NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's been a volatile two weeks for U.S. stocks. The Dow Jones Select Dividend Index (DVY), the benchmark of the model portfolio, has declined three straight sessions, yet is virtually unchanged over the past couple of weeks.
Even though the model portfolio has dipped into negative territory for 2015 this week, we maintain that dividends offer investors relative stability in a volatile market environment. We continue to find value in companies that consistently grow earnings that can fund annual dividend increases. Along those lines, we will issue a list of companies next Monday that we believe can increase their dividends in the second quarter.
ConocoPhillips (COP) rebounded more than 3% this week and recently changed hands around $63.36. Ahead of the company's analyst meeting on April 8, management said they have extended projected capital spending budget cuts through 2017, because of lower expected oil prices. That said, ConocoPhillips believes it can still grow overall production and support its quarterly dividend of 73 cents a share.
We maintain the stock is attractive at current levels, for its 4.6% dividend yield.
General Electric (GE) lost 2% over the past two weeks and recently changed hands around $24.79. The company said on March 15 that it sold its Australia/New Zealand financial services unit to a consortium of buyers, for an enterprise value of $6.3 billion. As management continues to move the firm back to its industrial roots, we believe earnings growth can re- accelerate in the coming quarters.
The stock remains attractive to purchase at current levels, for its 3.7% dividend yield. Helmerich & Payne (HP) bounced back 9% over the past two weeks, along with the underlying price of oil, and recently changed hands around $68.92. We maintain the company is attractive at current levels for its 4% dividend yield.
Campbell Soup (CPB) declared its next quarterly dividend of $0.312 a share (2.75% yield) on March 25. Investors at the close of trading on April 8 will qualify for the payment on May 4.