Pension funds own approximately 3.5% of outstanding Apple stock and about 4% of General Electric stock. Pension fund ownership of GE stock increased about 75 basis points in 2016.
Tech buybacks lead S&P
Share buybacks by companies in the S&P 500 index totaled $536.4 billion in 2016, down from $572.2 billion in the prior year. Dividends paid totaled $397.2 billion. Annual buyback and dividend yields were 2.9% and 2.2%, respectively.
The technology sector, notably Apple and Microsoft Corp., led the major sector groups in buybacks, followed by financials and health care.