Earlier this week, we wrote about the highest yielding stocks on the Dow. The S&P 500 also has some nice yielding stocks. If you are worried about the financials being able to continue to pay thier big dividends (with Freddie Mac's big slide, its yield is now over 20%!), there are over 45 stocks on the S&P that are currently yielding 5% or more.
- Including FRE, Financials represent 8 of the top 10 yielding stocks and 48% of the stocks with yields over 5%.
- Utilities represent 17% of the highest yielding stocks and are often seen as a defensive play because of their reliable cash flows and these relatively safe returns. Ameren leads the sector with a 6.0% yield.
- Following Utilities, are Telecom and Consumer Discretionary stocks representing 13% and 11% of the top yielding stocks. Qwest and Gannett have yields over 8.5% each.
- The average yield of dividend paying stocks on the S&P 500 is 2.7%
Keep in mind, stocks facing a downturn could either end up cutting or eliminating dividends all together. Take General Motors for example. Their shares were yielding about 5% back in March, but have since suspended their dividend completely.