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.
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