It paid dividends to be Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and 3M (NYSE: MMM ) shareholders Tuesday. The mighty Pacific Northwest-based 747 jet manufacturer and the crafty Minnesota based Post-it notes maker are similar in one way: Both announced higher dividends for shareholders Tuesday.
It's the time of the year for gift-giving, and management decided it's time to increase the quarterly "thank you" cash payment to shareholders (aka dividends). With high corporate profits but fewer obvious investment opportunities, companies have been spoiling shareholders with these gifts like drunk-happy elves for most of 2012 and 2013.
Boeing's dividend was raised 50% and 3M's jumped 35%. These promises of higher quarterly cash returns increased the stocks' value, so Boeing's stock rose 1% and 3M climbed 3%. Boeing also said it will purchase $10 billion of its own shares back, but 3M's stock jump was biggest because its new sticky note is stickier than ever.
Day numero unois in the books. The Federal Reserve began its eight-times-a-year, two-day policy-setting meeting on Tuesday, which ends Wednesday with a major press conference from Chairman Ben Bernanke (and an unreal shrimp cocktail hour).
3. Senate ends budget debate
It's (almost) official. After the House voted last week overwhelmingly to send a bipartisan budget bill to the Senate, the Senate voted 67-33 Tuesday to have a final vote on the proposal Wednesday -- that prevents a filibuster from slowing down the deal's mojo.
- The two-day Fed meeting ends
- Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers big policy speech
- Housing data for October and November (delayed from the government shutdown)