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Blue Chip Garnering Increased Attention as Dow Hits Record High

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 7, 2013) - Blue chips have garnered increased attention from investors in 2013 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average have hovering near an all-time high. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14253.77, topping its previous high of 14164.53, which was set in October 2007. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in Blue Chips and provides equity research on Alcoa Inc. ( NYSE : AA ) and Verizon Communications Inc. ( NYSE : VZ ).

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Dividend payments from Dow Jones Industrial Average constituents have experienced a steady rebound since falling sharply during the financial crisis. Trailing 12-month dividends per share for the 30 companies that make up the Dow was a combined $348.61 as of the end of January. The total was the highest level seen since January 2008, and just short of the all-time high of $372.46 set in May 2007, according to FactSet. Data from FactSet showed blue chips held roughly $487.9 billion in cash at the end of 2012, an increase of 70 percent when compared to the end of 2008.

"When you look at the overall dividends, yes, they're [near] all-time highs. But the ability for companies to increase dividends from here remains very strong," said Dreyfus Corp.'s Chief Investment Officer, Chris Sheldon.

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Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world's largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. Alcoa currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.12 a share, for a dividend yield of approximately 1.40 percent. The company swung to a net income of $242 million in the fourth quarter 2012, compared to a net loss of $191 million a year prior.

Verizon Communications currently offers investors an annual dividend of $2.06 a share, for a dividend yield of approximately 4.35 percent. Shares of the company have gained roughly 22 percent over the past year. Verizon reported consolidated fourth quarter operating revenues exceeded $30.0 billion for the first time in company history.

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