Don't Be Too Leery of the Washington Squabbles

Stocks have risen 1.5% since Jan. 2, when Congress passed the underwhelming American Taxpayer Relief Act to avoid the fiscal cliff. That climb came despite an impending trio of late-winter fiscal policy challenges that might prove even more threatening than the cliff. As discussed in ubiquitous news reports and my own "Groundhog Day" warnings, the new troubles have surfaced thanks to lawmakers' failure to cut spending, extend the debt ceiling, or delay the $100 billion fiscal 2013 budget sequester for more than two months.

I refer to the Washington minefield ahead as "DC2." After all, it could prompt scary feelings of déjà vu, given its potentially most lethal charge -- the need to extend the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling by late February. The issue has already invited comparisons to August 2011, when President Obama and Hill Republicans last skirmished over the federal borrowing limit. That coincided with a sharp drop in market confidence, as well as an unprecedented U.S. debt downgrade by Standard & Poor's....637 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.