4 Dow Dividend Stocks Defying the Decline

Jim Woods

[dollar bills]

It hasn’t been a very good start to 2014, especially if you’re in the bull camp. So far, the young year has seen blue-chip stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average sink a collective 5% through Feb. 6. Yet despite the aggregate decline in the Dow, there still are a few industrials trading to the plus side.

In fact, there are four stocks that have defied the latest decline in the Dow: Merck (MRK), Caterpillar (CAT), Pfizer (PFE) and Cisco Systems (CSCO).

What’s particularly compelling about this quartet of Dow winners is that each pays a hefty dividend. That dividend, measured by the annual dividend yield, is just what the doctor ordered for investors who want to make sure they continue to ring the cash register with dividend payments every quarter.

The table below shows the year-to-date total return in each of the four Dow stocks defying the decline, along with each stock’s annual dividend yield.

Ticker Company Name YTD Total Return Dividend Yield
MRK Merck & Co Inc 9.05% 3.19%
CAT Caterpillar Inc 5.52% 2.45%
PFE Pfizer Inc 2.75% 3.11%
CSCO Cisco Systems Inc 1.44% 2.88%

Big Pharma firm Merck is the winning prescription so far in 2014, with a whopping 9.05% total return and a yield of 3.19%. The closest to Merck’s stellar jump is construction equipment maker Caterpillar, which is up a robust 5.52% since the start of the year. CAT also offers investors an attractive 2.45% yield, although that’s the smallest yield of the four standouts.
Another big drug maker, Pfizer, is in the green so far this year with a 2.75% total return. For those who crave yield, PFE’s 3.11% is a strong dose of the right kind of drug. Finally, tech giant Cisco Systems is in positive territory with a 1.44% year-to-date climb. CSCO stock has an appealing yield of 2.88%, a definite winner for dividend-oriented investors, or for investors looking to buy hot stocks in a chilly market.

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