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Shareholders Aren’t Gaining From Tax Cuts as Much as Some Think

Corporate America isn’t using the Trump tax cuts to gorge shareholders with stock buybacks and dividends -- despite the prevailing narrative.

Yes, in dollar terms, spending by companies in the S&P 500 Index appears to be higher for buybacks and dividends. But a fairer way to look at it is to measure that spending as a ratio against companies’ market value. By that calculation, buybacks, while up this year, are still below several quarters during President Barack Obama’s administration. And dividends are actually down.