Share buybacks have helped propelled this market higher for years. For the first time in a year and a half, buybacks declined in Q1 2019.
Share buybacks are receiving lots of scrutiny since Democrat leaning corporations like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and others used republican tax cuts to increase stock buybacks instead of investing that money in capital equipment and hiring U.S. workers. This increased scrutiny by Congress could have something to do with some companies backing off share buybacks in recent quarters.
Buybacks fell to $205 billion in Q1 2019, versus the previous $223 billion in Q4 2018.
The quarter was up 8.9% from Q1 2018’s $189.1 billion.
Perma-bear gold bugs are jumping all over this news as if it means something bad but the reality is that share buyback ETFs still look incredibly strong so let’s not put too much weight on the small decline in share buybacks in Q1.