If Congress fails to buy more time, the accompanying drop in the economy could force wholly new calculations of first-half 2013 earnings. Amid uncertainty over 2013 tax rates on capital gains and corporate dividends, all manner of year-end tax selling could be in store. I expect this game of chicken to result in no fatal casualties and give it a 70% chance of resolution by Christmas, but prepare for the next month or so to be noisy and confusing if the 30% scenario prevails.

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