It is slow going this morning after an extremely fast start for the stock market in 2019. One shouldn't make anything of it -- or, rather, one shouldn't try to make anything more out of the news headlines to try to explain the sluggish disposition.
It's just a natural thing after witnessing the S&P 500 surge 15.0% in roughly six weeks. With a move like that, the market has earned the right to taker a breather every now and then -- and that's all that is going on this morning.
The S&P futures, Nasdaq 100 futures, and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are all flat and are all trading a smidgen below fair value.
Besides, there hasn't been anything in the headlines to make much of a difference with respect to broad market sentiment.
That is due partially to the understanding that what is in the headlines is much of the same that has been in the headlines, which has gotten the stock market to this point in 2019.
There is optimism that the U.S. job market is still cranking in spite of slowdown concerns; there is hope the U.S. and China will reach some kind of a trade deal that prevents a hike in the tariff rate for Chinese imports to 25% (from 10%) come March 2; there is relief the fourth quarter earnings-reporting period is turning out better than expected; and there is ongoing jubilation at the thought the Federal Reserve is content to do nothing with its policy rate for the time being.
All of that has combined to form one, big tailwind for the stock market.
Had things not taken off like they did, there might have been more appreciation this morning for the news that Clorox (CLX) beat earnings expectations, that a private equity consortium made an $11 billion, or $331.50 per share, all-cash offer to acquire Ultimate Software (ULTI), or that Expedia Group (EXPE) made a proposal to acquire the outstanding shares of Liberty Expedia Holdings (LEXEA).
Alas, the reaction to these news items has been loud for the involved stocks but muted for the broad market.
Maybe everyone lost their voice yesterday cheering for (or cursing) the New England Patriots.
There's no telling right now, because there isn't really anything to tell that hasn't already been told. Hence, the stock market is churning on familiar news, waiting for its next broad market catalyst.
Perhaps that will be Alphabet's (GOOG) earnings report after today's close. That's a wait-and-see event, though, which is one more reason why there hasn't been much to see in this morning's futures trade.