European Debt Crisis

Are stocks the new bonds? Why investors are buying now

As bond yields plunge to record lows and investors look for income, they're pouring money into stocks, sending the market to its own record highs.

Once upon a time, if you were an investor who wanted a steady stream of income, you would probably think of U.S. Treasury bonds. Backed by the solid credit of the U.S. government, those bonds were considered ultra-dependable forms of income that wouldn't lose value.

You couldn't count on stocks to pay you a return like that. The dividends stocks paid were usually smaller, and you also ran the risk of losing some of your investment if the stock price declined.

Now that stocks, broadly speaking, actually pay more than many...