9:00am (EST)

The bulls held support and made a recovery off the lows on Monday as Tech tries to catch up with last week’s bounce.  Apple (AAPL, $589.53, up $18.03) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, $12.74, up $0.30) continued to rebound off their lows which helped the Nasdaq and the small-caps were able to end the session with a slight gain.  This kept the bears at bay as buyers bought the dip but support is paper thin and still needs to be monitored closely. 

The Dow slipped 42 points, or 0.3%, to settle at 12,967.  The blue-chips easily fell through the 13,000 level after the open and traded down to 12,900 on the dot.  There is further help at 12,800 but the bulls are still eyeing a run to new 52-week highs if all goes well with the Cliff.

The S&P 500 dipped 3 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 1,406.  The index made a brief trip below the 1,400 level to 1,397 but recovered in time by the closing bell to keep the momentum alive.  We are expecting a possible push to 1,425 but will need to see 1,410 clear first.  Support is at 1,375 should there be another trip below 1,400.    

The Nasdaq gained 10 points, or 0.3%, to end at 2,976.  Tech held 2,950 as the low came in at 2,951 and the close above 2,975 was bullish.  The push to 3,000 is less than 1% away and if Apple clears $600, the Nasdaq should follow as it is heavily weighted in the index. 

The Russell 2000 added 2 points, or 0.2%, to close at 809.  The small-caps held 800 after making a test down to 802 and went out at their high for the session.  The S&P Volatility Index ($VIX, 15.50, up 0.36) held up well despite the opening losses and topped out at 15.84.  A print above 17.50 will be a warning signal.

As we head to to press, futures look like this: Dow (-3); S&P 500 (-1); Nasdaq 100 (+5).

We have a lot to talk about this morning inside the Members Area, including an update for Knight Capital Group (KCG, $2.82, up $0.33) which popped 13% yesterday.  We said back in August this was a takeover candidate when shares fell from $10 to $2 and the rumors are starting to surface.  Also, we have NEW TRADE we are on the verge of releasing so look it shortly after the bell if we get the green light.