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It may be a cliche, but it’s true that the stock market isn’t the economy. Values fluctuate based on a seemingly infinite number of variables, from the real (earnings) to the intangible (sentiment). So even though U.S. equities are near all-time highs, that isn’t necessarily a sign that all is well with corporate America.

One sign that executives may not be all that confident in the outlook is the market for commercial paper. Even with a slight pullback the last two weeks, companies have been issuing these short-term corporate IOUs at pace not seen since 2011. The amount outstanding has jumped from $1.05 trillion at the start of the year to as much as $1.16 trillion earlier this month, according to the Federal Reserve. Although the amount eased back to $1.14 trillion in the latest weekly data that was released last week, that’s still more than at any time in the past eight years.

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