The S&P futures are flat and are trading 0.1% below fair value. The Nasdaq 100 futures are up seven points and are trading in-line with fair value. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 29 points and are trading 0.2% below fair value.
The inference is that there won't be much conviction at the start of today's trading, as the stock market seems to be licking its wounds after being told yesterday by Fed Chair Powell that the FOMC doesn't see the need for a rate cut, because it suspects the factors pushing inflation rates lower are transitory.
Perhaps the selling activity will be transitory, too. After all, Mr. Powell didn't take anything away from the market, he just didn't give it more of what it wanted.
It's not like he said the target range for the fed funds rate is going up. It will remain exactly where it is -- and exactly where it is has been pretty good for fueling a huge rally so far in 2019.
The stock market sold off Wednesday in the wake of Mr. Powell's remarks, because it was due for a pullback and because Mr. Powell didn't give it anything new to cheer; hence, his remarks created an excuse to take some money off the table.
Just as notable in terms of Wednesday's trading action is that there was virtually no reaction to a CNBC report, citing sources who said there is a possibility of a trade deal with China getting done by next Friday.
Thoughts of a trade deal getting worked out have been another catalyst for the huge rally in 2019. The fact that the market didn't rally on that report suggested the news has been largely priced in, leaving an overextended market ripe for a pullback.
Even this morning, there has been a muted reaction to good earnings news and good economic news that a few weeks ago would have prompted a much more favorable response.
Qualcomm (QCOM), Under Armour (UAA), Cigna (CI), and Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) all topped estimates for the March quarter, yet they aren't moving the broad market needle. Neither is Tesla (TSLA), which is up 4.8% on the news Elon Musk may buy up to 41,896 more shares of the stock.
The preliminary Q1 Productivity report hasn't changed the market's perspective either. Granted it is a backward-looking report, yet it was impressive nonetheless with nonfarm business sector productivity increasing 3.6% (Briefing.com consensus 2.3%), which was the strongest pace since the third quarter of 2014. Unit labor costs decreased 0.9% (Briefing.com consensus +1.6%).
From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, productivity increased 2.4%. That is the largest four-quarter increase since the third quarter of 2010.
The key takeaway from the report is that it fit quite well with the understanding that U.S. economic activity is solid while inflation pressures are muted.
The latter might explain why there was little reaction since the key takeaway wasn't anything the market didn't know already. The same holds true for the initial claims report.
Initial claims for the week ending April 27 were unchanged at 230,000 (Briefing.com consensus 212,000). Continuing claims for the week ending April 20 increased by 17,000 to 1.671 million.
Initial claims might have been higher than expected, yet the key takeaway is that they still remain relatively low, evidenced by a four-week moving average of 212,500 that isn't far off a 50-year low.
The claims data, however, will also be glossed over today because market participants recognize the employment report for April is due out tomorrow.
Friday will be a different day than today, which is set to start with thoughts of yesterday holding things back.