Is It a Lull Before the Storm?

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Sometimes it's nice not to have to wake up to new world-shattering headlines, or at least those which challenge one's ongoing worldview in the near-term. This Tuesday morning, with almost all of Q4 earnings season completely out of the way, and with new jobs numbers expected tomorrow through the rest of the week, today is a good day for taking a deep breath. (Or taking "stock," if you will.)

The debate over President Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs late last week are helping round the edges of the acute impact the president's announcement originally had. Even in Trump's Republican party, we see plenty of push-back on issuing harsh tariffs that may lead to a long-term trade war - the U.S. against the world. As we're seeing domestic stock indexes in positive territory ahead of the opening bell, market participants look to be keeping a "wait and see" attitude.

European markets finished higher Tuesday, following a bit of a sell-off Monday on the hung parliament resultant from the General Election Sunday. The polarized voting population of Italy between the fledgling 5 Star (M5S) party and a coalition between Lega Nord and Forza Italia leaves the country's as-yet decided new Prime Minister in doubt, though traders bid up the Italian index 1.1% today.

Even North and South Korea are in talks to meet regarding de-escalating nuclear tensions between both nations on the Far East peninsula. It's a nice relief from the sabre-rattling and demonstrations of force from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, to see his country willing to sit across the negotiating table. Perhaps the recently concluded Winter Olympics in South Korea had even more of a positive impact than initially realized.

January Factory Orders are expected to hit the tape at 10am ET today. Analysts expect a pullback from December's +1.7%, with a consensus estimate of -1.4%. Should this figure be wide of this mark in either direction, perhaps we may see the markets change course somewhat.

But otherwise, it would take something external to affect today's indexes - and we're seeing Dow +110 points, the S&P 500 +10 and the Nasdaq +36. The 10-year bond hangs just below 2.9% this hour.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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