In this volatile market, many investors are looking to dividend-paying stocks to hedge their bets in equity markets. That's partially because the regular income delivered from dividends can help provide a measure of stability. That's also because the sectors that tend to be the most dividend-rich also tend to be relatively less volatile thanks to more reliable revenue trends. However, that is not always the case. Particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has upended what we once thought was "normal" economic activity, it's important to take a discerning view of any dividend-paying stocks rather than just chase high yields. After all, the quickest way for a stock to double its dividend yield isn't to come up with a ton of profits to increase payouts by 100%. Rather, it's for its share price to be slashed in half – something that normally only happens after Wall Street sours on the business, usually for good reason. Here are 15 dividend-paying stocks to sell or at least avoid right now. This isn't to say they won't someday become buys again. But at the moment, they all face their own unique challenges. They also all feature comparatively negative coverage from analysts, troubling scores from the DIVCON dividend-health rating system, and/or discouraging share-price momentum. In addition, a few of these stocks pay dividends that have been reduced recently, while a few others sport payouts that might not be sustainable if current profit trends persist. SEE MORE The Pros' Picks: 9 Stocks to Sell Now Data is as of Oct. 27. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price.
When it comes to Wall Street's favorite dividend stocks, the pros are all about energy companies and utilities these days. Whether it's an increase in residential energy needs or a nascent recovery in commodity prices, analysts' most highly rated dividend stocks – firms such as oil and gas drillers, electric utilities, pipeline companies, oilfield services and other sector names – find themselves heavily over-represented. To find analysts' favorite dividend stocks, we scoured the S&P 500 for dividend stocks with yields of more than 3%, excluding a number of extremely high yielders because of excessive risk. (Sometimes, a too-high yield can be a warning sign that a stock is in deep trouble.) From that pool, we focused on stocks with an average broker recommendation of Buy or better. S&P Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts' stock ratings and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals Strong Buy and 5.0 means Strong Sell. Any score of 2.5 or lower means that analysts, on average, rate the stock a Buy. The closer the score gets to 1.0, the stronger the Buy call. Lastly, we dug into research and analysts' estimates on the top-scoring names. That led us to these top 25 dividend stocks, by virtue of their high analyst ratings and bullish outlooks. Read on as we analyze what makes each one stand out. SEE MORE Hedge Funds' 25 Top Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy Now Stock prices, dividend yields, analyst ratings and other data are as of Oct. 13, unless otherwise noted. Companies are listed by strength of analysts' average rating, from lowest to highest. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price.
Leading wealth managers including BlackRock, Merrill Lynch and Putnam are advising their clients to invest in foreign stocks to take advantage of better values overseas. And the market's best European stocks are one such store of value-priced diversification. U.S. stocks are closing on all-time highs yet again, and the S&P 500 is trading at nearly 23 times trailing 12-month earnings. Foreign stocks are a bargain by comparison, trading at a P/E of less than 18, according to Morningstar. Value is just one of many arguments in favor of international investing. For years, wealth advisors have told clients to invest a portion of their funds overseas to diversify portfolios and mitigate risk. This advice is particularly timely now given that some European countries are recovering more quickly from COVID-19 than the U.S. In addition to individual-country measures, the European Union passed an $880 billion stimulus package; the U.S. continues to argue about its own follow-up plan. Economists also anticipate a bigger GDP recovery for Europe next year, with growth pegged as high as 6% versus sub-5% growth for the U.S. Another factor is the present weakness of the U.S. dollar, which makes European stocks and other foreign equities more attractive for U.S. investors. Here are 10 of the best European stocks you can buy right now. They offer a combination of growth prospects and value. Better still, many of them offer healthy dividend yields, and some are even members of the European Dividend Aristocrats. SEE MORE 65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2020 Data is as of Oct. 8. Yields represent the trailing 12-month yield, which is a standard measure for international stocks. Dividends on some international stocks may be taxed at a higher rate; however, the IRS offers a foreign tax credit that investors can use to offset taxes collected by foreign governments.