Change is afoot.
Over the past month, new sector groups are showing signs of relative strength after months of weakness. The list includes emerging market stocks, real estate and energy. Others, such as semiconductors and materials, are rolling over.
Among those strengthening? Utility stocks — driven higher by a combination of a recent drop in long-term Treasury yields as well as some investor apprehension given the market volatility of the past few weeks.
This provides the perfect opportunity for dividend investors. Not only are you looking at some relatively battered names with high yield … but you also have the chance to enjoy some capital gains on a technical bounce.
Here are five dividend stocks in the utility sector to check out right now.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Consolidated Edison, Inc. (ED)
Click to Enlarge Dividend Yield: 4.3%
Consolidated Edition, Inc. (NYSE:ED) provides electricity, gas and steam services to 3.4 million customers in New York City, as well as a few hundred thousand more in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey.
The company traces its roots to Thomas Edison’s efforts in the 1880s to commercialize electricity and electric lighting … hence the name.
ED stock looks ready to break up and out of a downtrend going back to January after finding support on its 200-day moving average.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Scana Corporation (SCG)
Click to Enlarge Dividend Yield: 4%
Scana Corporation (NYSE:SCG) provides electricity generation and distribution to customers in South Carolina via nuclear, coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, oil and biomass plants. Scana also sells and transports natural gas and offers tower site construction management services.
Technically, SCG is tracing out a pattern similar to ED (and the sector overall) — in other words, a breakout is on the way.
Meanwhile, shares pay a 4% dividend on current prices, which is plenty of incentive to wait for a move higher.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Southern Co (SO)
Click to Enlarge Dividend Yield: 4.8%
Southern Co (NYSE:SO) generates and distributes electricity throughout the Southeast — Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi, to be specific. Its generation assets include coal, nuclear, oil, gas, solar and hydroelectric plants.
Interestingly enough, Southern Co also offers digital wireless communication services.
SO is technically a little more fragile than the other names here, falling below its 200-day moving average, then bonking on resistance from that level earlier this month.
I’m looking for an upward breakout and a test of the 50-day moving average at the very least.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: Duke Energy Corp (DUK)
Click to Enlarge Dividend Yield: 4.2%
Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) operates throughout the United States and Latin America with a presence in the Carolinas, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It operates 50,000 megawatts of generation capacity using coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, oil and nuclear fuel.
Duke Energy is a big payer like the rest, yielding 4.2% currently, and similar to SO, DUK is looking to pop back above its 200-day average.
Dividend Stocks to Buy: PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG)
Click to Enlarge Dividend Yield: 3.5%
PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) sells and transports electricity and natural gas to customers in northern and central California. Overall, it served a customer base of roughly 16 million out of its headquarters in San Francisco.
Shares pay a 3.5% dividend yield.
PCG is up slightly since recommended to Edge subscribers last week, but we expect its current bounce to continue.