For the past six years, companies have helped fuel the bull market by repurchasing trillions of their own shares.
But if the market rally is to continue, investors may have to find another sugar daddy.
Buybacks are on the retreat in 2016, hitting a 21-month low in March and not showing much pop in April either, according to market data analytics firm TrimTabs. March repurchases amounted to just $24.1 billion and are at a measly $3.2 billion in April, TrimTabs reported over the weekend.
That slowdown has come after a period since 2010 when companies bought back more than $2.7 trillion of their own shares as the market rallied more than 200 percent off its recession lows.