Stocks Waver in Early Trading ahead of Fed

Stocks moved between gains and losses early Wednesday as investors took a tentative stance ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s policy statement later in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 5.41 points to 11,414.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.15 points to 1,203.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 15.22 points to 2,605.46.

Microsoft Corp. is trying to lift its stock price by boosting its dividend 25 percent, the largest increase since the world’s largest software maker started the quarterly payments seven years ago.It’s the sixth time Microsoft has raised its dividend since it introduced an 8 cents-per share payment to shareholders in 2004.

The outlook for the British economy is weakening so quickly that the Bank of England on Wednesday signaled it was ready to pump in more money, potentially as soon as October.

SABMiller PLC (SBMRY), maker of Miller Lite, Grolsch and Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Wednesday agreed the A$9.9 billion ($10.2 billion) takeover of iconic Australian peer Foster’s Group Ltd. (FGL.AU) after increasing its offer, as the global brewing giant bids ramps up its presence in mature world beer markets.

A powerful typhoon buffeted Tokyo with strong winds and rain Wednesday, halting trains and stranding tens of thousands of commuters as it barreled toward the tsunami-ravaged northeastern coast with its crippled nuclear plant.

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