What are companies doing with their cash? Some are paying dividends to shareholders, but increases in those dividends have slowed. The average dividend increase for S&P 500 companies was 13.1% last year, down from 26.5% in 2011.

Those companies have plenty of cash. In early July, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported S&P 500 companies held a record $1.35 trillion in cash and short-term securities at the end of 2016’s first quarter. The cash total excludes utilities, financials, and transportation issues.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Financial Planning content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access