There isn't a lot of conviction in the futures market this morning. The S&P futures are flat, the Nasdaq 100 futures are down three points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up seven points. Those indications have the major indices on course for a relatively flat open.
That isn't bad in light of last week's showing, which saw the major indices trade up nicely, logging gains between 0.9% and 1.8% for the abbreviated week.
The early going today doesn't have a lot of definition to it from a market-moving news standpoint. There is a lot of news, although a good bit of it revolves around the start of the holiday shopping season and important happenings that will take place throughout the week.
Top events in that respect include the Fed Chair confirmation hearing for Jerome Powell (Tuesday), current Fed Chair Yellen's semiannual testimony before the Joint Economic Committee (Wednesday), a meeting between OPEC members and Russia to discuss their production cut agreement (Thursday), and the vote on the Senate tax bill (expected Thursday).
There will be a good bit of economic data bracketing those events, starting today with the New Home Sales report for October (Briefing.com consensus 629,000; prior 667,000) at 10:00 a.m. ET and concluding Friday with the ISM Index for November (Briefing.com consensus 58.3; prior 58.7) at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Today, though, has a lot of participants getting their feet wet again after the Thanksgiving holiday and resting their feet and index fingers after hitting the malls, their mouses, and "Buy Now" buttons on their smartphones over the weekend.
There is no real rest for the shopping weary, though, considering today is "Cyber Monday," which is another day of big online deals.
Early reports indicate that the holiday shopping season has gotten off to a robust start, so the retail stocks should continue to be an actively-traded group of stocks.
Time, Inc. (TIME) also promises to be actively traded today following the news that it will be acquired by Meredith Corp. (MDP) for $2.8 billion, or $18.50 per share, in cash.
Separately, the dollar continues to backtrack as the euro continues to get back on track. The euro is up 0.2% against the greenback at 1.1952 and is trading at its highest level since September, comforted by reports that Germany may be able to work out a ruling coalition after all, which will avoid the need to call for new elections.
The US Dollar Index is down 0.2% to 92.58 and trading at its lowest level since September.
The weakening dollar could lend some support to U.S. multinationals, yet it's another trading dynamic, along with the flattening yield curve, that runs counter to the reflation trade that has been propping up stock prices and expectations for another rate hike at the December FOMC meeting.