Bad Business

U.S. Companies Plan to Buy Their Own Stock

Jittery companies have been stockpiling savings for months, deciding to hold onto their cash rather than spend money on new hires or building factories. But so far this year, U.S. companies have announced plans to buy back a total of $273 billion of their own shares. That's five times what U.S. companies spent on buybacks last year, according to one stock-market research firm. According to analysts, the buyback announcements are a sign that companies don't know what to do with all their cash.