The one constant for financial markets for the rest of 2012 can be summed up in one word: uncertainty, according Washington D.C. pundit Andy Friedman.
Friedman advised attendees at the Raymond James Financial Services national conference on Tuesday to expect to see little market clarity until after January.
On the top of the list of issues that can conceivably effect the economy and financial markets: the Supreme Court's expected June ruling on the legality of President Obama's national health care law and the November presidential election.
Friedman also said not to expect much from Congress in a presidential election year, with Congress likely to drag its feet in dealing with the nation's budget deficit, the debt limit and tax legislation. He also predicted "the mother of all lame-duck sessions" in Congress when it returns after Thanksgiving.
Friedman predicts that the outcome of this year's presidential election will likely be decided by independent voters, as was the case in 2008, since they are more concerned about economic issues rather than social ones, such as gay marital rights. He cited a recent poll in which independent voters gave President Barack Obama a 50 percent approval rating, but only a 9 percent approval rating for Congress.
Regardless of which party wins the presidential election, Friedman said, it will have to face the sequestration budget cuts enacted last year. Congress must also pass a 2013 budget that's likely to require the raising of the nation's debt ceiling limit.