Strategist: Keep buying dividend stocks for the sideways year ahead

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Investors should keep buying dividend stocks, especially ones with a history of increasing payouts, strategists at BMO Capital Markets told clients.

"Our work shows that dividend growth strategies are well-suited for range-bound market periods, an important point considering that we expect stocks to essentially tread water between now and year-end," wrote Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO.

After enduring a tumultuous start to 2016, the S&P 500 index is back near where it ended last year, up about 2 percent.