Investors should buy dividend stocks as a way to generate returns in a sideways market like this one, according to Wall Street strategists.
In a recent note, Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, encouraged clients to seek "dividend growth strategies" right now as a way to combat "range bound market periods."
Similarly, a study using analytics tool Kensho showed that dividend-paying stocks from the consumer staples and health-care sectors are the best performers when the S&P 500 goes for long stretches of time little changed.
In the first five months of 2016, the S&P 500 is up just 1.6 percent. By year-end, Wall Street strategists expect the index to rise only 3 percent from here.