Stocks have best day this year; Dow rises 115

The stock market had its best session of the year Tuesday as technology companies surged.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115.92 to close at 16,373.86. It was only the third gain of the year for the Dow. The S&P 500 rose 19.68 to 1,838.88. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index rose 69.71 to 4,183.02.

Intel rose 4 percent followed by Microsoft with a 2 percent increase. Time Warner Cable rose 3 percent after it rejected a takeover bid from Charter Communications, raising hopes the offer would be increased.

DirecTV customers lose the Weather Channel

About 20 million DirecTV customers nationwide lost the Weather Channel because of a dispute over fees between the channel and the satellite service.

The companies pointed fingers at each other late Monday as a midnight deadline for renegotiation of carriage fees paid by DirecTV to the Weather Channel passed without an agreement.

The Weather Co. said it offered DirecTV the best rate for its programming. David Clark, president of the Weather Channel, on Saturday asked viewers to urge Congress to intervene in the business dispute.

JPMorgan’s 4Q profit falls 7% on legal costs

JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday that its profits fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter, hampered by more legal woes and a decline in the bank’s investment banking business. The bank reported net income of $5.28 billion in the last three months of 2013.

The most recent results had several one-time items, including a charge related to legal expenses. One of those expenses was the settlement over the bank’s involvement in the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff. The bank agreed Jan. 8 to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges stemming from its failure to report its concerns about Madoff.

GM global sales top 9.7M in 2013, beats VW

General Motors sold 9.71 million cars and trucks last year, probably not enough to beat out Toyota for the global sales crown, but about 200,000 better than Volkswagen.

Toyota, the sales champion in 2012, will report its sales next week. It only needs to show a little growth to beat GM again.

Wells Fargo’s earnings rise 11 percent for 4Q

Fourth-quarter profit for Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, jumped 11 percent to $5.4 billion as a steep drop in mortgage lending was offset by increased interest income. Revenue fell to $20.7 billion from $21.9 billion.

CEO John Stumpf says improving prospects for the U.S. economy will help the bank perform strongly this year.

Merck recalls all combo cholesterol drug supply

Drugmaker Merck & Co. is recalling the combination cholesterol drug Liptruzet, wiping out the entire U.S. stock, due to packaging defects that could reduce effectiveness.

Some of the pouches holding the pills may allow air and moisture inside. It says there’s a remote chance that could decrease the effectiveness or otherwise change the properties. The recall is not due to any reports of patients being harmed.

The company says patients can keep taking Liptruzet they have and should consult a doctor before stopping. Merck plans to get Liptruzet back on the market soon.

Wire reports