Sources: Standard & Poor's, Bloomberg LP, Dow Jones Indexes
Among dividend-paying companies in the Russell 3000, IT and consumer discretionary stocks are most likely to increase dividends. Aetna and UnitedHealth Group dividend increases were directly responsible for health care's disproportionate growth between 2008 and 2011.
A look at the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats — large caps that have increased dividends every year for at least 25 straight years — shows which firms present the best outlooks for yield and dividend growth.
The top 10 stocks in the Dow Jones Emerging Markets Select Dividend index have an average correlation to U.S. stocks of 0.3, yielding an average of 9%.