From the Wall Street Journal:
The uncertainty over looming tax increases is starting to affect both investing and corporate decision-making.
The economy remains the biggest factor in many investors' and businesses' decisions. But worries over whether Congress will extend some of the expiring Bush-era tax breaks are emerging as another important one.
Stock prices of utilities, for example, recently have appeared to be factoring in the possibility of significantly higher dividend taxes next year, several analysts say. Some companies are pumping up dividend payments this year to beat the possible 2011 tax increase, and their shares have rallied.
Small-business owners say unease about tax policy, along with the economy, has led them to hold off on hiring and investment. And many advisers are encouraging well-to-do clients to sell appreciated assets to avoid higher capital-gains taxes.