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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

January 14, 2014, 1:21 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

Technology companies are leading the stock market back into positive territory after its worst day in two months. The Dow was up about 80 points, or 0.5 percent, in afternoon trading, while the broader indexes were seeing even stronger gains. The S&P 500 was up 15 points, and the Nasdaq had added about 60, or nearly 1.5 percent. Intel is up more than 3.5 percent, the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow, followed by Microsoft with a 2 percent increase.

  • A study out today finds state governments are facing persistent financial challenges even as the improving economy has boosted tax revenue. The State Budget Crisis Task Force report says rising pension and health care costs, federal spending cuts and overdue repairs to roads and bridges are squeezing states and most should reform their budgeting practices. Among recommendations are multiyear financial plans; stronger oversight of local government budgets; and rebuilding "rainy day" funds.
  • A federal appeals court has set aside Federal Communications Commission rules designed to ensure that transmission of all Internet content is treated equally. The anti-discrimination and anti-blocking requirements bar broadband providers from prioritizing some types of Internet traffic over others. A three-judge panel says that the FCC failed to establish that its regulations don't overreach.
  • Merck & Co. is recalling a combination cholesterol drug due to packaging defects that could reduce effectiveness. The drugmaker says the recall covers all four dose strengths of Liptruzet (LIP'-trew-zet) and every batch distributed since it was launched last May. Merck says the recall is not due to any reports of patients being harmed and patients can continue taking any supply they have.
  • JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says more Target-sized security breaches will happen if banks and retail stores don't start working together to protect customers' data. Dimon says JPMorgan has replaced 2 million credit and debit cards as a result of the Target breach, and that number is expected to rise. But he says the bank has seen no signs that consumers are reducing spending or moving to other forms of payment, like cash or checks, as a result of the breach.

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