Once the hottest trend among major American companies, stock repurchases have waned considerably in recent months. Year-over-year, S&P 500 company stock buybacks for the second quarter fell 6.8 percent to $125.1 billion. That's their lowest level since the third quarter of 2013.
Mega-buybacks, where a given company spends $1 billion or more in a quarter, have also tapered and are near a three-year low. The decline follows a record amount spent by companies on stock repurchases for a 12-month stretch that ended in the first quarter of 2016.
The number of S&P 500 companies actively engaged in share buybacks has dropped to 350, marking the lowest number of companies since the fourth quarter of 2010. That's down from 380 in last year’s second quarter.