Investors have opened their wallets following the fiscal bargain struck in Washington, but corporate CEOs may not be so quick to tap into their swelling coffers.
Stocks are sharply higher for the very young 2013, but uncertainty abounds as Congress faces critical deadlines in the months ahead that could yet lead to a government shutdown, not to mention steep cuts in defense and domestic spending and an inability for the U.S. to keep funding its massive deficit spending.
With all that in mind, it's hardly a good climate to bring corporate money in off the sidelines.
"Given how cantankerous the fiscal cliff negotiations were, we do not have much faith that the next round of talks, which will begin within a couple weeks and which arguably have much bigger long-run stakes, will go any better," Deutsche Bank chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna warned clients. "We do not see how this is going to be good for business spending and hiring."
Indeed, a row over raising the debt ceiling and avoiding so-called sequestration spending cuts could prove even more critical than the "fiscal cliff" negotiations that caused political paralysis and market mayhem for the latter part of 2012. (Read More: Congress Ushers in New Members, Old Problems)
The New Year's Day deal addressed only some $600 billion in tax increases and did virtually nothing to tackle entitlement spending cuts that congressional Republicans likely will tie to further increases in the $16.4 trillion national debt limit.