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The FTSE 100 is falling! I’d buy these 2 cheap dividend stocks today for a passive income

Buying FTSE 100 shares today to make a passive income may not seem to be a sound move. After all, the index has fallen heavily in recent weeks, and there is a good chance that there are further declines ahead in the short run.

However, the index’s fall means that many of its members now have higher yields. And, in the long run, they could deliver dividend growth and capital returns as their share prices recover.

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With that in mind, here are two FTSE 100 shares that could be worth buying today to generate a generous passive income in the long run.

HSBC

The uncertain outlook for the world economy has contributed to a decline in HSBC’s (LSE: HSBA) share price in recent weeks. Since the start of the year, it is down by 20%. This fall follows a period of weak investor sentiment towards the banking stock. Why so? Well, it has seen a turbulent period including a CEO change and disappointing growth rates in part of the business.

The bank’s recent update highlighted the changes its interim CEO intends to make. They include investing in its most promising growth areas and maintaining cost discipline throughout the business.

Clearly though, HSBC’s financial prospects are likely to be negatively impacted by the spread of coronavirus. As such, its dividend growth rate may fail to be especially impressive in the near term. There is some good news though. The stock now has a dividend yield of 8.4% from a payout due to be covered 1.3 times by net profit in the current year. That means its income investing potential appears to be high.

As such, now could be the right time to buy a slice of the business and hold it for the long run.

Imperial Brands

HSBC has a relatively high yield, but it still lags the income return of fellow FTSE 100 company Imperial Brands (LSE: IMB). The tobacco giant’s dividend yield currently stands at 13%. This hints that investors are expecting a reduction in its dividend payout over the medium term.

Imperial Brands appears to be able to afford its current dividend payout. For example, in the current year, its shareholder payout is expected to be covered 1.2 times by net profit.

A new CEO is set to start work and as its operating environment has been challenging for a number of quarters, investors might be worried about the dividend. They seem to be of the view that Imperial Brands could reinvest a greater proportion of its profit to improve its long-term growth outlook.

The company is facing an uncertain set of trading conditions that have produced underwhelming performance levels in its next-generation products segment. But it is still forecast to post earnings growth in the next financial year. Therefore, Imperial Brands could offer income investing potential over the long term. You may have to wait a while though as it could continue to experience a challenging outlook in the short run.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of HSBC Holdings and Imperial Brands. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings and Imperial Brands. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.