The first month of 2012 was the stuff traders dream about: The Dow’s 3.4% climb and the S&P’s 4.4% jump marked the indices’ best January in 15 years!
It was great while it lasted, but as 2011 proved, they all can’t be winners. The fourth-quarter earnings season has been notably mixed, Europe still has a ways to go in settling its myriad debt issues, and while the U.S. economy is showing hints of a recovery, it’s on shaky legs. All that spells the potential for future volatility.
Of course, one of the best and well-known ways to weather wobbly markets is through dividend stocks. Strong, stable companies trying to use excess cash by rewarding shareholders have become the go-to guys for consistent income.
But with 10-year Treasuries yielding around 2%, investors need a reason to take on the extra risk stocks carry. That’s why income investors are best off targeting companies with high, consistent yields. And in the best-case scenarios, those stocks also will have plenty of upside potential.
This month, our experts have targeted six stocks they believe can provide stable, sizable income — and in some cases, even capital gains. Here are our six top dividend stocks to buy now.