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Market Extra: Keep the change: Record share of investors worry buybacks, dividends are too generous

U.S. companies have repurchased their own shares at an astounding rate in recent years, and now a record share of institutional investors are worried that companies are being too generous with stock repurchases and dividend payouts, according to Bank of America’s latest fund manager survey.

The survey showed that 38% of respondents say that payout ratios, including dividends and share buybacks, are too high, above the previous record set in 2016, indicating that even as buybacks have helped power the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.34% Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.09% and Nasdaq Composite index COMP, -0.43% to record highs in 2019, the smart money is beginning to worry how sustainable the buyback binge is.

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