Many traders and investors are now very concerned with the U.S. fiscal cliff that is rapidly approaching. Other stock market negatives for traders and investors are the weak Chinese market, the debt crisis in Europe, and constant tensions in the Middle East. These are all valid reasons for investors to be hesitant when it comes to buying equities in the near term.
Just over the past few days several companies have started to issue special dividend payouts before the end of the year is reached and the Bush tax cuts expire. Companies such as Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST), and AOL Inc (NYSE:AOL) are just the latest companies to announce special dividend payouts before the end of year when the tax implications are due to change. This one factor alone could keep a bid under the market into the end of the year.
There is now a lot of chatter in the market among traders that many leading cash rich companies such Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corp (NYSE:MSFT), and International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) could issue a special dividend before the end of 2012. This potential dividend will keep a lot of traders and investors from selling short the market because they do not want to have to pay the dividend themselves. This single factor will likely keep these markets buoyant in the near term.