Dow Chemical's stock gained 1% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the chemical giant said it was increasing its dividend and adding $5 billion to its share buyback program. Dow is lifting its dividend by 14% to 42 cents a share in the fourth quarter, payable on Jan. 30 to shareholders of record on Dec. 31. The company said the increase in its buyback program brings its target for share repurchases to $9.5 billion. "Today's announcement serves as a firm indication of our Board's confidence in Dow's fortified balance sheet position and future earnings potential, and further illustrates our commitment to consistently and increasingly rewarding shareholders," said Chief Executive Andrew Liveris. The stock has rallied 12% so far this year through Tuesday, compared with a 10% gain in the S&P 500.
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