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DuPont expects farm business to pick up after severe winter

By Swetha Gopinath and Kanika Sikka (Reuters) - Chemicals maker DuPont <DD.N> expects its agriculture business to grow this quarter as farmers buy seeds and insecticides after a delayed start to planting season in North America, which hurt the company's revenue in the first quarter. Shares of DuPont, a Dow 30 component, were down about 1 percent at $67.19 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Hanwha mulling buying Dow Chemical's petrochemical business

SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- Hanwha Chemical Co. of South Korea said it is considering buying the petrochemical business that Dow Chemical Co., a U.S. chemical company, plans to sell. Last December, Dow Chemical made public that it plans to sell or spin off its low-margin petrochemical division and decide on the terms of the sale in the second half of 2014. "After hearing the news of Dow's asset sales plan late last year, we have been keeping an eye on it," a Hanwha official said, declining to give his name.

Dow Chemical resists spin-off pressure, raises buyback plan

By Swetha Gopinath and Garima Goel (Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co <DOW.N> hiked its dividend and tripled its share buyback program, but signaled that it was in no hurry to fall in line with activist shareholder Daniel Loeb's demands to spin off its slow-growing petrochemical businesses. The company also reported a quarterly profit that comfortably beat market expectations, powered by resilient agricultural demand and strong margins at its plastics business.

US stocks finish mixed as earnings underwhelm

US stocks ended Tuesday in mixed fashion after a stream of generally lackluster earnings reports and a modest upgrade to the International Monetary Fund's economic forecast. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44.12 points (0.27 percent) to 16,414.44. But the broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.10 (0.28 percent) to 1,843.80 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 28.18 (0.67 percent) to 4,225.76.

US stocks finish mixed as earnings underwhelm

US stocks ended Tuesday in mixed fashion after a stream of generally lackluster earnings reports and a modest upgrade to the International Monetary Fund's economic forecast. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44.12 points (0.27 percent) to 16,414.44. But the broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.10 (0.28 percent) to 1,843.80 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 28.18 (0.67 percent) to 4,225.76.

Investor presses for overhaul of Dow Chemical

Activist hedge fund Third Point Tuesday said it built an unspecified stake in Dow Chemical and pressed to overhaul a company that it argued has "woefully underperformed" peers. Third Point, which is known for campaigns to shake up Yahoo, Sotheby's, Sony and others, pressed Dow Chemical in a letter to consider spinning off its petrochemical assets and to evaluate a "meaningful" share buyback program. A Dow spokeswoman said the company "routinely monitors and engages with all of its shareholders" to boost shareholder value.

Third Point says it bought a stake in Dow Chemical and pushes for petrochemical unit spinoff

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hedge fund Third Point LLC said Tuesday that it has acquired a significant stake in Dow Chemical and wants the company to spin off its petrochemicals division. Dow Chemical Co. shares jumped $2.25, or 5.2 per cent, to $45.32 in morning trading after rising as high as $46.70 earlier. The stock has been trading around six-year highs. Third Point says Dow is now its biggest investment but didn't specify how many shares it had acquired other than to say it was a significant position. CNBC reported that Third Point paid $1.3 billion for the stake.

Dow, Huawei sign global technology partnership memo

SHANGHAI, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The China branch of U.S. multinational chemical corporation Dow Chemical signed a global technology partnership memorandum on Tuesday with Huawei, a Chinese information and communications technology solutions provider. Dow Chemical (China) Investment Company Limited and Huawei will establish a long-term partnership to boost their cooperation on innovation projects using their expertise, according to the memo.

Dow Chemical looking to spin off or sell about 40 commodity manufacturing plants

MIDLAND, Mich. - Dow Chemical is looking to spin off or sell about 40 manufacturing plants from its business as it continues to move away from cyclical commodity products. The company said Monday that it expects those deals to happen within the next one to two years. Almost 2,000 workers will be affected by the moves. The businesses generate up to $5 billion of total annual revenue.

In Europe, stirrings of growth are talk of the season

By Victoria Bryan FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Down in the undergrowth of Europe's economy, something is stirring. Whether they make paper to pack peaches, recruit temps for secretarial work or work at the dirty end, handling the waste that all businesses produce, managers are talking about signs the gloom is lifting and hopes that growth is on its way back.
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