U.S. markets opened higher but quickly gave back gains within the first hour of action.

Tech and the small-caps held up well, but the broader market gained downside momentum while bottoming at midday lows.

The mixed finish comes ahead of a busy week for earnings as nearly a third of the S&P 500 and Dow components are set to report. V

olatility stayed slightly subdued after holding key levels of resistance for a 2nd-straight session.

The Nasdaq showed strength for much of the session after rising 0.3% while reaching a peak of 7,520.

Near-term resistance at 7,500-7,525 and the 200-day moving average held with a close above 7,550 being a more bullish signal.

The Russell 2000 was off 0.2% after testing a high of 1,551 and trading in a 16-point range.

Lower support at 1,540-1,535 on the session low with the May low of 1,532 still in focus.

The S&P 500 was lower for the 11th time in 13 sessions after falling 0.4% and tapping a low of 2,749.

Upper support at 2,750-2,825 was stretched but held on the 2nd-straight close below the 200-day moving average.

The Dow dipped 0.5% while testing an intraday low of 25,236.

Upper support at 25,200-25,000 held with a close below the latter and the 200-day moving average being a bearish development.

Technology jumped 0.8% to lead sector strength while Consumer Discretionary added 0.4% to round out the winners.

Financial and Real Estate paced sector laggards after giving back 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively. Energy was lower by 1.1%.

Global Economy - European markets were slightly weak as budget concerns between Italy and the European Union remained in focus.

Italy's sovereign debt rating was downgraded a notch late on Friday, just one rung above sub-investment grade, or junk status.

France's CAC 40 was down 0.6% and the Stoxx 600 Europe fell 0.4%. The Belgium20 and Germany's DAX 30 gave back 0.3% while UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.1%.

In its monthly report, the Bundesbank said that the upswing in Germany is still fundamentally intact.

However, it stated the upswing may have come to a temporary halt over this past summer due to new emission-test procedures in the auto industry that left deep marks on industrial production.

Asian markets showed strong gains to start the week propelled by a chorus of reassuring comments from leaders and top regulators from China.

Over the weekend, President Xi Jinping emphasized China's support for the private sector, along with new details on proposed personal income tax cuts.

China's Shanghai zoomed 4.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 2.3%.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.4% and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.6%.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell 0.10 points to 0.17 in September, missing forecasts of 0.18. The 3-month moving average dipped to 0.21 from the prior 0.27 previously.

Of the 85 components, 46 made positive contributions, with 39 of the indicators making negative contributions.

Market Sentiment - The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) traded to a high of $114.08
with lower resistance at $114-$114.50 holding.

A lower trading range appears to be establishing between $113.50-$114 following the fade to $113.53 into the closing bell.

Current support is at $113.50-$113.

A close below $112.50 would be a continuing bearish development signaling fresh 52-week lows.

Market Analysis - The Spiders Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) has been trapped between its 50-day and 200-day moving averages for 8 session with Monday's low tapping $252.20.

Near-term at $252.50-$252 was split with both levels holding into the closing bell.

A close below the latter could lead to a continued pullback towards $250-$249.50 and the 200-day moving average.

Lowered resistance is at $254.50-$255 with continued closes above the latter being a slightly bullish development.

RSI is in a slight downtrend with 3-year support at 35-30.

A close below the latter would be a very bearish signal that could lead to September 2015 lows near 25-20.

Resistance is at 40-45 with a move above the latter signaling additional strength.

The Spider S&P Retail ETF (XRT) snapped a 3-session losing streak after making a run to $47.01.

Lower resistance at $47-$47.50 and the 200-day moving average held with continued closes above the latter being a more bullish development.

Late May support is at $46.25-$45.75 with risk towards $44.50-$44 on a close below the latter.

The 50-day moving average has been rolling over to start the month and remains in a downtrend.

RSI is trying to rebound with resistance at 40.

A close above this level and the monthly peak would be a bullish signal for additional strength. Support is at 30 with risk to 25-20 on a break below this level.

Rolled over MSFT to buy some more time - especially with two sided market action.

AAPL remains in the top 3 relative strength stocks - which tells me we may see more upside between now and expiration - if I don't see strong upside I will roll before end of day WED.

QCOM looking steady.

We may see mild congestion and more upside if earnings continue to see positive surprises.

Roger Scott.