Valvoline hikes dividend by more than 50% to 7.45 cents a share

Valvoline Inc. raised its quarterly dividend by more than 50% to 7.45 cents from 4.9 cents a share, the motor oil company said late Tuesday. The dividend will be paid Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 1. Shares of Valvoline rose 0.8% to close at $23.26. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Apple faces U.S. ITC inquiry in patent dispute

The U.S. International Trade Commission has launched an investigation into Apple Inc. for patent infringement, the USITC said late Tuesday. Aqua Connect Inc. and Strategic Technology Partners LLC lodged a complaint Oct. 10 and requested the USITC issue a temporary exclusion order, the USITC said. If the order is granted, the agency could block the import of
“certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs” but it was not immediately clear which gadgets the probe targets. Apple stock was down a fraction in late trading to $171.11. Apple shares have gained 48% this year, with the S&P 500 index gaining 15%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital cuts stakes in GM, Apple

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital reduced its stakes in iPhone maker Apple Inc. and automaker General Motors Co. in the third quarter, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing. Greenlight’s stake in Apple stood at 2,192,900 shares as of Sept. 30, reducing its stake by nearly 1.74 million shares, or 44%, compared to the end of the second-quarter, according to filing tracking service Whalewsidom.com. Greenlight cut its stake in GM by nearly 20.2 million shares, or 36%, to 34,561,500 shares, but also bought 2 million call options, which give a holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a set price by a certain date. Greenlight bought 3.6 million shares of mattress maker Tempur Sealy International , while new stakes included nearly 8.4 million shares of Exela Technologies Inc. and 1.7 million shares of Venator Materials PLC .Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Lam Research to buy back up to $2 billion in stock, hikes dividend

Lam Research Corp. on Tuesday said it will buy back up to $2 billion in shares over the next 12 to 18 months. Its board also approved raising the quarterly dividend by 11% to 50 cents a share. The dividend will be paid on Jan. 10 to shareholders of record on Dec. 6. Shares of Lam Research gained 1.7% after hours. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Soros sells Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Snap

George Soros’s hedge fund, Soros Fund Management LLC, eliminated or reduced investments in some of the biggest names in tech last quarter, including Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. Soros divested a 1,700-share stake in Apple as well as 1.55 million shares of Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. , according to a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The hedge fund greatly decreased its holdings in Facebook and Twitter Inc. , cutting Facebook shares from 476,713 shares to 109,451 and chopping investments in Twitter’s stock and debt. Among the new investments Soros opened in the quarter were General Electric Co. , General Motors Co. , Campbell Soup Co. and Oracle Corp. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Carl Icahn’s portfolio little changed under conflict-of-interest questions

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did very little trading in the past quarter as he fell under conflict-of-interest scrutiny for his time as an adviser to President Donald Trump. In a late Tuesday Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Icahn’s holdings were virtually unchanged from the previous quarter, save for a 14-million-share reduction in Freeport-McMoRan Inc. to 77.2 million shares and a reduction of about 21,000 shares in American International Group Inc. in a position of about 43 million shares. Recently, Icahn faced questions from federal prosecutors over his advisory role to Trump. In August, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer accused Icahn of “profiting off of the public trust and taxpayer dollars.” Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square builds up major stake in ADP

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management built up its position in Automatic Data Processing Inc. to 8.8 million shares at the end of September from 179,394 three months earlier as part of Ackman’s failed proxy battle. Earlier this month, shareholders of ADP sided with the management and rejected the hedge-fund manager’s attempt to secure three seats on the board. Pershing, however, trimmed its stake in Restaurant Brands International to 26.5 million shares versus 39.2 million at the end of June and cut its holding in Mondelez International Inc. to 13.93 million versus 14.5 million shares previously. The hedge fund’s positions in other companies, including Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. , were mostly unchanged. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Paulson & Co. takes stake in Rockwell Collins, drops AIG

Hedge fund manager John Paulson took a fresh stake in avionics and information technology firm Rockwell Collins in the third quarter, while closing a position in American Internatonal Group , according to a quarterly regulatory filing on Tuesday. The 13-F filing by Paulson & Company showed the hedge fund held 112,400 shares of Rockwell Collins as of Sept. 30. The filing also showed Paulson and Company no longer held a stake of more than 4.14 million shares of AIG. Paulson also eliminated small stakes in Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. , the filing showed.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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Achillion shares drop as J&J to sell large stake

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares fell in the extended session Tuesday after the drug developer reported promising early data on one of its kidney-disease treatments but said a large stakeholder was selling shares in a secondary offering. Achillion shares fell 9.2% to $3.35 after hours. Achillion said Johnson & Johnson Inc.’s venture capital arm, Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC Inc., will sell 18.4 million shares of Achillion in a public offering and that Achillion would not receive proceeds. Achillion has 136.9 million shares outstanding. Separately, the company said early data from its mid-stage clinical trial for ACH-4471 showed the drug reduced protein in the urine by more than 50% in patients with C3 glomerulopathy, a rare disease where protein deposits build up in the kidneys.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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