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.
- At $1.6 trillion, cash and cash equivalent stayed near all-time highs
- Share purchases surged 34 percent to a record $178 billion, surpassing the previous peak of $172 billion reached in 2007
- 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
- Financial firms spent roughly the same as last year, a sign that Fed approved buybacks may have been fulfilled
- No company cut its dividend for the first time in at least 15 years. Among those that raised payouts, the increase averaged 10 percent
- 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