Last week closed on a positive note and this week looks poised at least to open on one. The S&P futures are up eight points and are trading 0.4% above fair value. The Nasdaq 100 futures are up 37 points and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 84 points.
For the most part, it is a carryover trade from Friday, which neutralized what had been shaping up to be a disappointing week.
Today's news flow is varied, yet nothing jumps out as a "shocker" that would prompt an abrupt undoing of Friday's gains.
Press reports continue to detail that there were no major breakthroughs in the trade talks between the U.S. and China; Warren Buffett continues to preach the advantage of owning stocks for the long term, particularly versus bonds right now; NAFTA talks are restarting this week; and oil prices are popping (+1.3% to $70.61) again on geopolitical issues, namely the specter of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
There aren't any true surprises in that battery of headlines nor is it a surprise to hear that the first quarter earnings reporting period is shaping up to be the best since the third quarter of 2010.
Everything, it seems, has a bit of a recycled feel to it, which is why the market overall remains range-bound.
Today's corporate news features the report that Nestle (NSRGY) will pay Starbucks (SBUX) $7.15 billion, plus royalties, for the perpetual rights to market Starbucks consumer and foodservice products globally.
There are a few other corporate transactions of note: Gramercy Property Trust (GPT) is being acquired by Blackstone (BX) for approximately $7.6 billion, or $27.50 per share, in cash; and International Flavors (IFF) is paying about $7.1 billion, including the assumption of net debt, to buy Frutarom.
There aren't any blockbuster deals, however, so these transactions are providing more industry-specific support than they are market-moving support.
Still, they fit with the improved trading tone that took root on Friday and have helped fertilize the carryover bias.
The lone economic release of note today is the Consumer Credit report for March (Briefing .com consensus $16.1 billion; Prior $10.6 billion), which will cross the wires at 3:00 p.m. ET.
That report will be sandwiched between remarks from several Fed speakers: Richmond Fed President Barkin (FOMC voter) at 2:00 p.m. ET and Dallas Fed President Kaplan (non-FOMC voter) and Chicago Fed President Evans (non-FOMC voter) at 3:30 p.m. ET.