Businesses hiked spending after the tax bill, but the U.S. economy still awaits that promised big boost

What’s more, stock buybacks among Standard & Poor’s 500 companies hit a record $187.2 billion in the first quarter, a 37% surge, according to a report from Howard Silverblatt, an analyst for S&P Dow Jones indices. Among those companies was Amgen, which repurchased $10 billion in stock this year.