Apple (AAPL) is trading 5.1% higher in pre-market action after the company delivered better-than-expected fiscal second quarter earnings results and reassuring third quarter guidance. That's about all you need to know to understand why the futures for the major indices are all pointing to a higher open, but of course there is more to the headline story.
Apple beat, but so did the likes of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), CVS Health (CVS), Estee Lauder (EL), Hilton (HLT), Humana (HUM), Johnson Controls (JCI), Mondelez (MDLZ) ,and Royal Caribbean (RCL), which is to say there is plenty of good earnings headlines to go around to feed the market's bullish appetite.
It isn't just the earnings headlines, though.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin tweeted that he concluded "productive meetings" with China's Vice Premier Liu He; press reports indicate Prime Minister May and the Labour Party could be nearing a compromise on a Brexit plan; and the ADP Employment Change report for April left little doubt that private-sector hiring activity was robust.
Then, there is the headline that the bull market's favorite thing is taking place today: an FOMC decision.
It's a favorite because everyone knows the Fed isn't going to be raising interest rates. The directive is bound to give a nod to improving economic activity and observe that inflation pressures remain muted. Fed Chair Powell, meanwhile, is apt to give yet another nod at his press conference to the idea that the Fed isn't inclined to raise interest rates anytime soon.
The directive comes at 2:00 p.m. ET and the press conference follows at 2:30 p.m. ET.
If there is a grainy headline in the otherwise smooth mix of headlines today, it is the recognition that geopolitical fires are heating up in Venezuela. Oil prices, though, are down 0.8% this morning to $63.38 per barrel, Treasury yields are flat to up modestly, and, as noted above, the major indices are on course to trade higher at the opening bell.
What that tells us is that the Venezuelan situation still isn't a "situation" in the market's mind.
The labor market situation, however, appears to be in good standing.
ADP estimates 275,000 positions (Briefing.com consensus 170,000) were added to private-sector payrolls in April, with those gains occurring across businesses of all sizes and across most industries.
The service-providing sector accounted for 223,000 positions while the goods-producing sector accounted for the rest. Notably, the strongest gains were seen in professional and business services (59,000), which often involve higher-paying positions.
The ADP report has set a hopeful tone ahead of the Employment Situation Report for April that will be released on Friday.
Other data due today includes the ISM Manufacturing Index for April (Briefing.com consensus 55.0; Prior 55.3) and Construction Spending for March (Briefing.com consensus +0.1%; Prior +1.0%). Both reports will be released at 10:00 ET.
The bulls, meanwhile, will be released at 09:30 ET. Currently, the S&P futures are up nine points and are trading 0.3% above fair value. The Nasdaq 100 futures are up 52 points and are trading 0.7% above fair value. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 88 points and are trading 0.4% above fair value.
As a reminder, most major markets in Europe and Asia were closed today for May Day/Labour Day. That might keep total volume in check, yet U.S. participants have plenty to work with if they so choose to get involved in today's trading action.