In this free money environment, a lot of hedge funds borrow and buy these with the proceeds. When the market swoons big, at some point the margin calls start rolling in and you get forced (not panic) selling. You want to be the one picking up the pieces. I made a killing on it in '09 - but not after being stabbed by the falling knife many times first!
Yes, it can if you use margin certainly. That's why I think we have a ways more to go - Bernanke has given too much incentive to borrow against these dividend stocks, and now the fiscal cliff is creating a situation where those people *need* to get out. *Have* to get out. Dangerous combination. I hope I'm wrong.