Wall Street survey: Sequester likely, will take stock market toll

The respondents are much more optimistic about avoiding a government shutdown, due to arrive when the government's continuing resolution expires March 27. Just 15 percent of those surveyed are anticipating a government shutdown, as the overwhelming majority believes both parties can strike a funding compromise to keep the government's doors open.

While many investment professionals see long odds in a government shutdown, they are united on the havoc it would wreak on the stock market. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed believe a government shutdown would drop the Dow by at least five percent.

Despite those looming threats to financial stability, those surveyed overall had a rosy perspective when it came to the financial markets going into 2013. Asked to rate their optimism on U.S. markets on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being extremely optimistic), 70 percent fell on the more optimistic side of the scale, and 13 percent were dead center at a rating of 5. However, no one surveyed said they were as optimistic as possible, while 2 percent said they did have the gloomiest view.