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Dividend Stocks for the Week

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By Jonas Elmerraji

BALTIMORE (TheStreet) -- On Monday, President Obama addressed the nation about his plans to reform the financial system that has left so many investors disillusioned. The move, which calls for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, was greeted with mixed feelings by Americans.

But while all eyes were on Washington, a few companies were letting investors know that not all stocks got stomped in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, two companies actually boosted their dividends in the last week, much to the excitement of their investors.

Increasing a dividend is a big deal for any company, but it's a particularly significant event in the midst of a recession. Dividends are so significant because historically companies that pay dividends materially outperform those that don't, and when the market turns bearish, dividends could be the only semblance of return that investors see for a while.

That's why every week Stockpickr reviews recent dividend declarations and compiles a portfolio of dividend-increasers. These stocks represent some of the most enticing investments on the market right now.

The biggest increaser last week was Village Super Market (VLGEA), a small-cap supermarket chain that operates 25 ShopRite stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company raised its dividend 7% to 23 cents per share for shareholders of record on Oct. 1. The dividend hike comes as a coup for supermarket retailers whose thin margins have been squeezed extra hard this year as consumers cut back on discretionary purchases at the grocery store. Shares of Village Super Market were trading flat on Tuesday as the dividend changes pushed the stock's yield to 2.9%.

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