S&P 500 companies are expected to pay a record $550 billion in dividends this year, so CNBC Pro has found a basket of names that could help investors play the theme. Dividend payments in the S&P 500 are expected to jump more than 10% this year, setting a new annual record, if companies follow through and pay what the current yield indicates, according to a Sunday note from S&P’s Howard. P Global Silver Blatt. “The current working view for S&P 500 dividends continues to be positive, with growth expected even as the economy slows and interest rates rise,” Silverblatt wrote. With a record amount of income due to be paid out to investors, what are the best stocks to play the trend? CNBC PRO sought to find stocks that reliably increase payouts, have high dividend yields and are in good financial shape. These companies have increased their dividends in the past four out of five years and have a current yield higher than the 10-year Treasury yield. A majority of analysts view equities as buying opportunities. Here’s that list: BlackRock, which has increased its dividend payout over the past five years even amid the pandemic, has a dividend yield of 2.8%. The stock is seen as a buying opportunity by Morgan Stanley, which said in a June note that a recession could be a “prime opportunity to build a position in such a high-quality compound.” Fifth Third Bancorp, which has increased its dividend for five years, has a dividend yield of 3.6%. The firm was considered “one of the best interest rate sensitivity managers,” along with Regions Financial, according to a note released Sunday by Wedbush Securities. Corning, which has increased its dividend steadily for five years, has a dividend yield of 3%. Valero, which has increased its dividend for four out of five years, is posting a dividend yield of 3.8%. Other companies on this list include American Electric Power Company, Broadcom, Citizens Financial Group, Digital Realty Trust, MetLife, NiSource, VICI Properties and Williams Companies.
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