BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Dividends are front-and-center again this week, grabbing the spotlight as earnings releases flood Wall Street. The slew of new dividend data that accompanies earnings is significant, particularly now.That's because uncertainty remains incredibly high in the market right now; coupled with a record low-rate environment, investors are clamoring for a share of corporations' record cash reserves right now. Dividends do that. And the Wall Street consensus is that they'll continue to do so for the foreseeable future. With few low-risk ways to deploy cash right now, companies are opting to return it to shareholders through dividends and distributions rather than invest it in risks assets. As a result, investors are expecting Dow component stocks to have hiked their year-to-date payouts by almost 12% after earnings season is completed. >>5 Under-$10 Stocks With Big Upside Potential There's good reason to pay attention to those dividend increases right now: 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 data compiled by Ned Davis Research. The numbers are even more compelling when looking at companies that consistently increase their payouts. With that, here's a look at our list of recent dividend-increasers.