Again, just a WAG on my part, but I'm thinking removing QE will shock the market pretty hard.
I agree a correction could be forthcoming, but for a different reason. I don't necessarily buy into this illusory shock that ending QE would have on the market. That may just be a lazy way to explain what could actually happen.
More accurately, corporations have been juicing earnings through buybacks and by retiring higher-interest debt. When QE begins to be tapered, long-term rates are likely to rise, thereby making the capital companies have been using to do this much less cheap and, hence, much less likely to be utilized. At that point, they'll have to either grow the top-line or cut costs further. Since top-line growth has been hard to find (on a relative basis) and since ending QE is not likely to reverse that, I think a return to robust revenue growth in the near-term is unlikely at this point. Further, companies are already extremely lean, so I don't see where they have much further room to cut costs either.
This brings us to the chicken/egg question of, "What will it take for companies to see top-line growth again?" On the one-hand, revenue growth could theoretically be achieved by expanding a firm's labor force and/or its capital base. On the other hand, both of those events would likely hinge on the consumer being strong, which is precisely not the case (even barring some improvement in consumer confidence).
Since the 1960s, personal consumption (C) has grown from roughly 55% of GDP to over 70% today, as our economy has increasingly come to rely on the consumer. If you think about the remaining components of GDP, private investment (I) has been minimal as corporations are not prone to spend while the consumer is so weak; as always, we're still running trade deficits (X-M); and pressure is being put on the government to curtail spending (G).
With C weak, and with I dependent in part on C, where else is growth supposed to come from? This is one reason I think the fiscal and regulatory policies of recent years have been so harmful to our economy. Consumers are experiencing price inflation outpace wage inflation, their taxes have gone up (payroll tax expiry), and costs continue to rise (particularly health care costs). That explains why the consumer is still only spending on non-discretionary items such as automobiles (the age of the U.S. fleet is as old as it's ever been) and housing. Yet interest rates going up is likely to pull the rug from underneath housing, so we can't even count on the housing sector to pull us out of this economic rut we're in. Likewise, the auto market has also shown some recent sensitivity to interest rates, too.
I will say this (and this is not political; it's an economic judgment of a political decision), the one thing you don't do in an environment like this is a massive overhaul of 1/6 of your economy. You should instead be bending over backwards to give small business as much visibility as you possibly can, whether with respect to fiscal or regulatory policy. Things like Dodd-Frank and Obamacare do precisely the opposite.