Dividend Payers Help Strengthen U.S. Markets, ETFs

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds managed to inch higher Friday as dividend-generating sectors helped strengthen markets, despite the Federal Reserve’s tightening monetary policy outlook.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), were 0.1% higher Friday.

Utilities stocks in the S&P 500 were leading gains, with the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) up 0.8%.

Additionally, the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLRE), a REITs-specific ETF based on the new S&P 500 sector, added 0.4%.

The two sectors are on track to post weekly gains of 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively, the Wall Street Journal reports.