Oct 4 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Cutting to the heart of their differences, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney laid out contrasting visions for the federal government in their first debate in Denver, sparring over tax-cut proposals, regulations and deficit-reduction plans.
* Hewlett-Packard Co warned profit and revenue will decline in the coming year before CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround effort gains traction. The bleak forecast sent the tech giant's shares sharply lower.
* Temasek Holdings, the Singapore state investment company that is the biggest shareholder of Standard Chartered Plc , has been expressing its discomfort with the bank's governance and is pressuring it to appoint more independent directors, people familiar with the investment company said.
* Asian suppliers for Apple Inc have started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the current iPad, executives at component makers said, as the Silicon Valley company tries to stay competitive against tablets from rivals such as Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
* A federal court in Iowa formally accepted a guilty plea by the chief executive of Peregrine Financial Group Inc, charged with defrauding his customers in a nearly 20-year scheme.
* A stock-trading "dark pool" backed by some of Wall Street's biggest banks agreed to settle a regulator's allegations that it improperly shared confidential client-trading information with a unit of Citigroup Inc, one of its investors.
* Ocwen Financial Corp, whose knack for profiting on Wall Street's mortgage castoffs has made it a stock-market darling, now aims to beat the banks at their own game with a foray into home lending.
* The European Banking Authority said the continent's banks must keep extra-thick capital cushions in place for now, likely dashing some lenders' hopes of buying back their own shares or doling out large dividends to shareholders in the near future.
* A draft report circulated to European officials this week sets the stage for a far-reaching debate over how euro-zone governments might surrender yet more national control over economic decisions in exchange for money from a common budget that would be used to soften the blow of recessions.