S&P 500 buybacks set another quarterly record: S&P Dow Jones

NEW YORK (Reuters) - S&P 500 companies have set another record in share repurchases in the third quarter and look on track to break above $200 billion in buybacks for the quarter, according to an S&P Dow Jones Indices analysis.

Even with more earnings reports to come for the third quarter, buybacks by S&P 500 companies in the period are now at $194.1 billion, topping the record set in the second quarter of $190.62 billion, S&P Dow Jones senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt wrote on Friday.

The current pace “could put us at the $200 billion quarterly mark,” he wrote.

The big jump in corporate share repurchases this year is largely due to the tax overhaul approved by Congress late last year that resulted in hefty cuts to tax rates. S&P 500 dividend and capital expenditures have also increased from last year.

Investors are closely watching buyback increases, which help to support stock prices, with the market on shaky ground in recent weeks amid lingering trade tensions and worries about a slowdown in profit growth next year.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Leslie Adler