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Business news in brief

In the Region

Big Dow investor aims at CEO

Dan Loeb, the founder of hedge fund Third Point, is calling for the removal of Dow Chemical Co. chief executive officer Andrew Liveris, days after the company agreed to combine with the DuPont Co. in the largest-ever chemicals merger, according to a person familiar with the matter. Loeb supports the deal but, in a letter sent to Dow's board Saturday, questioned the timing of its Friday announcement, just two days before the expiration of a standstill agreement between Dow and the hedge fund, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the letter has not been published. Loeb is concerned the merger may have been rushed to beat the expiry of the accord. He declined to comment. - Bloomberg News

SEPTA scores in big games

For Saturday's Army-Navy football game, 13,450 people boarded trains at AT&T station on the Broad Street Line, near the sports complex Saturday, SEPTA officials said. That's slightly fewer than the 13,773 who rode in 2012, which saw the most rail riders for the Army-Navy game in the preceding decade. The game has been held here eight times since 2005. The biggest draw to AT&T station this year was Pope Francis' visit in September, which drew 25,000 to the station on Sept. 26 and 50,000 on Sept. 27. Temple University's football game against Notre Dame in November, when the Owls still had a perfect record, attracted 18,776. The Eagles' home opener on Sept. 20 drew 17,546. Average ridership from that station on a work day is 1,300, SEPTA said. - Jason Laughlin


Newell snags Jarden

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. has agreed to buy Jarden Corp. for about $15.4 billion, creating a consumer products giant with a sprawling portfolio that will use its size to cut costs and bolster investment in its most-promising businesses. The new company, Newell Brands, will have $16 billion in sales. Jarden investors will receive cash and stock valued at about $60 a share - 24 percent higher than the closing price on Dec. 4, the last trading day before reports said merger talks had begun. "This deal is about creating scale," analyst Chris Ferrara of Wells Fargo & Co. said Monday. "Jarden is a portfolio to which Newell can apply its blueprint of integration, cost savings, and selective reinvestment for growth." The move is a bet that Newell can gain efficiency and clout with large vendors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from Jarden's more than 100 far-flung brands, from Oster appliances and K2 skis to Yankee Candle. Jarden shares rose 2.7 percent to $54.09 on Monday. - Bloomberg News

Boeing boosts dividend

Boeing Co. rose in late trading after boosting its dividend 20 percent and expanding a stock-repurchase plan to $14 billion to let investors share in the benefits of soaring airliner deliveries. The quarterly payout will rise to $1.09 a share and will be payable March 4 to stockholders of record as of Feb. 12. Boeing shares gained 1.21 percent to $144.51 at 4:53 p.m. after the close of trading Monday. Boeing stock has advanced 10 percent this year. The twin moves reward shareholders who are sticking with Boeing in the face of concern that the bull market for aircraft sales may be waning after almost a decade. Sales in 2015 are poised to fall short of factory output, with 575 orders through last Thursday compared with projected deliveries of 755 to 760 commercial jets. - Bloomberg News

Brokers put on notice

Brokers have been told to treat customers' orders as well as they treat their own. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), Wall Street's self-regulator, recently said firms using the fastest and most expansive price databases for stock trading must also use those so-called direct feeds when handling client orders. That means they can't just rely on the decades-old repository known as the SIP - which gives a slower view of trading that critics say exposes investors to predators. The new guidance from Finra foreshadows a stepped-up effort by the regulator to police whether brokers are fulfilling their duty to give client orders the best possible execution. Michael Lewis' 2014 book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, argued that high-frequency traders armed with powerful computers can exploit fraction-of-a-second time lags between the direct feeds and SIP to trade ahead of slower-moving investors. - Bloomberg News

Seattle lets drivers unionize

Seattle on Monday became the nation's first city to allow drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions. The City Council voted, 8-0, for the legislation, is seen as a test case for the changing 21st century workforce. The firms are expected to challenge it in court. The measure requires firms that hire or contract with drivers of taxis, for-hire transportation companies, and app-based ride-hailing services to bargain with their drivers, if most show they want to be represented. - Associated Press