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Business

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Briefs

GM’s global vehicle sales rank it 2nd

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.

GM, which has an Allen County truck assembly plant, said Tuesday that sales of light vehicles worldwide grew 4 percent in 2013, led by growth in China and the United Kingdom. The company’s sales in China rose 11 percent to set a record. U.S. sales were up 7 percent, slightly below the market’s growth of nearly 8 percent.

Volkswagen said Monday that it sold 9.5 million light vehicles last year.

Toyota sold roughly 9.7 million cars and trucks in 2012, recapturing the lead it ceded to GM in 2011.

Merck recalls stock of cholesterol drug

Drug giant Merck & Co. said Tuesday it’s recalling a combination cholesterol drug, wiping out the entire U.S. stock, because of packaging defects that could reduce its effectiveness.

Merck said the recall covers all four dose strengths and every batch distributed since Liptruzet was launched last May. Both active ingredients in the drug remain available separately, though.

Merck, the world’s third-biggest drugmaker, said some of the foil pouches holding the pills may allow air and moisture inside. The company said there’s a remote chance that could decrease the drug’s effectiveness or otherwise change its properties.

Liptruzet combines two popular drugs that work in complementary ways.

Japan, Boeing confirm new 787 battery glitch

Battery problems resurfaced on Boeing’s 787 on Tuesday, after gas was discovered coming out of a battery on a plane parked in Tokyo.

Boeing said the problem on a Japan Airlines 787 was discovered during scheduled maintenance. No passengers were on board. The company said it appears that a single battery cell released gas.

The incident comes a year after a lithium ion battery caught fire aboard a 787 parked in Boston and another incident that forced an emergency landing in Japan.

Saddled by legal costs, JPMorgan profit skids

JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday that profits fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter, hampered by more legal woes and a decline in investment banking business.

The bank reported net income of $5.28 billion in the last three months of 2013, down from $5.69 billion in the same period a year earlier.

That amounted to $1.30 a share in the quarter, compared with $1.39 a share a year earlier. The bank’s revenue fell 1 percent to $24.1 billion.

Wells Fargo earnings rise 11% in 4th quarter

Fourth-quarter profit for Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, jumped 11 percent as a steep drop in mortgage lending was offset by increased interest income.

Net income after dividend payments on preferred stock rose to $5.4 billion in the October-December period from $4.9 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were $1, slightly above the 99 cents forecast by Wall Street analysts.

Fourth-quarter revenue fell to $20.7 billion from $21.9 billion.

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