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5 Rising Dividend Payers for a Bullish but Skittish Stock Market

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It may not be all that different from previous media-overhyped crises, but we function in a weird stock market.

The macro sky keeps falling, yet the other shoe never seems to drop. Amidst this perpetual anxiety the media tells us we're supposed to feel -- and some do feel -- the S&P 500 is up six weeks in a row to multi-year highs and the VIX is at its lowest level since 2007.

Even more exciting, the other so-called bubble -- strength in dividend-paying stocks -- continues to expand with no signs of popping.

Consider five of the top-performing dividend payers in one of the market's most dynamic spaces: media and telecommunications stocks BCE Inc. (BCE - Get Report), Disney (DIS - Get Report), Time Warner (TWX - Get Report), Verizon (VZ - Get Report) and Viacom (VIAB - Get Report).

BCE Chart BCE data by YCharts

Over the last three months, TWX is up nearly 25%. All of the other stocks, save VZ, have increased by double digits in the last 90 days.

The question then is do you consider this the top for these names, either because of coming macro doom or stock-specific concerns, and get out? Or do you continue buying to further develop the core of your growth and income portfolio? As a not-yet-40-year-old married man with a child whose portfolio is 60% cash and 40% stock, both make sense.

I was long VZ early on in its run and exited prior to the company's most recent earnings report. Because I don't see a whole ton of upside outside of rewards associated with increased smartphone adoption, I don't plan on getting back into the stock.

At the same time, I certainly would not take issue with an investor who buys a little VZ each month, reinvests the dividend and consistently writes covered calls against the stock as part of a larger, long-term plan.

That's a solid approach as well for the other four stocks, each of which has considerable growth prospects.

I expect consolidation in the space. Because Viacom doesn't have the content every media conglomerate needs going forward in an on-demand, mobile and streaming society -- live sports programming -- I expect it to actively seek M&A opportunities. In fact, Viacom would look incredible as part of larger Disney or Time Warner. There might not be two better-positioned media outfits in existence.
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VIAB $41.32 -0.27%
BCE $45.92 0.07%
DIS $105.54 0.58%
TWX $74.89 -0.98%
VZ $51.12 0.55%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,740.63 +79.92 0.45%
S&P 500 2,057.14 +6.51 0.32%
NASDAQ 4,736.1550 +19.0610 0.40%

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