With solid growth prospects and dividend yields above 4%, income investors would be wise to consider high-quality utilities such as Southern Company, Duke, and Public Service Enterprise Group.
As credit spreads have tightened on a nearly continuous trend over the past year, they are becoming richly valued relative to their historical average.
The utilities sector has outperformed all others so far in 2014, and several names are offering good total-return packages.
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Use this screen to ensure local companies are solid investments and not behavioral-finance traps.