The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was down 0.05% just before 3 p.m. EST Tuesday, as investors are focused on the Federal Open Market Committee's final 2013 policy meeting, which begins today. As usual, the key piece of information the market wants to hear is when the Fed will begin tapering its bond-purchasing program. As details filter out regarding the Fed's meeting, investors would be wise to keep a long-term focus on the market and take short-term volatility from the news with a grain of salt.
In other news, some major industrial companies have been making headlines today.
Inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) has traded 80% higher year to date and made a huge announcement yesterday that emphasizes the company's confidence in its future. Boeing increased its dividend by a whopping 50%, from $0.485 per share quarterly to $0.73. The aviation giant has had an excellent record with consistently increasing value to shareholders through dividends, and even during the roughest of times it managed to avoid cutting the payout.
Boeing's board of directors also authorized an additional $10 billion for the company's share repurchase plan that will be timed over the next two to three years. According to Boeing, even a substantial dividend hike should leave the company with plenty of flexibility.
"Our balanced cash deployment strategy provides increased dividends and share repurchase authorization to deliver consistent returns to our shareholders while maintaining investment in productivity and innovation for future growth," Boeing Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said in a press release.
Outside the Dow, another industrial giant, Ford (NYSE: F ) is gearing up for its year-end update and continues to show off its redesigned 2015 Mustang through different avenues.
With speculation swirling that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is considering jumping ship next year, investors are waiting to hear some solid remarks tomorrow at 9 a.m. EDT regarding his future with the Blue Oval. Ford executives have stated there are no plans to deviate from Mulally's commitment through 2014, but little has been done to squash the rumors.
Some have grown frustrated that speculation revolving around Mulally has taken the focus away from Ford's excellent year, as well as its recent unveiling of the 2015 Mustang and the upcoming Detroit auto show unveiling of the redesigned F-150. Expect some closure on the situation tomorrow morning during the analyst call.
The new Mustang has been named the "official car" of the 2014 International CES which is scheduled for Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The show is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, and Ford will showcase the car with its new technology features on the opening day of the event.
"It is very exciting to see an iconic American car like Mustang equipped with state-of-the-art technology," CEA CEO and President Gary Shapiro said in a press release. "Automobiles are rapidly becoming mobile technology platforms as consumers demand connectivity along with efficiency and performance in their vehicles."
While sales of the Mustang have struggled since the recession and will never hit peaks seen in the late '60s, it doesn't need to turn the clock back five decades to be a success. Rather, it needs to continue to show up in classic auto shows, in movies, video games, and other mediums to help drive Ford's brand image and showroom traffic -- it's Ford's halo car, after all. However, with new technology, a sleek and more modern design, and plans to sell overseas for the first time, don't be surprised if the 2015 pony tops sales estimates, pegged around 100,000, during its first full year of sales in 2015.
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