Buybacks among S&P 500 Index members hit a record in the first quarter and more than a third of the index raised dividend payments.

Key Points

  1. At $1.6 trillion, cash and cash equivalent stayed near all-time highs
  2. Share purchases surged 34 percent to a record $178 billion, surpassing the previous peak of $172 billion reached in 2007
  3. Tech companies accounted for about a third of total buybacks, with repurchases more than doubling from a year earlier. Apple set a record with $22.8 billion
  4. Financial firms spent roughly the same as last year, a sign that Fed approved buybacks may have been fulfilled
  5. No company cut its dividend for the first time in at least 15 years. Among those that raised payouts, the increase averaged 10 percent
  6. Capital expenditures are up 21% as well to $159 billion.

In regards to point number one, most of that cash is actually debt.


Point number two is interesting. Here we go again?

Capital expenditures are up 21% but how much of that was planned anyway? It is doubtful Trump tax cuts played a major role in expenditures.

Question of the day: Is this what it takes to hold the stock market flat?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Record Buybacks at Worst Possible Time

JPMorgan estimates $800 billion in buybacks this year, a new record. Companies will squander money in an obvious bubble.

Buybacks Announcements Spike: Shareholders, Not Workers Get Tax Break

A spike in share buyback and special dividend announcements reveals that companies will not use tax cuts for investment.

Cumulative Funds Flows and $5 Trillion in Stock Buybacks

Callum Thomas, Jim Bianco, and Win Smart have a trio of Tweets on the S&P 500 worth a close look.

Negative Yield Debt Hits Record $15 Trillion, Up $1 Trillion in 2 Business Days

Negative yield debt madness accelerates. A new record high breached $15 trillion on Monday.

We Squandered Our Money On Stock Buybacks But Don't Blame Us

The airline industry is howling about circumstances beyond its control.

Stock Buybacks Fueling the Stock Market? By How Much?

Here’s the question of the day: are corporate stock buybacks fueling the stock market?

$300 Billion Cash Repatriated in Q1, GS Expects Eventual $1Trillion in Buybacks

In response to the Trump tax cuts, corporations are repatriating record levels of cash.

Negative-Yielding Debt Tops $17 Trillion - Bubble Keeps Expanding

On August 29, negative-yielding debt topped the $17 trillion mark. Nearly all of that is outside the US.

SEC Says Executives Dumping Shares on Buyback Announcements: No Skin in the Game

The SEC notes a disturbing trend that stems from buybacks. Executives are dumping shares faster than ever.