Dividends stage comeback with market decline

The Ticker

January 05, 2001|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

"Dividends over the past few years have taken a back seat as investors focused on capital gains," says S&P Outlook. "But with the market's downturn in 2000 and the slaughter of technology stocks, dividends are coming back in favor."

Here are some stocks listed that paid dividends for at least 50 years and that have increased in each of the past five years: Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Hershey Foods Corp., Johnson & Johnson Co., McCormick & Co. Inc. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

"Investor uncertainty due to the slowing U.S. economy has `junk' (low quality, high yield) bonds selling at fire sale prices, driving yields through the roof," says Personal Finance. "Now they're ripe for picking."

WALL STREET WATCH: "Balanced funds look attractive in a shaky market. They underperform growth funds in rising markets but shine when stocks fall because their fixed-income components offer downside protection." (S&P's "Defensive Investing")

"Boring old bonds may turn out to be this year's stars. With 30-year Treasuries yielding about 6 percent, even growth-oriented investors might benefit from diversifying into bonds." (Daniel Fuss, investment adviser)

"Emerging companies have sparkling futures and are reasonably priced. Find a company that's not too small, not too big, and that has exciting ideas and a lead on its competition." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine)

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