People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the diversified utilities industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on diversified utilities stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at which stocks catch people's interest the most in an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked. The industry has been chugging along and investors who understand the advantages of dividends have been reaping the rewards.

The most-watched diversified utilities stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player latinoeconomist wrote last month:

High dividend yield, stable yield, relatively low P/E.

Here are the rest of the 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.



Market Cap 
(in Millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest


Consolidated Edison $15,369 *** 28%


Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) $27,638 **** 9.9%


PG & E (NYSE: PCG) $16,571 **** 8.7%


Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG) $15,976 **** 7.4%


Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE) $12,070 ***** 4.9%


CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) $8,253 ***** 4.2%


Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) $11,504 *** 4.1%


Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG) $3,975 ** 4.0%


Ameren (NYSE: AEE) $6,839 ** 2.9%


CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS) $4,906 ** 2.8%


NiSource (NYSE: NI) $5,664 *** 2.6%


OGE Energy (NYSE: OGE) $4,865 *** 2.2%


DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) $8,432 *** 2.1%


SCANA (NYSE: SCG) $5,047 ***** 2.0%


TECO Energy (NYSE: TE) $4,000 ***** 1.8%

Sources: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Consolidated Edison or are watching an up-and-comer like Integrys Energy Group, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Veolia Environnement. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dominion Resources. 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.