The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 33 points on September 10. This extended its losing streak to seven straight days. The energy-heavy index has struggled under the weight of weaker crude prices and anxiety surrounding ongoing trade negotiations between Canada and the United States.
The Canadian dollar also slipped after it was revealed that the country shed 51,600 jobs in August. This represented the largest single-month decline since 2009. For those looking for a silver lining, job losses were part time, while full-time jobs saw an increase. Canadians will hope for a positive resolution to trade talks, but it is possible that the fall will bring choppy conditions in domestic markets.
Many investors may choose to look long, and those saving for retirement may want to target safe income-yielding stocks during this period. Let’s look at three top stocks that fit the criteria today.
Enbridge stock fell 0.96% on September 10. Shares have dropped 5.5% over the past month. The stock gained considerable momentum over the course of an energy-fueled April rally and was also boosted by good news in Minnesota that saw the approval of its Line 3 Replacement from regulators.
On August 24, Enbridge announced that it would acquire all public equity in Spectra Energy in a transaction that was valued at $4.3 billion. The company received more news on August 30 as the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved the amalgamation of Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas Ltd. Enbridge stock has slipped since the 2014-2015 oil price shock, but the company has picked up nicely in the first two quarters of 2018. Adjusted earnings have climbed to $2.46 billion over $1.33 billion in the prior year and adjusted earnings per share are up to $1.47 from $0.95 in the first six months.
Enbridge leadership has vowed to post dividend growth into the next decade. The stock currently offers a quarterly dividend of $0.671 per share.
Hydro One (TSX:H)
Hydro One is the top utility in Ontario. In early August, I’d discussed why Hydro One was an enticing buy-low candidate, even as political turmoil had battered the stock price. Shares are up 3.4% over the past month.
Hydro One reported a 70% increase in earnings per share in the second quarter to $0.34. The company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share, representing a 4.5% dividend yield. Political theatre aside, Hydro One boasts a wide moat and an attractive dividend.
BCE stock has dropped 12.4% in 2018 so far. Like utilities, telecom stocks have also suffered under the pressure of rate tightening. The sharp plunge in BCE’s share price should interest investors on the hunt for a bargain.
In the second quarter, BCE saw adjusted EBITDA grow 2% to $2.43 billion. Postpaid wireless additions were the story again — up 37.8% year over year to 122,092, the highest reported since 2000. The board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.755 per share, representing a 5.5% dividend yield.
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Fool contributor Ambrose O'Callaghan owns shares of HYDRO ONE LIMITED. Enbridge is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.