The stock market is playing its cards close to its vest right now, as it certainly isn't giving any strong indication regarding its next move. The S&P futures, the Nasdaq 100 futures, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are all trading in close proximity to their fair values, which suggests they are all pointing to a flattish start.
That flattish start would come on the heels of what was a flattish day yesterday.
The flattishness is partly a function of many market participants being on vacation and others still in the mix choosing to flatten out trading positions in a thinly-traded market, which is lacking any "new" news drivers.
Accordingly, we can attribute some of the recent flattishness to boredom as pundits and the media just keep talking over the same talking points.
It feels a lot like listening to Charlie Brown's loquacious teacher speaking to the class.
"M'am, what about trade with China?" "Wah wa wa, wah wa wa."
"M'am, is the FAANG trade crowded?" "Wah wa wa, wah wa wa."
"M'am, isn't the earnings news great?" "Wah wa wa, wah wa wa."
There is a lot to talk about, yet the broad conversation isn't all that interesting because it's the same conversation day after day -- or so it seems.
Anyhow, there are some company-specific issues that offer a new twist each day, like the Tesla (TSLA) tweet the other day, and the news this morning that Rite-Aid (RAD) and Albertsons have mutually agreed to terminate their merger plan while Tribune Company (TRCO) has terminated its merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), tacking on a lawsuit for breach of contract.
There is the 8.3% downturn in the stock of Booking Holdings (BKNG) after the company disappointed with its third quarter outlook and the 8.6% upturn in the stock of Canada Goose (GOOS), which pleased investors with its report.
These are story stocks, yet there isn't any plot twist in these stories for the broader market; hence, the futures are little changed.
In a similar light, there weren't any new twists in this morning's economic releases.
The Producer Price Index for final demand was unchanged in July (Briefing.com consensus +0.3%) while the index for final demand, less food and energy, increased 0.1% (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%).
On a year-over-year basis, the index for final demand was up 3.3%, versus 3.4% in June, while the index for final demand, less food and energy, was up 2.7%, versus 2.8% in June.
The key takeaway from the report is that it showed a moderation in producer price pressures, which will help keep the market grounded in the idea that the Fed can maintain its gradual approach to raising interest rates.
The yield on the 2-yr note is down two basis points to 2.65% while the yield on the 10-yr note has also dropped two basis points to 2.94%.
Separately, initial claims for the week ending August 4 decreased by 6,000 to 213,000 (Briefing.com consensus 220,000) and continuing claims for the week ending July 28 increased by 29,000 to 1.755 million.
The key takeaway from this report is the same it has been for some time: the low level of initial claims activity fits the framework of a tight labor market.
In other words, "Wah wa wa, wah wa wa."