Stock market bulls are kind of hanging around this morning, keeping watch over matters but not exactly forcing matters ahead of the open.
The S&P futures are up two points, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up seven points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 46 points, which leaves the major indices on track for a slightly higher start following Friday's upswing.
Stock news, politics, and economics, though, aren't dominating the headlines. Bitcoin is.
The CBOE launched bitcoin futures trading, and, naturally, the futures took off, triggering two trading halts after soaring 10% and then 20%. It's fair to say that one can expect a good bit of volatility in bitcoin futures trading in the coming days and in bitcoin itself.
Stock market volatility, on the other hand, has been the antithesis of bitcoin volatility, which is to say there hasn't been any real volatility.
Accordingly, stock prices have continued to press higher, driven in part by the notion that there is little to fear at the moment so long as the Fed continues to move gradually with its interest rate hikes, the GOP continues to make progress on tax reform efforts, and North Korea and the U.S. continue to pursue a policy of all talk and no actual military action.
The prolonged state of low volatility has elicited concerns that the stock market is too complacent and could be subjected to a material sell-off in the event something truly bad does happen. Market participants aren't dismissive of that possibility, yet they simply aren't living in fear of it, partly because central banks have been at the ready for years now with stop-gap policy measures.
There will be a spotlight on several of the world's leading central banks this week. The Fed, the ECB, and the BOE will all be conducting policy meetings.
The Fed is expected on Wednesday to raise the target range for the fed funds rate. The ECB and the BOE, which meet Thursday, are anticipated to leave their key policy rates unchanged, yet there is a burgeoning view that their communication about the economic outlook will be more upbeat.
The gradual shift away from ultra-dovish policies -- and maybe even some sudden shifts if economic activity really cranks up -- is a theme that is pervasive in the 2018 market outlook.
The outlook this morning is simply a steady one.
Market participants have looked past the news report that a suspect is in custody in New York City after allegedly detonating a pipe bomb in the Port Authority. The resilience in the face of such news is another reminder of the underlying bullish bias that has kept short sellers on the wrong side of the index trade all year.
Another element of support includes some reassuring data out of China, which featured softer-than-expected inflation data and stronger-than-expected loan growth.
The JOLTS - Job Openings report for October is the only economic item of note on today's economic calendar. It will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.