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Visa Boosts Dividend but Is Still the Dow's Lowest Yielder

Matt Thalman
October 24, 2013

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

This morning the jobless-claims numbers for the week ending Oct. 19 were released, and they failed to impress. Economists were looking for 340,000 initial claims being reported for the week, but the actual number came in at 350,000, which was only a 12,000-claim drop from the prior week. Some believe the claims are not as bad as the data suggest, as California is still dealing with backlogged claims from a computer problem it had back in September. But regardless, it would seem the government shutdown has affected the jobs market, because for the week prior to the closing, the jobless-claims figure was 308,000, and every week in September claims came in at the low 300,000s or even high 200,000s.

But despite the higher-than-expected jobless-claims number, the markets as a whole are performing well today. As of 12:320 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is up 91 points, or 0.59%, while the S&P 500 is up 0.28% and the Nasdaq has gained 0.5%. The major indexes are all higher today as a result of some strong earnings reports this morning.

But not all stocks are moving higher simply because of strong earnings. Shares of Visa (NYSE: V) are up 2% after the company announced that the board of directors had increased the company's quarterly dividend amount. The previous payment of $0.33 per share was increased to $0.40. That represents a 21% increase to the dividend, and now the full-year 2014 payment amount will be $1.60 per share, as opposed to the previous $1.32