Buying efforts are underway to keep last week's winning ways going. The S&P futures are up three points, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up 13 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 48 points, leaving them all trading about 0.2% above fair value.
There isn't much in the way of corporate news driving things, so the attribution for the early bias is revolving mostly around macro matters.
The lead story in the latter respect is a tweet from President Trump that he and Chinese President Xi are working to get Chinese telecom firm ZTE back into business and that the Commerce Department has been instructed to "get it done."
This acknowledgment has reportedly been construed by traders as a sign of some easing in U.S.-China trade tensions.
Then again, there are separate headlines highlighting the warning from administration officials that European companies could be subject to U.S. sanctions if they do business with Iran
So, there is a net positive headline regarding U.S. dealings with China and a seemingly net negative headline on potential dealings with Europe.
There are no new headlines yet with respect to U.S. dealings with Canada and Mexico and the NAFTA negotiations, which have to produce something by May 17, according to House Speaker Ryan, if any new deal is going to be considered by the House this year.
Suffice it to say, the headline spigot on trade matters is going to be wide open this week and a continued catalyst for the trading action.
The economic calendar will provide some trading catalysts, too, but not today. There are no releases of note on today's calendar, yet Tuesday's calendar features the Retail Sales Report for April while Wednesday's docket will produce the Housing Starts and Industrial Production Reports for April.
Other focal points throughout the week will be oil prices, trade discussions in Washington with Chinese officials, and the earnings reports from major retailers like Home Depot (HD), Macy's (M), and Walmart (WMT).
Comments from Fed officials will be of interest, too. On a related note, Cleveland Fed President Mester (FOMC voter) said this morning that a gradual rate hike path is likely over the medium term, but she pointed out that rates could move up more quickly if the economy grew faster than expected.
The latter can be thought of as a requisite disclaimer these days; nonetheless, it serves as a reminder that the policy path of least resistance right now is tilted to the upside.