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Trending: PepsiCo, a Dividend Giant; Cisco Stock Trades Ex-Dividend analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.

Wall Street started 2017 in positive territory, as post-election optimism returned to the financial markets after the holiday lull period. Dividend stocks in the consumer staples, technology and healthcare industries made headlines this week, as investors continued to bet on sectors tied to the U.S. consumer. A recently released study by insurer Transamerica also revealed troubling statistics about U.S. retirement planning, with few workers expressing confidence about their 401(k) savings.

To compare this week’s trends with our previous edition, visit: Trending: Oil Stocks Respond to Non-OPEC Deal.

This Week

PepsiCo: Bullish Bets Rising

Pepsico Stock dividend chart

PepsiCo (PEP ) may not be in the headlines very often, but it has attracted widespread attention from institutions and income investors seeking stable returns and long-term growth. Its viewership rose 37% last week, giving it the top spot on our list. While PEP has largely underperformed the market since the November 8 U.S. presidential election, it has returned 63% over the past five years and boasts a strong 2.87% yield. More than $8 billion worth of PEP stocks are held in ETFs, a sign fund managers have taken notice of the iconic beverage maker’s strong dividend history. To learn more about the best dividend ETFs, visit the following page.

These and other factors led to unusually high contract volumes of PEP stock this past week, with bullish bets making up the lion’s share of activity. To learn more about PepsiCo’s dividend history, click here.

For the latest dividend news and analysis about PEP or other dividend stocks, visit our News section.

2016: A Year of Reflection for Retirement Planners

In a year that witnessed paradigm shifts in the global economy, it’s easy to feel unprepared for retirement. This was the key takeaway from a recent study completed by Transamerica’s Center for Retirement Studies, which found that most Americans weren’t saving enough toward their golden years. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that Michael Flannelly’s A Simple Guide To Understanding 401(k)s takes the second spot on this week’s list with a 30% rise in traffic.

Transamerica’s multi-year study found only 39% of workers said they had either fully recovered or were not impacted by the Great Recession. While retirement savings have increased in recent years, 401(k)s will yield the average worker less than $6,000 of sustainable income each year at a 4% withdrawal rate, assuming the current savings rate.

To learn more about retirement planning, visit’s Retirement Center.

Cisco Stock Trades Ex-Dividend

Cisco Stock Dividend Chart

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO ) began trading ex-dividend on January 4, and as a result saw its traffic rise 27% during the week. The networking and communications juggernaut returned 11.3% in 2016, despite a nearly 5% drop in the final quarter that severely underperformed the broader market. Despite its shaky stock performance recently, CSCO is expected to be a strong dividend payer in 2017. The company reported stronger than expected quarterly earnings this past November, setting the stage for a solid FY2017. Cisco has expanded its presence in the market for Internet of Things (IOT), a potential multi-trillion-dollar industry.

Ex-dividend dates are essential for income investing because you must own a stock before its ex-dividend date to be eligible for the next dividend payout. To find out upcoming ex-dividend dates, including Cisco’s, use our Ex-Dividend tool. Simply enter your desired ex-dividend date range to receive a list of stocks that can be ordered by the ex-dividend date, dividend yield, stock symbol or company name.

Omega HealthCare Investors Looking for a Bounce Back Year

Omega Healthcare Dividend Chart

With a 24% rise in visibility, Omega HealthCare Investors Inc. (OHI ) takes the fourth and final spot on our weekly list. The real estate investment trust (REIT) is coming off a dismal year, having missed on earnings estimates on multiple occasions. Despite earning a consensus hold rating among analysts, the State of Tennessee Treasury Department purchased 70,000 shares of OHI in the third quarter, increasing its position by 157%, according to its recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Real estate is the newest addition to the S&P 500 Index, and now represents one of the 11 main components of the benchmark average.

The Bottom Line

U.S. stocks started the year on a positive note, but the path ahead is less certain as weak global growth and geopolitical risks continue to dominate headlines. Wall Street is banking on a stronger domestic recovery fueled by favorable growth policies by the incoming Republican administration.

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