Stocks are holding onto their gains, putting the market on track for its third advance in a row. Trading was light as Federal Reserve policymakers gathered for a two-day meeting. Many expect the Fed to reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program. Microsoft rose after announcing a 22 percent dividend increase and a $40 billion stock buyback program.
- Occupy Wall Street activists have been marching through lower Manhattan and congregating at their former encampment to mark the second anniversary of the movement against corporate greed and inequality. About 100 protesters gathered in Zuccotti Park this morning for a day of marches and rallies. On Sept. 17, 2011, protesters first began camping in the granite plaza near the New York Stock Exchange. The Occupy movement has splintered since New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had police raid the park in November 2011.
- Twenty-two investment firms are paying a total of $14.4 million to settle federal charges of improperly short-selling certain stocks and buying them soon after in public offerings. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlements today. One of the best-known is the hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co., which agreed to pay $465,000 in restitution plus interest and a $201,000 penalty.
- Oracle Corp. president Safra Catz says it makes sense to bring jobs back to the United States. Catz spoke today to a gathering of several thousand business leaders and others in Butte, Mont. Oracle has been centering its cloud computing division in Bozeman, Mont. Boeing Co. CEO Jim McNerney told the crowd that locating workers outside the country is no longer as compelling as the cost of business increases overseas. McNerney predicted that improved business efficiency, fast-paced energy development and other factors will lead to a renaissance of American manufacturing.
- Safeway has adopted a plan to prevent a hostile takeover after learning of a significant accumulation of its stock by an unknown investor. The announcement sent shares of the grocer spiking 8 percent to a five-year high. So-called "poison pill" plans allow existing shareholders to acquire more stock at a discounted rate to discourage a takeover by an outside entity.