The performance of Standard & Poor's Dividend Aristocrats is holding up well on a year to date basis. Through August 8, 2008, the market cap weighted rate of return for the Aristocrats is approximately -4.4% versus the S&P 500 Index return of -12.2%.
Out of the top five performing companies on a year to date basis, three are involved in takeovers: Rohm & Haas (ROH), Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (WWY) and Anheuser-Busch (BUD). The table below outlines performance data for the Aristocrats.
A direct link to the spreadsheet is available at this Aristocrats link.