NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- With the rate on 30-year mortgages down near 4.4% and 10-year Treasury note yields at eight-month lows on slowing economic growth in the United States, income-seeking investors may have sardonically lamented the debt ceiling increase and the rise in interest rates that never happened. With interest rates scraping rock bottom, some 'buy'-rated exchange-traded funds offer compelling dividend income yields.
At a current dividend yield of 5.18% over the trailing 12 months, SPDR S&P International Telecommunications Sector ETF ( IST) compares favorably to 12-month bank certificates of deposit offering yields of less than one half of one percent. The fund pays out quarterly distributions of dividend income collected from the 58 telecom service sector companies it holds such as Vodafone Group ( VOD), Telefonica SA ( TEF), and France Telecom ( FTE). The SPDR S&P International Telecommunications Sector ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the S&P Developed Ex-U.S. BMI Telecommunication Services Sector Index, an index that tracks the telecommunications sector of developed global markets outside the United States. By following this index, this ETF attempts to maintain low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs. The fund reports an expense ratio of just 0.50%. If monthly income is desired, check out the SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Build America Bond ETF ( BABS) with a current dividend yield of 5.01% and an expense ratio of just 0.35%. The SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Build America Bond ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Barclays Capital Build America Bond Index. The index tracks the taxable municipal securities market of "Qualified Bonds" under the Build America Bond program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or other taxable municipal securities on which the issuer receives federal support of the interest paid such as direct pay Build America Bonds. An interesting choice for an ETF that pays annual dividends would be Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) offering a current dividend yield of 8.56% on an expense ratio of 0.54%. The fund targets small- and medium capitalization companies that generate at least 50% of their revenues from gold and silver mining or hold real property with the potential to produce at least 50% of the company's revenue from gold or silver mining when developed. These include holdings of Allied Nevada Gold Corp ( ANV), Silver Standard Resources ( SSRI), Silvercorp Metals Inc ( SVM), and MineFinders Corp ( MFN). -- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla. For additional Investment Research check out our Ratings Research Center.