In a generally volatile week, the 170,000-member CAPS stock-picking community seemed unsure about the best way to play. Almost every sector saw fewer outperform and underperform picks than normal, which usually indicates wariness about where the market is going in the short term. There was one sector that bucked that trend -- utilities.

Not only were there significant increases in the number of utilities picks, but the largest gains came from the players that the CAPS rating algorithm has identified as the best. Last week, the number of top players picking utilities companies to outperform increased almost 130% over the 90-day trailing average. While there were increases across the sector, the stocks with the highest increases were almost entirely companies that pay higher dividends than their competitors. Here's a closer look:

Company

Industry

Dividend Yield

Industry Average Yield

Increase in Picks

The Laclede Group (NYSE: LG)

Gas utilities

4.3

3.8

19%

UGI (NYSE: UGI)

Gas utilities

3.1

3.8

18%

Westar Energy (NYSE: WR)

Electric utilities

4.9

3.8

13%

SCANA (NYSE: SCG)

Multi-utilities

5.0

4.5

13%

Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE: SPH)

Gas utilities

6.1

3.8

12%

Pepco Holdings (NYSE: POM)

Electric utilities

5.9

3.8

11%

DPL (NYSE: DPL)

Electric utilities

5.0

3.8

11%

Are the CAPS All-Stars right? With the general sentiment among top players indicating that the bull market is over, a move into utilities, which have stable revenues and generally enjoy local monopolies, seems like a prudent move. Find out for yourself -- click the shiny green button next to the ticker to start watching these companies on your Watchlist.

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Chris Harris doesn't own any of the companies mentioned in this article. UGI is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.