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20% of S&P 500 Firms Increased Dividends

Dividend increases keep coming. ExxonMobil the latest, this time increasing their annual dividend to $1.76 from $1.68.

According to Standard & Poor's, 98 companies in the S&P 500 (20 percent!) have increased with 2 decreasing.

Those increases mean that total dividends have increased by $8.0 billion this year; last year, $40 billion was REMOVED, mostly from financials cutting their dividend to $0.00 or $0.01.

This month alone, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, and Exxon have added $1.93 billion in dividends.

And more is coming: General Electric Chief Executive Jeff Immelt (my boss — GE is the parent of CNBC) said that dividend increases were coming from them as well, by 2011 "at least."

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