The stock market looks poised to pick up where it left off last week. The S&P futures are up four points, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up five points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 46 points.
Based on those moves relative to fair value, the major indices should start the day 0.1% to 0.2% higher.
There wasn't any major news catalyst over the weekend getting in the stock market's way, so it has maintained its bullish bias, helped by some supportive M&A activity.
Aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman (NOC) announced its intent to acquire Orbital ATK (OA) for $7.8 billion, or $134.50 per share, in cash. Including the assumption of debt, the total cost will be $9.2 billion.
The cash offer price from NOC represents a 22% premium over Friday's closing price for OA and should give a boost to other small-cap and mid-cap companies in the aerospace and defense industry that are seen as potential acquisition targets.
Separately, Bloomberg reported that Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) might be planning a revised agreement to acquire Rite Aid (RAD) that would appease regulators.
Other corporate news items helping to prop up the futures market before the open include a UBS upgrade of Dow component Caterpillar (CAT) to Buy from Neutral, some positive backing for Goldman Sachs (GS) and the railroad stocks in this week's edition of Barron's, and a positive third quarter outlook from chemical maker Huntsman Corp. (HUN).
The macro side of things is pretty nondescript this morning.
The NAHB Housing Market Index for September (Briefing.com consensus 67) will be released today at 10:00 a.m. ET and the TIC Flow report for September will be released at 4:00 p.m. ET. Neither report has market-moving cachet, yet the NAHB report could cause a trading stir for the homebuilding stocks.
There haven't been any developments of note on tax reform efforts or dealings with North Korea, although the latter could soon change with President Trump slated to address the UN on Tuesday.
The big macro event this week is the FOMC meeting and press conference on Wednesday. The FOMC isn't expected to raise rates at this meeting, yet it is widely thought that the Federal Reserve will announce a start date for its balance sheet normalization process.
This meeting will also feature updated economic and policy rate "dot plot" projections, which will be studied carefully for hints on when the FOMC is likely to raise interest rates again and how many times the FOMC thinks it needs to raise interest rates until it achieves what is presumed to be a neutral policy rate.
The importance of this meeting for the capital markets will make for an interesting hump day this week. For now, though, it's just about getting over the hump of the opening bell, which looks ready to toll again, albeit softly, for the bulls.