What's going on this morning? That is the question that lacks any compelling answers.
There isn't much going on, because there aren't all that many market participants interested in making things interesting on Wall Street at the moment. Rather, they're interested in other pursuits that don't include buying or selling stocks.
Consequently, trading volume is thin, corporate news is limited, and the futures are little changed.
The S&P futures are up three points, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up seven points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up one point. That leaves the major indices on course for a slightly higher open as the futures indications remain slightly above fair value.
In the absence of any compelling news, the search for something to talk about revolves around recurring storylines, namely the expected impact of tax reform, the encouraging holiday sales activity, the Dow Jones Industrial Average's bid to complete a nine-month winning streak for the first time since 1959, the rally in copper and oil prices, and 2018 outlook pieces.
The "Santa Claus rally" continues to be addressed. That rally period encompasses the last five trading days of the year and the first two trading days of the new year. It is a period that often produces a nice gain for the S&P 500 (1.5% on average since 1950, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac).
Thus far, Santa has been snoozing. The S&P 500 has slipped 0.15% over the last two trading sessions, yet that loss could be made up at the open if the S&P 500 futures indication holds or improves from its current position.
Oil prices have not managed to improve on yesterday's best levels since mid-2015. They are down 0.7% to $59.56 as the $60.00 level has provided some resistance for a continuation of the recent up leg in prices.
Copper prices, which have soared 11% since December 5, have dipped 0.4% to $3.27/lb. That dip looks to be a pullback from a short-term overbought condition and it has been facilitated by a report showing industrial profits in China grew at their lowest year-over-year rate in November (+14.9%) since April. China is the world's largest consumer of copper.
The economic calendar is on the light side of things again. It features only two reports of note: the Consumer Confidence report for December (Briefing.com consensus 128.0) and the Pending Home Sales report for November (Briefing.com consensus -0.7%).
Those reports will both be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. Neither typically has any concerted market-moving activity, but on a day when trading conditions are thin and there will be a stretch to attach some added significance to any piece of hard news, they could possibly get more billing as a market mover than they deserve.