The S&P 500 offers a fairly broad, fairly consistent look at the American economy. The index tracks a selection of 500 companies that best reflect large-cap stocks. Currently, the S&P index only includes companies that are valued at at least $900 million. There's a certain degree of stability that companies on the S&P are likely to have that cannot necessarily be expected from smaller cap companies. As such, those companies that are part of the S&P and also have a strong dividend can be very attractive. There are a total of eight companies that offer a dividend yield of over 5.5 percent.
Frontier Communications (FTR)
At 16.6 percent, Frontier nearly doubles the next closest competitor for the biggest yield on the S&P. This telecom company remains focused on providing services to rural areas and smaller town and cities, but the biggest service it appears to be providing is to its shareholders.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD)
This global printing company operates primarily in the commercial print segment of the print industry. However, with a dividend yield of 8.73 percent, they might as well be printing money for their shareholders.
Windstream Corporation (WIN)
Windsteam provides technology and communications solutions, offering high-speed internet and complex data services among others in some 29 states. Windsteam doesn't appear to be growing significantly anymore with its EPS numbers project to decline almost 1 percent over the next five years, but it's offering a dividend of 8.13 percent, which might make up for some of that.
Pitney Bowes (PBI)
It's hard to see Pitney Bowes, a provider of automated postage machines for offices, is operating in a strong growth industry given the current state of the United States Postal service. It does, though, offer a dividend yield of 7.78 percent.
CenturyLink is an integrated communications company offering a range of telecom and internet services in the United States. It's offering a dividend yield of 7.75 percent.
If you're noticing a trend here, it should probably be that telecom companies offer dynamite yields. AT&T is the fourth and final telecom company on this list, meaning that half of the eight companies here are in the telecom sector. There's also a fairly steep fall off to the sixth highest yield, with AT&T offering an annual return of 5.88 percent.
Altria is a holding company that primarily sells cigarettes through subsidiary Phillip Morris. The company may leave some customers hacking and coughing, but investors are breathing easier given its dividend yield of 5.69 percent.
Reynolds American (RAI)
Reynolds is another holding company that's primarily engaged in selling cigarettes through a subsidiary, this time R.J. Reynolds. It's the second tobacco company on this list, meaning that all but two of the S&P's eight best yields are either in telecom or tobacco. Reynolds offers a dividend of 5.64 percent.
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