Dividends Bustin’ Out All Over

Number of S&P 500 companies paying dividends is highest in 12 years.

More Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies are paying dividends than at any time since January 2000 after Apple Inc., Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and six other corporations initiated payouts this year.

The number has risen to 401, according to data compiled by Howard Silverblatt, S&P’s senior index analyst. His estimate for total payouts this year, which Silverblatt said is under review, is a record $279 billion.

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