Despite the recent downtrend, utilities outperformed broader markets in 2018. Including dividends, broader utilities (XLU) have returned ~6%, while the S&P 500 has returned -8% YTD (year-to-date). Investors took shelter in defensive sectors like utilities amid the recent market turmoil due to trade war tensions. Utilities usually have higher dividend payment capabilities and steady stock price movements.
We have considered the capital appreciation and dividends paid during a particular period to calculate the total returns. Recently, the technology (XLK) sector, one of the top-performing sectors early in 2018, witnessed noteworthy weakness. So far, the technology sector has returned -6% in 2018.
Utility (VPU) (IDU) stocks offer an average dividend yield of 3.3%—way higher than broader markets’ yield. Currently, many utility stocks offer a higher yield than the average. To learn more, read Here Are the S&P 500 Utility Stocks with the Best Dividends.