Utility stocks, traditionally a haven for income investors, haven’t been getting much respect relative to other sectors. But there’s still plenty of yield available.

The Utilities Select Sector SPDR fund (ticker: XLU), a proxy for large-cap U.S. utility stocks, returned 11% this year through Sept. 7, trailing the S&P 500’s 21.5%, dividends included. The fund also trails the S&P 500 over one-, two-, three-, and five-year periods. And among the 11 sectors in the S&P 500, the utilities sector is the second-worst performer over…


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