The stock market would be much lower if it weren’t for companies buying back their own shares

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Data compiled by Ned Davis Research shows the S&P 500 would be 19% lower between 2011 and the first quarter of 2019 without buybacks.

The other options for companies to deal with that cash — holding it, reinvestments and dividends — would have also led to lower returns.

“Without focusing too much on numbers, we can say that the S&P 500 index would probably be lower today if not for buybacks versus other uses of cash,” says Ed Clissold, chief U.S. strategist at Ned Davis Research.


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