The futures market is sitting back right now, looking as if it is waiting to be entertained. The S&P futures are down less than a point, the Nasdaq 100 futures are down less than two points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 12 points.
It's a trade of attrition, as there isn't anything particularly new for market participants to grasp as a major change agent.
The situation in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East is tenuous, but it already knew that.
The effort to enact some tax reform is ongoing and uncertain, but it already knew that.
The third quarter earnings reporting period has been better than expected, but it pretty much knew to expect that before it even began.
The dollar is strong, but it already knew that
The yield curve is flattening in a perplexing way, but it already knew that.
The Federal Reserve has a lot of key positions that need to be filled, but it already knew that.
The stock market is overbought on a short-term basis and due for a pullback, but market participants have known that.
There are other redundancies that can be added to the list, but we'd just be taking up more space to make the same point.
Today's open won't have any flourish to it, because there isn't anything new springing up. Accordingly, the trading action at the index level will be lackluster while the big moves are taking shape at the stock-specific level.
Priceline (PCLN), for instance, is down 8% after issuing disappointing fourth quarter guidance; Weight Watchers (WTW) is up 13% after reporting better than expected results and issuing fiscal 2017 guidance above analysts' average expectation; and Avis Budget Group (CAR) is down 10% after cutting the top end of its EPS guidance range for FY17.
There isn't any economic news of note at this juncture.
One item that is jumping out is the 1.7% advance by Japan's Nikkei Average. That move was forged on the back of continued weakness in the yen and the persistence of a momentum trade that has driven the Nikkei up 19% since September 8 (and we think the S&P 500 is overbought on a short-term basis)!
That's a huge move, but then again, it isn't new. It's more of the same and hasn't been a driver of the futures market this morning.