By Douglas McIntyre of InvestorPlaceNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- High yield dividend stocks are easier to find than you think. Income investors looking for safe dividend stocks to stash their retirement money in are already familiar with many blue chips that have hefty yields. It's just that when investors stop at the grocery store or pay their phone bill, they aren't thinking about how the big brands they're doing business with are actually good income investments. The market sell-off and skepticism about earnings in several sectors have driven the stock prices of some of Americas most famous companies to outrageous levels. Yields are also rising as more companies with cash hordes begin to use it for share buy-backs and dividend increases. Here are seven of Americas best know public corporations with yields that are about twice what 10-year Treasuries pay. These low-risk blue chips are some of the most famous high yield dividend stocks out there. 1. AT&T ( T) has a dividend yield of 6.6% and at $25.43, its shares trade nowhere near their 52-week high. Investors are concerned about the falling number of landline customers, possible price wars in the cellular business, and the chance that another carrier may get the iPhone. This could be a good value investment for share price appreciation -- and if T just moves sideways, it is a high yield dividend stock that's worth a look simply for the regular quarterly paychecks. 2. Verizon ( VZ) has a yield of 6.5%. It may end up selling the iPhone, but investors are facing the chance that some of the company's cash will go to pay a special dividend to its wireless partner Vodafone. Its FiOS home TV and broadband base is not growing as fast as analysts would like. As with AT&T, this high yield dividend stock could wind up a good value play -- and if not it still offers a good income stream. 3. Altria ( MO) is the domestic half of the old Philip Morris, the marketer of Marlboro. The company has a 7% yield. The number of smokers is falling. There is a temptation for states to raise tobacco taxes to increase income eroded by the recession, and the federal government is increasing its regulation of the industry. But on the plus side, there are very few tobacco companies in the U.S. so Altria has little competition. Altria is still a cash machine, and is a strong high yield dividend stock.
4. Philip Morris ( PM) is Altria's international counterpart behind some of the biggest names in cigarettes. Tobacco litigation is not as large a problem outside the U.S., but there is a lot of competition from big companies like British American Tobacco. PM stock has lagged the market recently, down about 4% year-to-date compared with a small rise in the Dow and up about 10% in the last year compared with over 20% gains in the broader market. Still, this dividend stock boasts a high yield of 5.1% so it may be worth a look for investors.5. Eli Lilly ( LLY), one of the large pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. It has a 5.7% dividend yield. Big pharma stocks are under pressure as their drugs go off-patent and face generic competition. The R&D to replace those drugs can cost billions, so Lilly may need a good chunk of change to keep its business running. However, this high yield dividend stock has shown no sign of slashing its payout anytime in the near future. 6. Southern Company ( SO) is one of the biggest utilities in the country. Like most of the firms in its sector, shares don't move much throughout the year with a 52-week high/low of $30.20 and $35.45. If you're looking for a high yield dividend stock that also provides good share price appreciation, SO may not fit the bill. But Southern Co. makes up for its sluggish stock with a very nice 5.3% yield and low risk. 7. American Electric Power ( AEP) is another massive utility company. Again, not a lot of price movement, but a 5.2% yield. Utility stocks like this with a high dividend yield may not be the most glamorous investment, but they can provide stability and regular payouts you can count on.