The average stock in the S&P 500 is down slightly since the last Fed meeting on April 29th.  With interest rates up quite a bit since then, however, stocks with high dividend yields have been crushed.

Below we have broken up the S&P 500 into deciles (10 groups of 50 stocks each) based on dividend yield.  Decile 1 contains the highest yielding stocks while decile 10 contains stocks with low or no dividend yields.  As shown in the chart below, the top two deciles of highest yielding stocks have gotten crushed since the last Fed meeting, while the remaining deciles have performance numbers around the flat-line.

These performance numbers highlight the impact that higher rates can have on the stock market.  Stocks in the Utilities and Consumer Staples sectors that have done very well in recent years as rates have trended lower will likely continue to underperform going forward if rates keep heading higher.  If bonds decide to rally again — sending yields lower — you’ll see investors move back into high-dividend paying names.

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