Stock markets couldn’t sustain their midday surge, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both fell into negative territory in late trading. As of 3:15 p.m. EST, the Dow is down 0.06% for the day, while the S&P 500 has lost 0.11%.
Economic news was light today, and even some encouraging corporate news didn’t get investors excited. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) released financial results after the close yesterday, revealing earnings of $0.79 per share versus estimates of $0.76. The company’s revenue was also up 5%, and CEO Bob Iger announced that there would be new Star Wars movies outside of the nine George Lucas had originally planned. Disney clearly isn’t messing around after its $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm late last year. Still, the stock was only up 0.6%.
3M Co (NYSE:MMM) announced an 8% increase in its dividend to $0.635 per share and a $7.5 billion share buyback program. This isn’t an earth-shattering move, considering that 3M has now increased its dividend for 55 straight years, but it is a bullish indication for the market.
With more than 50,000 products, 3M plays a role in making everything from computers to power cables. A long history of invention and innovation has driven the company to its wide reach, but a focus on operational efficiency may be hurting the creative culture that once created Scotch Tape and the Post-It Note. A new leader has taken over, vowing to return innovation to the forefront. Does this mean the stock will once again become a growth stock, rather than just a dividend? Find out whether 3M has what it takes to pull it off in The Motley Fool’s comprehensive new research report on the company. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a full year of updates and guidance as news develops, so don’t miss out — simply click here now to claim your copy today.