Wall Street may have just seen its biggest quarterly loss since 2008, but Warren Buffett is still bullish on stocks and the American economy.
Speaking to CNBC on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, the billionaire investor said he continues to find opportunities to invest in equities and his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway bought a net $4 billion of common equities in the market in the third quarter. That’s similar to the value of investments that the conglomerate made in the first half of 2011, he said.
Buffett, who visited the NYSE to mark the 50th anniversary of Business Wire, one of the companies in Berkshire’s portfolio, also said his investments are a bet on the economic strength of the United States, adding that it’s “very, very unlikely” that the economy will dip back into a recession.
“Our businesses five or ten years from now, and the country’s businesses, will be doing a lot better than they are now,” he added.
Earlier this week Berkshire said it would launch a share-buyback program. The move follows months of investor complaints the company’s stock is undervalued. Share buybacks are designed to lift a company’s stock price by decreasing the pool of shares available on the market -- it’s a common move for most public companies, but is rarely used at Berkshire.
Buffett told CNBC the share-buyback program has already started, and he added that the stock purchases will not stop the company from making acquisitions or from spending money on the companies it owns in its portfolio.
“The only time to buy your stock is when you think it's trading well below its intrinsic value,” Buffett said. “The cheaper it is, the more aggressive we will be in terms of buying.”