NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Covanta Holding (CVA), PPL Corporation (PPL - Get Report), Exelon (EXC - Get Report) and DTE Energy (DTE - Get Report)are a few utility stocks which are defensive bets and have high dividend yields ranging from 4.8%-8.7%.
Some of these 10 stocks have underperformed the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 index that gained 6.3% and 4.9% during the past three months, respectively. This growth came despite inflationary concerns, unrest sweeping across the Middle East and the catastrophic events that rocked Japan recently. The U.S. markets seem to have shrugged off these happenings and continue to rise on the back of positive employment and capital spending data.
Last month, J. P. Morgan cut its world growth forecast to 3.7% for the first half of 2011 owing to "near-term uncertainty" after Japan's devastating earthquake. Other concerns include rising oil prices and food price spikes, among others. J. P. Morgan also trimmed its first-half U.S. output growth to 3% from 4%.
We have identified a few defensive stocks to combat a decline in the U.S. markets, if any. Dividend income investors demand a dividend yield of 2%-3%, similar to the dividend yield of S&P 500. These 10 stocks have dividend yield of 5%-9%, topping the index average. Also, the stocks considered here have an average upside potential of up to 17%, according to analysts' estimates.