Perhaps ironically, the increasing unlikelihood of meaningful changes to Fed policy on Sept. 18 is keeping stock investors engaged, at least for now. And why not? Quantitative easing may be subject to the law of diminishing returns, but returns there still are. Even the highest estimate of Fed de facto tightening of its QE3 policy is to slow the bond buying from $85 billion down to $65 billion; that's still equivalent to the stimulus associated with QE2 -- the same stimulus that is credited with second-half 2010 gains as well as first-half 2011 success.

Of course, before getting giddy about the strong possibility of stateside stimulus, I must emphasize a preference for "steady-as-she-goes" foreign stimulus. For example, the Bank of England has been making it real easy to like iShares United Kingdom ( EWU).

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