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Expand chart
Data: S&P Global; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Apple again led S&P 500 companies in buybacks, spending a new record $23.8 billion in Q1, more than doubling its spend from the previous quarter, data from S&P Global shows.

Context: Apple has long been a buyback behemoth. The company holds 8 of the 10 all-time records for quarterly buybacks, and has spent more than $75 billion on buybacks over just the past year.

  • It has spent $234.7 billion over the most recent 5-year period, and $284.3 billion over the last 10-year period.
  • Apple accounted for 23% of share buybacks made by the top 20 S&P 500 companies.

The big picture: While Apple has increased its buyback spending, other S&P 500 companies have slowed from 2018's record pace.

  • Companies bought back just $205.8 billion worth of their own shares, a 7.7% decline from Q4 2018, S&P reported. That ended the streak of 4 consecutive quarters of record buybacks.

Yes, but: Buybacks rose 8.9% from Q1 2018, which set a record at the time.

  • Outside analysis of the broader stock market, beyond just the S&P, shows announced buyback spending was higher in Q1 2019 than Q4 2018.

What they're saying: Ratings agency Moody's warned last month that companies are spending more on share buybacks and dividends than they were paying in taxes before the 2017 tax cut. The tax savings "can be wiped out entirely by even a modest change in share buybacks," Christina Padgett, senior vice president at Moody's, told Axios at the time.

  • S&P 500 companies, at least, may be heeding the warning.

Go deeper: Apple needs a next act

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.