Markets registered another quiet session Monday, and this has become the norm. Bears wonder if this is the quiet before the storm and the bulls with the winds behind their backs feel this is healthy consolidation as sellers up here seem unmotivated. The Nasdaq added .2% and the S&P 500 finished UNCH and the small cap Russell 2000 led with an advance of .4%. Utilities led the way today with the XLU gaining .3% and it has now carved out a nice handle on a cup pattern and the last 3 weeks have all CLOSED pretty tight within .64 of each other. The trigger would be above a 52.10 number in a base that began 8 months ago making it more success prone should it breakout (front running pivots is not a good idea). The last 2 weeks fell by a combined 1.2% in energetic trade, but it is acceptable given the week ending 2/24’s robust 4.1% jump. Energy once again lagged with the XLE the third softest performer on the day rising .1% and holding the round 70 number. We did mention that we were awaiting some bullish candlesticks before we would be interested in taking a shot on the long side. Some select transports are acting soft, even in the face of sub $50 crude which is on a 6 session losing streak. The HYG which we brought up last week as it often is a good indicator of risk appetite and today it recorded a bullish harami cross pattern which can suggest a short term bottom. The ETF still remains below its 50 day SMA and the bulls would welcome a rapid move back above. Markets are still climbing the proverbial wall of worry and must be given the benefit of the doubt, until its no longer warranted. Watch for names that have acted strong and traded sideways after big moves higher creating bull flags. A good example below is the chart of ANET and how it was profiled in our Wednesday 3/8 Game Plan.

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