U.S. Stock ETFs Advance with Dividend-Payers Taking the Lead

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds strengthened Tuesday, with dividend-paying stocks leading the charge.

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 up 0.2% Tuesday.

Meanwhile, utilities stocks in the S&P 500 increased 0.8% and were among the best performers in the broad index for the day, along with other dividend-paying segments like financials up 0.6% and real estate 0.3% higher.

U.S. markets have been hovering around record levels in recent months, despite concerns that political risk in Washington, D.C. could derail the Trump administration’s plans for pro-growth policy changes, like tax cuts, deregulation and fiscal stimulus. Additionally, a strong corporate season and ongoing economic growth are bolstering equities and fueling a risk-on sentiment.

“First-quarter profits were clearly exceptional–not just better than what analysts forecasted – and I think that’s the primary reason why this market just keeps driving higher,” Ed Keon, managing director and portfolio manager with QMA, told the Wall Street Journal.