Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street, putting the market on track for its third gain in a row.

Microsoft led the Dow Jones industrial average higher after announcing a 22 percent dividend increase and a $40 billion stock buyback program.

The Dow was up 37 points, or 0.2 percent, at 15,531 after the first few minutes of trading Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up four points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,701. The S&P 500 is eight points below its record high reached on Aug. 2.

The Nasdaq composite was up eight points, or 0.2 percent, at 3,726.

Trading was light as Federal Reserve policymakers gathered for a two-day meeting. Many expect the Fed to reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program.

[Associated Press]

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