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Business Highlights

After Viniar leaves the post, he will join Goldman's board as a non-independent director.

Schwartz served most recently as the global co-head of Goldman' securities division. He joined the firm as a vice president in 1997, became a managing director in 1999, and was named partner in 2002.

___

Microsoft hikes dividend by 15 percent to 23 cents per share

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) â¿¿ Microsoft Corp. is increasing its quarterly dividend by 15 percent.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software company said Tuesday that it will pay a dividend of 23 cents per share on Dec. 13 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.

That is up from its prior-quarter dividend of 20 cents.

Microsoft also said that long-time board member Raymond Gilmartin will retire. The 71-year old former CEO of Merck & Co. has been on Microsoft's board for 11 years. Gilmartin said he is reducing his professional commitments to have more personal time.

___

By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11.54 points to 13,564.64. The S&P 500 index fell 1.87 points to close at 1,459.32. The Nasdaq closed down 0.87 point at 3,177.80.

Benchmark crude closed down $1.33 to $95.29 in New York, a drop of 1.4 percent. Brent crude dropped $1.76 to $112.03 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline fell 4.43 cents to finish at $2.899 per gallon. Heating oil slipped 3.63 cents to end at $3.1271 per gallon. Natural gas lost 9.2 cents to finish at $2.773 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Stock quotes in this article: F, FDX, GS, MRK, MSFT 
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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