Investors flock toward dividend stocks for good reason. These investments offer an income cushion during bear markets like the one we're currently experiencing. Dividend payers also tend to be more stable in times of volatility, when compared to more growth-focused stocks.

With that in mind, let's look at two attractive dividend stocks that deserve a spot on your watch list. Read on for some good reasons to buy stock in PepsiCo (PEP 1.65%) and Apple (AAPL -0.57%) today.

1. PepsiCo

PepsiCo's latest earnings report confirms that the company is operating at the top of its game. Organic sales shot higher by 16% year over year in the quarter that ended in early September. And, unlike some peers like McCormick, Pepsi achieved that growth through a mix of rising prices and increased volumes.

The company's third-quarter results represented accelerating growth, too, in both sales and earnings. "We are very pleased with our results," CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a press release, "as our global business momentum remains strong."

PepsiCo is winning market share in attractive niches including snack foods and energy drinks. Its global portfolio is providing valuable diversification, and management just raised the 2022 growth outlook.

All these wins are reflected in Pepsi's gushing cash flow, with operating cash sitting at a healthy $6.3 billion through the first three quarters of 2022. Success here is allowing the company to return roughly $8 billion to shareholders this year, mainly through a dividend payment that has been steadily rising on an annual basis for over 50 years.

2. Apple

Compared to PepsiCo, Apple is relatively new to the dividend party. But it makes up for that shorter track record by putting a long list of unique assets into an income investor's portfolio.

The tech giant has one of the most valuable brands in the world, for example. It trounces consumer tech rivals when it comes to profit margin and customer satisfaction, too, helping explain why famed investor Warren Buffett is such a fan of the stock. And Apple's financial strength is unmatched, with $79 billion in profit over the last nine months compared to $74 billion in the year-ago period.

Sure, Apple's business would be sensitive to a recession. That risk is a key reason the stock price is down over 20% so far in 2022. However, savvy investors can seek to capitalize on the sour mood on Wall Street today with an eye toward Apple's long-term outlook. The company has a clear path toward rising profitability as it sells more services. And its diverse lineup of consumer tech products should help it maintain momentum through a consumer spending pullback.

Apple's dividend likely isn't the main reason an investor would buy this stock. It yields only 0.6% today, after all, compared to PepsiCo's 2.6% yield. Still, combined with its exciting growth outlook and gushing cash flow, that dividend is a solid bonus for owning the stock.

Reinvest the dividends, meanwhile, and you'll get a chance to automatically accumulate more shares during bear markets like this, amplifying positive returns once investors' attitudes turn bullish again.