The Wall Street Bull (The Charging Bull) is seen during Covid-19 pandemic in New York, on May 26, 2020.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Dividends are at historically high level relative to depleted earnings. This is a sign that some payouts could be cut, according to Jefferies.
However, there are some companies with consistent payouts that should give consistent dividends to income-hungry investors, according to the investment bank.
The S&P 500 dividend payout ratio for the next 12 months is more than two standard deviations above its five-year average, according to Jefferies. The ratio measures dividends relative to earnings.
The last time there was a similar spike in the reading was during the 2008 financial crisis — and the number quickly reversed back to below average as companies cut dividends.