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Corporate America Buys Back Fewer Shares as Recession Fears Rise

  • Buybacks fell to the lowest since mid-2021 in third quarter
  • Slowdown in repurchases expected to be headwind for stocks

US companies are cutting share buybacks to conserve cash in the face of economic uncertainty, which threatens to add another weight to the equity market’s attempted rebound. 

S&P 500 Index firms bought back just over $200 billion of their own shares during the third quarter, marking the slowest quarter for repurchases since the middle of last year and coming in roughly 25% below the levels seen in late 2021 and early 2022, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.