Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Congress is pushing back the debt-ceiling deadline.
The House voted today to suspend the impending debt ceiling another three months, pushing the deadline back to May 19 instead of February 19. The idea is to give Congress more time to negotiate a longer-term solution while being able to still pay its bills.
The bill must first pass through the Senate before President Obama can sign off on it.
Should that happen, it will give wary investors three months of extra breathing room too. Not that debt-ceiling uncertainty has been holding stocks down of late anyway.
The S&P 500 is up 2% since the fiscal cliff was settled and the debt-ceiling deadline took center stage. Stocks were already at a five-year high even before today’s news.
Judging by the minimal market reaction in the 30 minutes since the House passed the bill, it seems that the debt ceiling isn’t worrying investors the way the fiscal cliff did. Wall Street is way more interested in what will happen when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reports earnings in a couple hours.
That said, the debt ceiling is sure to weigh heavily on investors’ minds once we get within a week or two of the deadline. At least now we won’t have to worry about that until the spring.