From Forbes' Great Speculations column:
...Meanwhile, employers across the nation are wondering how much money they should withhold from employees’ paychecks just four weeks from now. The IRS is dithering on issuing its new withholding tables, which usually come out in mid-November. Payroll departments need two or three weeks to plug the data into their computers.*Yes, we watch the calendar too, albeit for different reasons.
What if nothing happens by, say, December 15? Our forecast: We’ll see one doozy of a stock market sell-off.
“Capital gains tax rate will increase from 15% to 20% if the tax cuts are not extended,” says analyst Daniel Clifton of Strategas Research Partners. “The last time the capital gains tax rate increased – on January 1, 1987, from 20% to 28% – investors realized their gains at the lower tax rate.”
Clifton says many of his clients will decide whether to hold on or sell by December 15 a week from next Wednesday. That’s the last day to trade stocks before index options cease trading in advance of options-expiration Friday. If Congress doesn’t act, investors will.
From Friday's "First Solar Options "Max Pain" at $130 (FSLR)":
...Although there are two weeks to go in the December's it is time to start thinking about where the stock might get pinned....
...We're still thinking "long ain't wrong" on the run-up to the Dec. 14 2011 Guidance Conference Call on Tuesday, December 14, 2010. The options expire three days later....