The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was launched by Charles Dow way back in 1896, making it one of the oldest stock indexes. At the time, it was simply an average of the stock market's top 12 stocks.

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Since then, the calculating of the Dow has gotten a little more complicated, although it has lost its cachet as the premier benchmark of the stock market; that title now belongs to the S&P 500. However, it isn't time to forget the Dow altogether: the most blue chip stocks of the U.S. stock market belong to this index, making it a great choice for risk-averse investors who are looking for an index-tracking ETF.

SEE: Index Investing: The Dow Jones Industrial Average

Unfortunately, the Dow 30 as a whole has a low dividend yield (only around 2.5%). Therefore, if you are an income investor who is counting on a reliable stream of dividend payments, the Dow 30's low yield might make it less attractive as a core holding.

However, if you sift through the index's 30 component stocks, you will notice that a number of them are high-yielding, consistent dividend payers. The index also includes a number of blue chips with solid dividend yields.

SEE: Introduction To Dividend Yields Video

For all of you dividend fiends out there, we combed through the Dow 30 to find some of the best yielding stocks:

Company Dividend Yield Market Cap (Billions)
AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T) 5.20% $199B
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) 4.80% $117B
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) 4.50% $114B
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) 4.00% $165B
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) 3.50% $202B

SEE: How Dividends Work For Investors

The Bottom Line
Dividends matter. After all, a dividend check can help investors sleep easily, knowing they own a piece of a stable company with the ability to make money. Best of all, dividends are cash-in-hand, leaving investors with the favorable choice on how to spend or invest them.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

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