Fortune

DECISION TIME

IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2007, at the summit of the last bull market, U.S. companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 purchased a staggering $172 billion worth of their own stock. Some two years later, when those same shares were priced like week-old biscuits, CEOs couldn’t find a bargain worth snatching—at least when it came to their own stocks.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Fortune

Fortune2 min read
Pain-proof Your Portfolio—for Next Time
The array of recent changes to the tax code left investors dizzy this year. But these four moves could save you money over the long haul.
Fortune3 min read
Don’t Tell Anyone
How nondisclosure agreements became one of the tech industry’s favorite tools—and why free speech may still be a long way off.
Fortune9 min read
Decoding the Market’s Messages
A RECESSION IS WRITTEN IN THE STARS; BIG LOSSES DON’T HAVE TO BE. HERE ARE FIVE NUMBERS TO WATCH TO SPOT A BEAR MARKET BEFORE IT EATS YOUR SAVINGS.