Jan 31 (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.
* Israel bombed a suspected shipment of anti-aircraft missiles in Syria on Wednesday, according to regional and U.S. officials, in its most ambitious strike inside its neighbor’s territory in nearly two chaotic years of civil war there.
* Research in Motion Ltd executives excused more than a year of delays by saying they wanted the next BlackBerrys to be just right. But the smartphones that took more than two years to develop won’t be available for the key U.S. market until mid-March, when carriers are expected to complete their tests.
* The U.S. economy shrank for the first time in more than three years in the fourth quarter, underscoring the halting nature of the recovery. But the strength of consumer spending and business investment suggested that the economy will grow, albeit slowly, this year.
* The U.S. Treasury for the first time auctioned holdings in U.S. banks that had missed a series of dividend payments, allowing the government to close out financial-crisis era investments only at steep discounts.
* Facebook reported a 40 percent fourth-quarter revenue jump as it ramped up its mobile business and offered new tools to advertisers, but the firm’s shares slipped in after-hours trading.
* Boeing Co executives said it was business as usual despite the crisis surrounding its 787 Dreamliner, though airlines worldwide made preparations for an extended grounding of the aircraft.
* Illinois took the rare step Wednesday of postponing a bond auction just hours before it was expected to launch, as concerns grew among investors over the state’s deep pension hole.