Oct 18 (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.
* Sprint Nextel Corp is in talks to gain control of partner Clearwire Corp’s board via agreements with the wireless broadband operator’s other investors, people familiar with the matter said.
* BP Plc is close to a pact to sell its 50 percent stake in troubled Russian venture TNK-BP Ltd to state oil company NK Rosneft’ OAO for about $25 billion in cash and shares, people close to the talks said.
* Oil-rich Angola launched a $5 billion sovereign-wealth fund that will focus on infrastructure and hotel projects at home and will seek investment opportunities beyond the borders of the southern African country.
* ASML Holding NV launched a 1.95 billion euros ($2.56 billion) cash and shares offer for U.S.-based Cymer Inc as it tries to speed the development of the next generation of microchips needed to improve the performance and efficiency of smartphones and tablets.
* PepsiCo Inc’s soda brands continued to gain share in North America in the third quarter. Pepsi reported a 4.9 percent decline in third-quarter earnings due to higher costs, more spending on advertising and unfavorable currency translation.
* Commercial fallout from doping allegations against Lance Armstrong hit Wednesday, as Nike Inc, RadioShack Corp , Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide Inc, the makers of Trek bikes and Giro helmets, and others distanced themselves from the former cycling champ.
* A former U.S. corporate leader and Goldman Sachs Group Inc director, Rajat Gupta, should spend up to 10 years in prison for “shocking” crimes that led to his insider-trading conviction, prosecutors said. However, lawyers for Rajat Gupta said he should receive probation and community service.
* The death toll from fungal-meningitis cases rose to 19 people on Wednesday and health officials said that about 250 patients have contracted fungal meningitis tied to a steroid injection from the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts.