NEW YORK --

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

announced plans Tuesday for a 15% dividend hike.

The software giant said its board approved a quarterly dividend of 23 cents a share, up from its current payout of 20 cents. The new dividend implies a forward annual yield of 2.95% based on the stock's closing price of $31.17 on Tuesday.

Microsoft Raises Dividend

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

said David Viniar plans to retire as chief financial officer in January 2013.

Viniar, who will join Goldman's board, is to be succeeded by Harvey Schwartz, the current co-head of the company's security division.

Viniar has spent more than three decades at the investment bank.

Goldman Sachs Replaces 'Brains' With Trader for CFO

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

shares crested above $700 in regular-session trading for the first time on Tuesday, following through on the strength seen in Monday's after-hours action.

Shares of the iPod and iPad maker finished at $701.91, up 0.3%.

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

, the maker of Cheerios, is expected by analysts to report fiscal first-quarter earnings of 62 cents a share on revenue of $4.08 billion.

Bed, Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

is expected Wednesday to report its fiscal second-quarter results after the closing bell and analysts expect a profit of $1.02 a share in the August-ended period on revenue of $2.54 billion.

Other companies reporting their results Wednesday include

Adobe Systems

(ADBE) - Get Report

,

AutoZone

(AZO) - Get Report

,

Cracker Barrel

(CBRL) - Get Report

,

Steelcase

(SCS) - Get Report

, and

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

.

Blackstone Group

(BX) - Get Report

is nearing an agreement to buy home security provider

Vivint

, according to three people familiar with the matter,

Reuters

reported.

The deal is expected to value Vivint at as much as $2 billion, according to

Reuters

.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Joseph Woelfel

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