BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- With stocks looking to move considerably lower into the weekend, the dividend narrative hasn't changed a whole lot in August. Right now, dividends are the only connection between corporate fundamentals and fear-induced stock prices in the market. If you're a fundamental investor, a core holding of income stocks is a must-have to eke some sort of gains out of this market.
Right now, the view from Wall Street couldn't be any more different than the view from the desks that lead most of the Fortune 500. Corporate profits are at an all-time high for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and market valuations sit right around the same levels we saw back in October 2008. At the same time, stocks are embarking on the second leg of a crash that continues to push stock values lower.
Clearly something's out of synch right now.
Related: 5 Big Stocks to Trade for GainsFor dividend investors, this is a slightly less scary environment. That's because, with yields sitting higher than they've been in years, people who buy dividend payers are collecting cash while they wait for market prices to eventually realign with the real world. And there's a little more to it than that. Historically, dividend-payers have made a whole lot more money for investors than their non-paying peers. Over the last 36 years, dividend stocks outperformed the rest of the S&P 500 by 2.5% annually, and they outperformed nonpayers by nearly 8% every year, all while paying out cash to their shareholders, according to a study from NDR.The numbers are even more compelling when looking at companies that consistently increase their payouts. That's why, each week, we take a look at a select group of the stocks that declared dividend increases the previous week. Here's a look at our list of recent dividend-increasers.