Friday, September 24, 2021

S&P 500 buybacks return as biggest spenders take control

Companies in the S&P 500 Index returned to pre-pandemic spending on stock buybacks last quarter, and a relative handful were largely responsible. Second-quarter repurchases amounted to $198.8 billion, according to data compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and released Thursday. The outlay was just above the $198.7 billion for the first quarter of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began. Last quarter’s 20 biggest spenders, led by Apple Inc., accounted for 56% of the total. The top-20 share beat averages of 38% for the past five years and 29% for the past decade.

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