THE UNYIELDING MARKET

PUNY DIVIDENDS ARE MAKING STOCKS RISKIER

People once bought stocks primarily because of the notion that the company would return a chunk of its earnings to them in the form of a hefty dividend. How quaint. The average blue-chip company now pays such a stingy dividend that the yield, which is the dividend divided by the stock price, is less than 2%--a payout so low it had been considered imponderable for most of this century. Yet here it is, another landmark racing past the windshield of this bull-market dragster. Should you care if the typical stock now yields a paltry 1 point something? After all, it's not...

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