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Santoli: Bond-like yield may support tired bull

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Dividends are becoming a crucial source of investor income for the same reason the Colorado River became a vital source of water for Los Angeles a century ago: because other options dwindled and thirst is never sated.

With central banks of the world's mature economies suppressing short-term interest rates near or below zero, safe yield is gravely scarce on the planet. Yet dividends from big American companies have grown along with corporate profits, and in aggregate now equal just about the total interest paid on public bonds by U.S. issuers.