Big Spenders: S&P 500 Stock Buybacks Set Record in 1Q

Associated Press |

NEW YORK (AP) — Flush with savings from lower tax bills and profits from a growing economy, big U.S. companies are spending a record amount buying back their own stock.

Stock repurchases hit $189.1 billion in the first quarter for the S&P 500, according to preliminary results from S&P Dow Jones Indices. That tops the prior record of $171.9 billion set during the summer of 2007, just before the Great Recession struck.

The robust buying of their own shares continues a yearslong trend where companies have returned more and more cash to their investors through buybacks and dividends.

S&P 500 companies returned a total of $1 trillion to their shareholders in the 12 months through March, the first time they've passed that threshold.

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