*Under new CEO, Sarepta focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug. *Analysts expect company to relay FDA feedback in April. April 2- After three decades without bringing a drug to market, Sarepta Therapeutics Inc stands on the verge of a breakthrough with its treatment for a crippling genetic disorder that affects one in every 3,500 newborn boys.
WASHINGTON, April 2- Businesses and wealthy owners of estates and trusts asked the IRS on Tuesday for changes to a part of President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law that has received comparatively little attention: a 3.8 percent tax on investment income intended to provide the bulk of the law's funding.
WASHINGTON, April 2- Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae posted a record $7.6 billion in quarterly earnings, but it refrained from booking a tax-related gain that would have allowed the bailed-out company to repay as much as $59 billion to taxpayers. Treasury, to help pay back the roughly $117 billion that Fannie Mae owes taxpayers.
April 2- After a court decision allowing Stockton, California to push ahead with its bankruptcy, investors in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market will have a ringside seat as the nation's biggest public pension system and bondholders duke it out.
April 2- J.C. Penney Co Inc Chief Executive Ron Johnson received total compensation of $1.9 million in 2012, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday, a sharp decline after a year that saw the department store chain's sales fall perilously.
SYDNEY, April 3- A Samoan airline that says it is the world's first carrier to charge passengers by their weight rather than per seat defends the plan as the fairest way to fly, in some cases actually ending up cheaper than conventional tickets.
*North to allow workers to exit to South Korea. PAJU, South Korea April 3- North Korea on Wednesday closed access to a joint factory zone that earns $2 billion a year in trade for the impoverished state but will allow hundreds of South Koreans to return home, officials said, allaying fears they could have been held hostage.
*Investors cautious after bearish U.S., Europe and China data. *Silver tumbles to near 8- month low. Silver, coffee, gasoline, nickel and gold all lost about 2 percent or more their value.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 1- A popular U.S. visa program for skilled workers is likely to hit its quota within days after its application period opens, triggering a lottery and signaling that companies feel confident enough about the economy to hire more foreign workers. It had previously said it anticipated the quota for the year starting Oct. 1 could be met by Friday.
Verizon's statement contradicts a report from the Financial Times Alphaville blog on Tuesday that cited unnamed sources saying Verizon and its biggest U.S. rival, AT&T Inc, had been working together on a bid for Vodafone in which Verizon would take Vodafone's U.S. assets and AT&T would take the rest.
SINGAPORE/ SYDNEY, April 3- The yen inched lower versus the dollar on Wednesday while the euro edged lower in a market largely lacking conviction ahead of policy decisions by the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank on Thursday. The dollar firmed 0.1 percent to 93.50 yen, inching away from a one-month low of 92.57 yen set on Tuesday.
April 2- Neurological and dermatology drugs maker Merz Pharma Group offered to buy cosmetic products maker Obagi Medical Products Inc for $383.5 million, topping a bid by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Merz's $22- per-share bid represents a premium of 11 percent to Valeant's offer of $19.75.
SINGAPORE, April 3- Gold fell for a second straight day on Wednesday and hit its lowest in nearly four weeks as investors shifted their money into risky assets for better returns on renewed optimism over the U.S. economy.
*Carrier cites less last-minute government travel. April 2- Delta Air Lines Inc on Tuesday curbed its growth forecast for a key revenue measure for the first quarter, saying March demand was hurt by lower last-minute travel from government clients in the wake of U.S. budget pressures.
*S&P 500 index within striking distance of record. NEW YORK, April 2- U.S. It's a risk-on move, and we can see that in the equity market gains and in the continued desire to invest in corporate credit and high-yield bonds, " Matthew Duch, portfolio manager at Calvert Investment Management, Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland, said of Tuesday's price moves.
SINGAPORE, April 3- Gold bounced on Wednesday after falling to its weakest in nearly four weeks in the previous session, but gains look set to be capped by firm equities and renewed optimism over the U.S. economy. *Gold added $1.17 to $1,576.41 an ounce by 0030 GMT.
LOS ANGELES, April 2- Tesla Motors Inc on Tuesday said it was partnering with Wells Fargo& Co and U.S. Bank on a financing product that it says will make its pricey electric sedan accessible to more people. The vehicle's price starts at $62,400 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.
LONDON, April 2- European shares rose on Tuesday, boosted by Vodafone on rumours of a multi-billion-pound break-up bid for the UK telecoms group. Vodafone advanced 3.4 percent after a report that said U.S. joint venture partner Verizon Communications and AT&T had been working together on a joint bid for the British group.
LONDON/ MUMBAI, April 2- Stung by a landmark patent defeat, Western drugmakers will be wary about launching new products in India, but they cannot afford to quit a country tipped to be the world's eighth largest market for medicines by 2016..
WASHINGTON, April 2- Bank of America Corp agreed to pay $165 million to resolve claims from the U.S. credit union regulator over purchases of mortgage-backed securities by corporate credit unions that have since failed, the regulator said on Tuesday.