Americans now say they approve of free trade by 64%-27%, a margin of better than two to one. That's up from 57%-37% early in Trump's presidency, and 51%-41% near the end of...Politicsread more
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below the 2-year rate on Wednesday, a phenomenon in the bond market known as yield curve inversion, which is...Marketsread more
The MacBook Pro recall and its subsequent ban from flights underscores the increasing brand risk from problems with lithium-ion batteries.Technologyread more
Experts say the timing of Amazon executives' contributions to Rep. David Cicilline likely reflect the company's heightened urgency over growing regulatory scrutiny.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
Coinbase security chief Philip Martin explains, "Possession of a key is possession of your currency. What that means is that you can't revoke a cryptocurrency key, if that key...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
The Supreme Court could strike down the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency Elizabeth Warren has likened to her child and which Justice...2020 Electionsread more
Bianco Research's James Bianco suggests Wall Street is desperately looking for a signal that a 50 basis point cut is coming next month.Trading Nationread more
The company's S-1 lays the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings of the year, second only to Uber's IPO in May. It's also...Technologyread more
Over the past 10 years, tech giant Apple has been the biggest buyback champion, splurging a whopping $239 billion on share repurchases, followed by Exxon Mobil and Microsoft, according to data from Birinyi Associates. The iPhone maker also had six of the 10 largest buybacks in history, the data show. Birinyi has kept an extensive database of stock buybacks going back to 1985.
These companies have come under the spotlight after prominent lawmakers criticized the buyback practice, saying it widens the wealth gap and claiming repurchase programs tend to divert resources away from workers.
Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are calling for legislation that would prevent companies from buying back their own shares unless they first pay workers at least $15 an hour and offer paid time off and health benefits.
The Democratic proposal came after announced buybacks hit a record of $1.04 trillion in 2018 as the corporate tax cut boosted profits and free cash flow. In the third quarter of 2018, 18 percent of corporate America reduced their outstanding share counts by at least 4 percent, which boosted their earnings per share, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
New buyback announcements also edged up in the last quarter of 2018 to the highest level since the first quarter of 2016, according to RBC Capital Markets.
"Our optimism on buybacks offsets our concerns about slowing capex growth. We also think that debt burdens are manageable and expect deleveraging to be a 2019 priority," said Lori Calvasina, RBC's head of U.S. equity strategy.
There hasn't been a lack of supporters for buybacks on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs' former chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, hit back at the proposal limiting buybacks in a tweet, saying "the money doesn't vanish."
Blankfein and others claim buybacks are another way to give money back to shareholders so it can be put to use in higher-growth areas. But Schumer and Sanders say that because the rich are the biggest owners of stock, it mostly goes into their pockets.