If the stock market can't sustain a concertedly positive bias today, then it will leave one to wonder if it is destined to putz its way through the second quarter earnings-reporting period.
We say that because there has been a litany of good earnings news since yesterday's close.
Everyone will highlight Alphabet's (GOOG) solid report as the reason why the futures market has an upside bias this morning, yet that misses the more important point that good earnings news is not the exclusive right of the FAANG stocks.
Alphabet had an encouraging report and should be rewarded for it, but so did Verizon (VZ), Lockheed Martin (LMT), United Technologies (UTX), Biogen (BIIB), 3M (MMM), TD Ameritrade (AMTD), Sherwin-Williams (SHW), Eli Lilly (LLY), and JetBlue (JBLU) to name a few.
Fittingly, the futures market is reflecting investors' enthusiasm for the good earnings news.
The S&P 500 futures are up 10 points and are trading 0.5% above fair value. The Nasdaq 100 futures are up 25 points, leaving them 1.0% above fair value, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 119 points, leaving them 0.5% above fair value.
It's only natural we suppose that the Nasdaq will be outlegging the other indices when the opening bell rings given Alphabet's weighty influence there, along with Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), Facebook (FB), and Microsoft (MSFT), all of which are trading higher in pre-market action.
Ideally, though, what you want to see today is the base of buying interest broadening out and a pickup in trading volume (which has been running light) in areas outside the information technology sector and investment vehicles other than the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ).
A broader base of buying interest would provide a good foundation for the S&P 500 to take a credible run at challenging, and perhaps exceeding, the all-time high it set in January sometime soon.
There is still a lot of noise surrounding trade matters, as well as diplomatic matters involving Iran, yet the earnings news remains in the stock market's favor.
Mindful of that, it is not unreasonable to think a positive trade development, or two, would be the springboard to new highs. That's why Wednesday's meeting between European Commission President Juncker and President Trump will be watched carefully as Mr. Juncker is reportedly coming with a proposal designed to avert the U.S. imposing a 20% tariff on imports of autos and auto parts from the EU.
If that proposal doesn't pass President Trump's muster, then the stock market seems destined to be distracted from the good earnings news.
For the time being, the good earnings news has uplifted global equity markets, which have also shaken off a striking jump in bond yields of late that has been driven in part by speculation the Bank of Japan may soon try to lessen its yield-curve control efforts.
Press reports today have downplayed the idea that the Bank of Japan will announce a meaningful shift in policy soon, and that has helped quiet some of the selling efforts in sovereign bond markets.
Separately, China's State Council said it will pursue a fiscal policy that is more proactive. That news helped put a spring in the step of the Shanghai Composite, which jumped 1.6%.
The S&P 500, meanwhile, is stepping to an upbeat earnings beat right now that is as good as advertised.