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Expand chart
Data: Deloitte; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Top executives of North American companies said expectations for earnings and revenue growth for the next year have declined slightly, but prospects to return more money to shareholders are on the upswing, according Deloitte's quarterly survey of more than 130 chief financial officers.

The big picture: At U.S. companies, expectations for shareholder payouts are at the highest level in the survey's 8-year history, accelerated in recent months — along with stock buybacks — by proceeds from the GOP's tax law. Whether corporations use the windfall to fund dividends or share repurchases as opposed to reinvesting in the broader economy has been a sticking point for those who oppose the tax law.

Other findings:

  • For the first time this year, executives said internal factors like quality of talent or innovation were more of a risk to company performance than external ones like an economic slowdown, interest rates, or policy uncertainty. Still, CFOs were "overwhelmingly" worried about the trade war and tariffs.
  • More than 70% of CFOs said U.S. stock markets are overvalued. That's the most in two quarters, but still below the two-year average.
  • Optimism about their own company's prospects fell for the second straight quarter, led by companies in the technology and banking sectors.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."