S&P 500 dividend payouts hit a record in the third quarter
By Ryan Vlastelica
The record may not stand for long, according to Howard Silverblatt
Companies in the S&P 500 have been pulling back on the amount of their own stock that they're repurchasing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-500-buybacks-have-dropped-by-25-since-the-first-quarter-of-2016-2017-09-18), but they continue to return record amounts of money to shareholders in the form of dividends.
According to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices, net dividend increases rose by $15 billion over the third quarter, a gain of 152% over the third quarter of 2016, when there was a $6 billion gain.
Net dividend increases include all increases minus dividend decreases.
On an aggregate basis, dividend increases amounted to $15.5 billion in the quarter, up 6.9% year over year. There were $500 million in decreases, down 85.1% from the $3.2 billion in decreases seen in the third quarter of 2016.
"With a more stable dividend base, and interest rates expected to increase, the rate of dividend growth may pick up," said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices in a press release. "At this point the lack of negative dividend news remains the key catalyst. That could change, however, if we get income tax reform or repatriation, both of which are now going through Congress."
Don't miss:Enjoying the calm market? Don't expect it to last forever (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/enjoying-the-calm-market-dont-expect-it-to-last-forever-2017-10-03)