BlackRock's Laurence D. Fink recently suggested corporate executives spend cash on capital investment, rather than buybacks and dividends.
Returning capital: S&P 500 stock buybacks eclipsed $475 billion in 2013, up 19% from the year before. Dividends increased 11% to $312 billion.
Capex cutback: Fixed capital expenditures – money used to acquire fixed assets not affiliated with mergers and acquisitions – declined by 4% during the fourth quarter of 2013 and only rose 0.3% for the full year. The growth rate in quarterly capital expenditures has trended downward for the past 10 quarters.
Hoarders: Aggregate cash and marketable securities for S&P 500 ex-financial companies grew 13.9% to a record $1.41 trillion in fiscal 2013.
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices; FactSet Research Systems Inc.
Compiled and designed by Timothy Pollard and Gregg A. Runburg