U.S. markets showed strength throughout Monday’s session but finished mixed on light economic news and headlines.

A report indicating that Larry Kudlow is the leading contender to lead President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council in replacement of the departed Gary Cohn gave the market a spike before momentum faded.

The Nasdaq gained 0.4% after trading to an all-time intraday high of 7,609 to extend its winning streak to 7-straight sessions.

The Russell 2000 added 0.3% after making a run to 1,603 while holding the 1,600 level for the first time since January 26th.

The S&P 500 made a push towards the 2,800 level before slipping 0.1% but easily held its 50-day moving average into the closing bell. The Dow declined 0.6% while trading to a low of 25,152 to close back below its 50-day moving average.

Real Estate and Utilities rose 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively, to lead sector strength. Industrials sank 1.2% to pace sector laggards.

Global Economy – European markets were mostly higher following upbeats comments about the Eurozone’s growth. Germany’s DAX 30 rose 0.6% and the Belgium20 was up 0.4%.

The Stoxx Europe 600 advanced 0.3% while France’s CAC 40 was higher by 2 points, or 0.04%. UK’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.1%.

ECB Executive Board member Coeure said Eurozone growth is strong and well distributed, and now reaches all regions and sectors, but is still too dependent on monetary policy.

He went on to say inflation is not yet where they want it and interest rates will remain low long after the end of our asset purchases.

Asian markets were higher across the board and were led by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei after the indexes surged 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively.

South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1% while China’s Shanghai and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.6%.

The Japan Q1 BSI all-industry business conditions fell 2.9 to 3.3. The Q1 BSI large manufacturing business conditions dropped 6.8 to 2.91.

The Japan February machine tool orders rose 39.5% year-over-year, the fifteenth straight month orders have increased.

U.S. Economy

February Treasury Budget checked-in at a deficit of -$215.2 billion versus forecasts of -$216 billion.

Market Sentiment – The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) traded to a high of $118.66 to clear upper resistance at $118.25-$118.50.

Continued closes above the latter keeps $119.50-$120 in play. Support remains at $118-$117.50 with risk to $116.50-$116 on a move below the latter.

Market Analysis – The Spiders Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) opened higher and made a run to $254.72 with near-term resistance at $254.75-$255 holding.

Continued closes above the latter would be a bullish development for a possible push towards $257-$257.50. The fade to $251.70 and close below the 50-day moving average keeps support at $251.50-$251 in play.

A close back below $250 would signal a possible short-term top.

RSI is trying to hold near-term support at 50 with a close below this level being a bearish signal for another backtest towards 40. Resistance is at 60.

The Financial Select Sector Spiders (XLF) tested a high of $29.81 shortly after the open with resistance at $29.75-$30. Continued closes above the latter would be a bullish development.

Near-term support is at $29.25-$29 and the 50-day moving average.

RSI is trying to clear resistance at 60 with a move above this level being a bullish development for a possible run at 70. Support is at 50.

Current Position Update

FB appears to be ready for a bit more downside action – the stock is currently bouncing off resistance level to the upside and we can expect mild congestion near the current price level.

Not expecting much from the overall market and option has plenty of time before we need to worry about adjustments.

AAPL is holding above our strike price level and we can expect a bit more upside before weeks end.

I’ currently looking at ADBE, TSLA and a few other stocks and should have another set up before tomorrow end of session.

Roger Scott