Yesterday provided more proof that investors have a lot to be thankful for this year, as the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all hit new record highs. It remains to be seen if there is more where that came from, but for now, the futures for the major indices aren't exposing much of a selling inclination.
The S&P futures are up one point, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up seven points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 35 points, setting the stage for a slightly higher open and a continuation of the feel-good vibe that typically predominates this time of year.
The seasonality trade for stocks was in play yesterday as the major indices took a few feet of positive-sounding developments and ran a mile with it. Not surprisingly, the technology sector paced the broad-based advance.
Today's action is likely to be less dramatic, if only for the fact that yesterday's outsized move left plenty of participants convinced that the turkey-day work was done and that the time has arrived to settle in for the Thanksgiving holiday, which will have markets closed tomorrow and open for only a half day of trading on Friday.
Accordingly, volume is apt to be on the light side of things today, which features a fair share of economic data and the release of the FOMC Minutes from the October 31-November 1 meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.
On a related note, Fed Chair Yellen said on a panel last night that she still thinks inflation will pick up, but that she is very uncertain about that prognostication.
The back end of the Treasury curve certainly hasn't been pricing in much fear of inflation picking up as the yield on the 10-yr note (2.36%) is 12 basis points lower than where it was when the year started.
This morning's data is unlikely to be a catalyst that changes the inflation narrative for the Treasury market.
Initial claims for the week ending November 18 decreased by 13,000 to 239,000, as expected, leaving claims in the sweet spot they have been for some time. Continuing claims for the week ending November 11 increased by 36,000 to 1.904 million.
The key takeaway from the report is that it covers the period in which the household survey for the November employment report was conducted, so it should feed economists' expectations for another solid month of nonfarm payroll gains.
The Durable Goods Orders report for October, meanwhile, revealed a 1.2% decrease in orders (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) that was led by a 4.3% drop in new orders for transportation equipment. Excluding transportation, orders were up 0.4% (Briefing.com consensus +0.5%) on the heels of an upwardly revised 1.1% increase (from +0.7%) for September.
Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft -- a proxy for business spending -- decreased 0.5% after increasing 2.1% in September and 1.4% in August. Shipments of these goods, which factor into GDP forecasts, were up 0.4% after increasing 1.2% in September.
The key takeaway from the report is that business spending decelerated in October, yet there is little reason at this juncture to think that deceleration is more than some normal slowing following some nice-sized gains in previous months.
The futures weakened a bit after the release of the data, yet there hasn't been much downside traction there like there will be on plenty of living room couches on Thursday.