Markets put in a quiet session Monday with the indexes finishing up .3% on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 by .1%. The Nasdaq rose for a 4th straight day and for just the third time in 2016 thus far, traded less than 30 handles top to bottom Monday. Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 have been trading in a very taut fashion which is bullish action (all 10 of the major S&P sectors gained or lost less than 1%). Wild, volatile activity is good for active traders, but the calm behavior of the benchmarks has to be interpreted as positive for the longer term. Merger Monday appeared for a second week in a row with last week TFM being taken out by Apollo and today brought news of SHW buying VAL (chart below how it appeared recently in our Monday 3/14 Game Plan) and IHS buying MRKT. Healthcare made it a second straight day as the best performing group advancing .5% and energy was the softest sector falling .75% as crude had issues CLOSING above the round 40 number for a second consecutive day. Bulls could be making the case that Gold is sending exhaustion signals. The GLD is trading erratically since taking out a 114.09 cup base trigger on 2/10 which saw excellent follow through the next day rising 4% on easily the best daily volume in well over a year. The ETF has had problems finishing above the round 120 number with just one weekly CLOSE above the week ending 3/4 although the last 6 have traded intraweek above or very close to 120. Looking back further that 120 number may have seen a whipsaw above it as it recorded a bearish evening star pattern, completed the week ending 1/30/15 and confirmed the very next week. Remember how the very round par figure was glittery support between weeks ending 11/27/15-1/1/16.

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