson is beginning to focus on a central issue, people familiar with the matter say: How Johnson handled escalating problems at the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida.
* Unlike many electronics companies, Qualcomm Inc continues to be more worried about the supply of its products than demand for them. But the company sees better days ahead.