Dividend Sale in Aisle 4: Any Buyers?

by: Mark McQueen

We are all so past being wowed by the market’s capacity to careen. There’s Torstar (OTC:TORSF) with a 9.5% dividend. Canadian Oilsands (OTCQX:COSWF) is now forecast to pay a 15.6% annual distribution. Bank of Montreal's (NYSE:BMO) dividend yield is at 8.4%. Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE) is north of 7%, and it runs a pipeline business. “Highly rated” JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) bounced above 6.5%. Even Royal Bank (NYSE:RY) and Manulife (NYSE:MFC) have inched up to ~5.6%.

All I keep thinking is: most people have neither the capital nor the conviction to enter at these levels. But, with the S&P 500 now 52% off its 2007 high, these dividend levels have arrived with all of the grace and nuance of a 24 pound newborn.

Having feared that the Dow Jones would head below 8,000 (see prior post “Globe & Mail coverage on stock market turmoil” October 6-08) back when it was at 10,230, I wish I felt as though 7,000 wasn’t just days away.

You know the old saying about “for every seller there is a buyer”? Why does it feel as though the people that buy on the one day just turn around and sell a few days later at a loss?

Damn those hedge funds!

Disclosure: None