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Stock Market Recovery Faces a New Hurdle as Record Buybacks Slow

  • Firms are more cautious with cash amid economic uncertainty
  • JPMorgan, Best Buy, Starbucks among those pausing buybacks
An office worker enters the JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York.

An office worker enters the JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

An end to corporate America’s record stock-buying spree is giving equity bulls one more thing to worry about.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Best Buy Co Inc. all paused buyback plans when reporting their second-quarter results, deciding to hold on to cash instead as the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hikes risk driving the economy into a recession. They’re among the 10 that have halted programs this year for reasons unrelated to M&A -- a “very, very rare” phenomenon, according to Birinyi Associates.