Things are looking up for the stock market at the start of today's trading. The S&P futures are up 12 points and are trading 0.4% above fair value. The Nasdaq 100 futures are up 46 points and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 134 points.
There isn't any specific news to account for the bullish disposition, which was entrenched before this morning's economic data were released.
The positive bias is seemingly rooted in the market's resilience, which itself is rooted in the notion that trade concerns are overblown, that rising interest rates are a sign of an improving economy, and that earnings growth is strong.
We're getting the sense, too, that participants are getting a little fearful about missing out on the next leg higher, cognizant that the major indices are all flirting with breaking out to new record highs despite the "trade skirmish," as JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has labeled it, and interest rates moving up.
The ongoing strength in the stock market, meanwhile, is certain to have active fund managers trailing their benchmark feeling a little nervous about matters and trying to catch up, lest they fall further behind.
How they try to do that is up to them, yet it has been apparent this week that there has been a rotation into value stocks.
The financial sector (+1.9%) has been a primary beneficiary of that rotation. The information technology sector (-0.9%) has presumably been a victim of that rotation.
This morning's economic data could help perpetuate the value trade, because it certainly fit the script of an economy market participants are feeling good about.
Initial jobless claims for the week ending September 15 decreased by 3,000 to 201,000 (Briefing.com consensus 209,000) -- the lowest level since November 15, 1969 -- and continuing claims for the week ending September 8 dropped by 55,000 to 1.645 million -- the lowest level since August 4, 1973.
The key takeaway from the report is that it reflects a reluctance on the part of employers to reduce staff, which goes hand-in-hand with a strong economy and tight labor market.
Separately, the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey for September increased to 22.9 (Briefing.com consensus 15.3) from 11.9 in August, driven by an uptick in the New Orders Index to 21.4 from 9.9.
A number above zero is indicative of growth, so the key takeaway from the report is that it reflects the idea that manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia Fed region accelerated in September.
This encouraging economic data helped solidify the bullish bias in the futures market, which should give way to a new record high for the S&P 500 when the opening bell rings.
The Existing Home Sales Report for August (Briefing.com consensus 5.37 mln; Prior 5.34 mln) and the Leading Indicators Report for August (Briefing.com consensus 0.5%; Prior 0.6%) will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Those reports will be looked at closely, as will the performance of the pot stocks, which have been a huge beneficiary of speculative trading activity that has produced parabolic moves for stocks like Tilray (TLRY) which many think are setting things up for a major drawback.
Whether those stocks go up in smoke soon remains to be seen, yet it is safe to say that the broader market is poised to go up at the start of trading.