Uncertainty about the economy has led companies to continuebuilding their cash reserves instead of making capital investmentsor hiring new workers, CNBC reports. JPMorgan says the cashholdings of companies in the S&P 500 are approaching $1.5trillion.

While the buildup of cash has been going on for years now, JimPaulsen, Wells Capital Management chief strategist, argues thatinvestors are going to start losing patience with companies giventhe stock market's poor performance recently. He suggests activistinvestors may begin focusing on companies' cash holdings.

The November elections and the fiscal cliff are other issuescausing companies to behave cautiously. Quincy Krosby, chief marketstrategist at Prudential Annuities, says companies may pay outspecial dividends later this year because of taxconsiderations.

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