There is a commonality between today and yesterday, and that commonality is that there is a whole lot of news for market participants to digest.
The earnings news is overflowing and has featured better-than-expected results from the likes of Facebook (FB), Qualcomm (QCOM), DowDuPont (DOW), Alibaba (BABA), and Automatic Data Processing (ADP).
The economic news is good, highlighted by the encouraging initial claims and third quarter productivity reports.
Initial claims for the week ending October 28 decreased by 5,000 to 229,000 (Briefing.com consensus 235,000). That dropped the four-week moving average by 7,250 to 232,500, which is the lowest level since April 7, 1973.
Continuing claims for the week ending October 21 decreased by 15,000 to 1.884 million. That dropped the four-week moving average to 1,895,750, which is the lowest since January 12, 1974.
Third quarter productivity, meanwhile, increased 3.0% (Briefing.com consensus 2.8%) while unit labor costs jumped 0.5% (Briefing.com consensus 0.0%).
The change in productivity stemmed from a 3.8% increase in output and a 0.8% increase in hours worked. From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, productivity increased 1.5%.
The increase in unit labor costs reflected a 3.5% increase in hourly compensation and a 3.0% increase in productivity. Unit labor costs, however, decreased 0.1% over the last four quarters.
The key takeaway from the productivity report is that it was the highest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2014, offering a hopeful sign that U.S. economic activity and workers' standard of living will be improving.
Elsewhere, the Bank of England in a 7-2 vote raised its Bank Rate 25 basis points to 0.50%, as expected. That is the first hike in the Bank Rate in more than 10 years and it was ushered in by a rising inflation rate in the UK that has followed on the back of a weaker pound.
The decision by the Bank of England will be assessed closely, yet the central bank news market participants are waiting anxiously for is President Trump's announcement of his nomination for Fed chair.
That announcement will reportedly be made at 3:00 p.m. ET and it will reportedly feature the naming of Fed Governor Powell as President Trump's pick to succeed Janet Yellen as Fed chair.
The market has already warmed up to the idea of Mr. Powell leading the Board of Governors, so there shouldn't be an outsized response to the news if it follows the reported form.
Other important news emanating from Washington today will be the release of the House GOP's tax plan. That release is slated for 9:00 a.m. ET and it will be more than a talking point throughout the day as it is sure to evoke plenty of opinions about its feasibility and practicality for getting passed.
But wait... there's more!
Market participants are also sitting on Apple's (AAPL) earnings report after the close. Based on how AAPL has traded ahead of the report, it is clear that investors expect good news. It is less clear at this juncture if AAPL will be subjected to a sell-the-news response, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
What's shaping up as a possibility right now is a relatively flat start for the major indices.
The S&P futures are up one point, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up five points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 21 points, leaving them all close to fair value.
A flattish start almost seems appropriate in light of how much news there is (and will be) to digest as the thought of it has created some trading indigestion..