NEW YORK—US corporate share repurchases keep setting new records, a trend some experts expect to persist despite bipartisan unease on Capitol Hill and a weaker economic outlook that could crimp profits.
Fueled with windfalls from the 2017 tax cut and cheap debt, companies in the S&P 500 spent $203.8 billion buying back their own stock in the third quarter, the third consecutive new record, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Stock buybacks boost share prices and make profits look bigger by increasing earnings per share, a key Wall Street benchmark.
Boeing shares rose nearly four percent on Tuesday after it announced it was boosting its share repurchase plan to $20 billion from $18 billion and increasing its dividend.
But those share repurchases are financed by funds that might otherwise go to hire workers or invest in new projects, which could create more jobs.
Critics include Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who plans to introduce tax legislation to discourage buybacks in favor of business investment that restores “the dignity of work.”