Stocks Ended Flat to Lower

U.S. stocks ended flat to slightly lower on Tuesday as investors pulled back after last week’s rally on central bank stimulus.The Dow industrials closed up 11.54 points, or 0.09%, at 13,564.64. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.87 point, or 0.03%, to 3,177.80, and the S&P 500 shed 1.87 points, or 0.13%, to 1,459.32.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will closely monitor all corners of the ailing labor market and is willing to ramp up asset purchases if need be, an influential Fed official said on Tuesday in a broad defense of the central bank’s latest policy easing effort.

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday said its board has approved a plan to raise the company’s quarterly dividend by 15%. The Redmond, Wash.-based software company will pay a dividend of 23 cents a share, up 3 cents from the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable on Dec. 13 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.

Alibaba Group this morning said it has completed the initial repurchase of shares from Yahoo under a deal that had been announced in May. The $7.1 billion transaction includes $6.3 billion in cash and $800 million of Alibaba Group preference shares. The transaction covers about half of Yahoo’s 40% stake in Alibaba Group.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) Chief Financial Officer David Viniar will retire at the end of January, to be replaced by Harvey Schwartz, who is now global co-head of securities, the investment bank said on Tuesday.

The price of oil fell for a second day, as a major shipping company gave investors reason to question the strength of oil demand. Benchmark crude closed down $1.33 to $95.29 Tuesday in New York, a drop of 1.4 percent.

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