Stocks took a breather after an eight day run, but the bull isn't ready to give up yet. The S&P 500 lost 2 points Monday to end at the psychologically important 1500 level, in its first decline in eight days. The Dow lost 14, to 13,881, its first drop in six days. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, closed higher, up 4 at 3154, as Apple gained more than 2 percent after last week's steep decline.
U.S. Treasury yields rose for a third session on Monday after a gauge of planned U.S. business spending rose in December, fueling expectations economic growth may be picking up.
The dollar fell from 2 1/2-year peaks against the yen on Monday in subdued trading as investors locked in profits after the greenback's recent rally.
Brent crude oil traded near three-month highs around $113 per barrel on Monday, buoyed by economic optimism and ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and employment data.
Gold edged lower on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of an eagerly awaited U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which should disclose more details on the Fed's quantitative easing policy.
Wall Street closed mixed on Monday, as stocks struggled to extend the January rally for another session. Apple led tech stocks higher with a 2 percent rebound while Caterpillar gave support to blue chips following its earnings report.
European equities touched fresh multi-month peaks on Monday, with technical charts pointing to a continued slow grind higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average could peak as high as 20,000 four years from now, JPMorgan Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Thomas Lee told CNBC on Monday.
Strong earnings are helping drive stocks near record levels. CNBC's Jim Cramer said "positivity in this market is overwhelming."
The return of risk appetite has boosted European stock markets, as more investors have rotated out of safe-haven bonds, and new research shows sentiment towards European equities is now at the best level in several years.
Japan's Nikkei breached the 11,0000 mark briefly as the yen continued to weaken.
Growing optimism about the economic outlook and a string of upbeat earnings has put global equity markets on a strong footing at the start of the year.But hold on, say strategists, pointing to a risk that investors are underestimating: a U.S. budget sequester.
The euro rallied Friday on growing optimism the region's debt crisis has turned the corner, while the yen was headed for its 11th consecutive week of losses.
The price of U.S. crude oil edged settled below $96 per barrel despite ample stockpiles of crude amid signs of growth in the world's two largest economies.
U.S. Treasurys yields surged to their highest in three weeks on Friday after data showed European banks are repaying more emergency loans than expected, suggesting the region is healing and reducing demand for safe-haven debt.
Gold prices fell to a two-week low after the European Central Bank said banks would repay 137 billion euros ($183.2 billion) in cheap loans, which reassured investors the euro zone banking system was stabilizing.
Weak GDP data for the U.K. wasn't enough to stop European shares rising on Friday as Germany's DAX Index reached a level not seen since January 2008 after business climate data was released.
U.S. stock index futures were higher Friday, a day after the S&P 500 logged its seventh-straight rally, following a batch up upbeat earnings reports and ahead of a key housing report.
Asian shares ended mixed on Friday, dragged lower by a drop in regional technology stocks, although gains in Australia and Japan contained overall losses for equities.
The slowdown in the global economy last year, prompted warnings over the death of the commodities super-cycle, but the flood of government stimulus unveiled in the recent months will prolong the bull run, says one expert.