Investing legend Warren Buffett must be feeling good about the U.S. market and economic outlook - he's bet $24 billion on them.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A
) invested $23.9 billion in this year's third quarter, the most in at least 15 years.
The company bought almost $7 billion in stock last quarter, a 90% jump from the $3.62 billion in the second quarter and a staggering 739% increase from the $834 million purchased in the first.
The $23.9 billion also included the $9 billion acquisition of specialty chemical company Lubrizol Corp.
, finalized in September, and $5 billion in preferred shares and warrants in Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC
These billion-dollar investments by the "Oracle of Omaha" are another move signaling his bullish outlook on the U.S. market. He's said repeatedly the United States won't see a double-dip recession - and he's putting huge money behind that forecast.
"He sees something, and it's big," Thomas Russo, a partner at investment management firm Gardner, Russo & Gardner, told Bloomberg
Where Buffett Placed His Bets
Buffett and Berkshire's investments broadened the company's portfolio beyond its financial and consumer-related investment focus.
A Berkshire financial filing showed a $46 billion cost basis in the company's equity investments as of Sept. 30: About $15.9 billion in "banks, insurance and finance," $12.5 billion in "consumer products," and the remaining $17.4 billion in "commercial, industrial and other."
That's a 168% rise in the "commercial, industrial and other" category from Dec. 31, 2010 when such investments totaled only about $6.5 billion, and a 62% increase from 2011's second quarter.
"He's broadly diversifying across numerous industries, and he would perhaps want that to be part of his legacy," David Kass, a professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, told Bloomberg
. The recent spending "sounds like at least one major investment. And it wouldn't surprise me if it were two or three."
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