Announced corporate stock repurchases jumped to a record $104.3 billion in February, topping the previous record of $99.8 billion announced in July 2006, according to TrimTabs Investment Research. Meanwhile the number of buyback programs announced -- 123 -- was below the August 2011 record of 196, TrimTabs said. "The [stock market] bulls can take comfort that corporate America is committing record sums to repurchase its own shares," said David Santschi, chief executive of TrimTabs, in a statement. "Buybacks are the main way companies reduce the supply of shares outstanding." After the previous record in July 2006, the S&P 500 rose for the next six-consecutive months, gaining 13% during that stretch. So far this month, the S&P 500 is down 0.1%. TrimTabs said 28 companies announced repurchase programs of at least $1 billion in February, highlighted by Home Depot's $15.3 billion plan, Gilead Science's $15 billion plan and PepsiCo's $12 billion program.
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