Market participants and residents of Florida were waiting to exhale all weekend, and this morning it appears as if they are doing just that after Hurricane Irma hit the Sunshine State with rain, wind, and storm surge that was stunning to behold, yet didn't stun the state as badly as had been feared.
Separately, Kim Jong Un kept his missiles grounded in North Korea and that has added to the relief trade this morning, although the UN Security Council is expected to vote today on a resolution that imposes further sanctions on North Korea, so one shouldn't dismiss the possibility that Kim goes back to his provocative ways soon whether that resolution passes or not.
The S&P futures are up 11 points, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up 40 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 112 points. Those standings leave the major indices on track to start the day 0.5% to 0.7% higher.
There will be some short-covering activity and an unwinding of risk-averse trades contributing to the early gains, as scary-sounding forecasts for Irma fueled some defensive-minded positioning last week.
The seeds of that shift in thinking have been planted in the Treasury market, which is under some early selling pressure.
The benchmark 10-yr note is down 14 ticks and its yield has climbed four basis points to 2.10%. Gold prices are down 1.0% to $1338.30 per troy ounce. The CBOE Volatility Index is down 7.7% to 11.19.
On the flip side, many insurance stocks are attracting some renewed buying interest following a steady drumbeat of selling interest the last three weeks that knocked the SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE 86.11) as much as 8.2% lower at Friday's low before it bounced back to test the underside of its 200-day simple moving average (86.31).
Dow component Travelers (TRV), which rallied 4.0% on Friday, is trading 2.3% higher in pre-market action.
The bump in the insurers and the curve steepening move in the Treasury market, which the bank stocks should like, is apt to push the financial sector into a leading role when the opening bell rings.
Watch for the information technology sector to tag along in a leadership post, with General Apple (AAPL) taking a command position. The largest company by market capitalization is up 1.3% in pre-market trading, riding the upbeat mood of the market and the anticipation of the company's September 12 product event, which will feature the introduction of the iPhone 8.
That product event is one of several key releases this week that will drive the market. Others of note include the PPI, CPI, and Retail Sales reports for August, several investment conferences, including the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference which begins today, and the Bank of England meeting.
As market participants think about what lays ahead, there is no one around who isn't thinking about the past today.
Today is 9/11 and 16 years ago the world stopped turning -- not because of a hurricane or a test missile launch by North Korea, but because of a vile terrorist act on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people and altered the lives forever of so many more.
Today, we carry on, but we also remember.