Standard & Poor’s calculates that the forward 12-month dividend rate for the S&P 500 is $13.9 billion higher than it was at the end of 2002. Factoring in the dividend tax cut, this will bring investors $46.7 billion more in profits each year, according to S&P.

"Despite what is usually a typically quiet period for dividends announcements, this July has seen the heaviest number of dividends increases and initiations in recent memory," said Howard Silverblatt, equity market analyst, Standard & Poor’s. "This compares to 34 increases in February and 30 in January, historically the largest dividend months."

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