So far in 2012, high yielding stocks have significantly underperformed. This is in stark contrast to 2011 when the highest yielding stocks beat the market by a wide margin.
As shown in the first chart below, the average stock in the S&P 500 that pays no dividend is up 15.75% year to date. Stocks that pay a dividend are up an average of 9.14%. The 200 highest yielding stocks in the index are up an average of 5.7%, while the 100 highest yielders are up just 2.17%. The 50 highest yielders in the S&P are essentially flat year to date, and the 25 highest yielders are actually down an average of 2.13%.
Below is a list of the 25 S&P 500 stocks that had the highest dividend yields at the start of the year. As shown, 17 out of the 25 stocks listed are in the red so far this year.
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