Customizing your charts
Unless you save customized settings, a default stock or index chart will be displayed. The default chart is a medium-sized Line Chart with a time period of 1-year and a frequency of Daily. No technical studies, moving averages or bands are displayed.
To change your default chart settings, choose from a variety of options noted below, then click the Save Settings button. Here are the various options:
- Timeframe: Each time period button is also an action button that draws a new chart.
Each time period is associated by default with a particular frequency.
1Day and 2Day: Frequency for intraday are missing.
1Mo, 3Mo, 6Mo and 1Yr: For these time periods, the default frequency is Daily. This means that, by default, moving averages, Bollinger Bands and all lower indicators such as Volume and RSI are calculated using daily data.
3Yr and 5Yr: For these time periods, the default frequency is Weekly. This means that, by default, moving averages, Bollinger Bands and all lower indicators such as Volume and RSI are calculated using weekly data.
10Yr and 20Yr: For these time periods, the default frequency is Monthly. This means that, by default, moving averages, Bollinger Bands and all lower indicators such as Volume and RSI are calculated using monthly data.
- Event markers: A marker representing a split, quarterly earnings per share or dividend per share can be drawn for one-symbol charts.
Check the appropriate box and click the Chart button to draw the marker. You can save your settings by clicking the Save Settings button.
- Splits: Identified with an S in a black circle. The split ratio is displayed. For example, as the result of a 2-for-1 stock split, the number of shares outstanding will double and the market price will drops in half. The marker is plotted on the ex-date.
- Earnings: Identified by an E. The marker will be a green up-arrow if EPS increased from one year ago and will be red down-arrow if it decreased. Unchanged earnings will be a green diamond. The earnings-per-share for that quarter is displayed. The marker is plotted on the quarter end-date.
- Dividends: Identified by a D. The marker will be a blue up-arrow if DPS increased from the previous quarter and will be red down-arrow if it decreased. Unchanged earnings will be a blue diamond. The dividend-per-share is displayed and is plotted on the ex-date.
- Frequency: Calculations for moving averages, Bollinger Bands and all lower indicators are dictated by the selected frequency, which can be Daily, Weekly or Monthly. Here is an example: When the frequency is set to Daily, end-of-day data is used to plot the Simple Moving Average. When the frequency is set to Weekly, end-of-week data is used. See the Timeframe section above for the default frequencies for each timeframe. Note that you can set your own default frequencies by customizing your settings and clicking the Save Settings button.
- Size: The three chart size options are small (ideal for the 2x2 layout), medium and large.
- Layouts and Comparative Charts: There are two layout options: 1x1 and 2x2.
The 1x1 layout displays a single chart on a page. You can view a comparative chart by entering as many as five symbols in the Enter Symbol(s) text box and/or selecting a benchmark index from the Index pulldown menu. The comparative chart plots the percentage change of each security or index over the given time frame.
The 2x2 layout displays up to four charts, in as many as two rows and two columns, on the same page. Each chart in the 2x2 layout will share the same settings, including the same upper and lower indicators. The exception to this rule occurs when a benchmark index is selected from the Index pulldown menu. When an index is selected, the chart for the first symbol entered will be a comparative chart that plots the percentage change of each security or index over the given time frame.
Note: Comparative chart results are based on the percentage price change for the securities or indices for the Time Period specified. All percentage returns are calculated based on simple capital appreciation. Selected lower indicators will be displayed on comparative charts only for the original security or index, while upper indicators such as moving averages and Bollinger Bands will not be shown. The recommended chart size for the 2x2 layout is small.
- Upper Chart Options - Index: To compare one or more symbols to a benchmark index, select from more than 150 benchmarks available from the Select an Index pulldown menu. The list of benchmarks include key North American Indexes and subindices, US Treasury Bills, currencies, commodity futures and international indices such as the Bovespa, All Ordinaries and Nikkei. Note that when a 2x2 layout is selected, the first chart displayed will include a comparison with the selected benchmark index. All other charts will be Line Charts.
- Upper Chart Options - Chart Style: Select one of:
- Line Chart: The Line Chart plots the intraday (for 1Day or 2Day timeframes) or Daily, Weekly or Monthly closing prices for each security, based on the selected Frequency. If two or more securities or indices are plotted on the same chart, however, a comparative chart showing percentage change is generated. Note: You must select the Line Chart option to generate a chart containing upper or lower indicators or to generate a comparative chart.
- High-Low-Close: The High-Low-Close Chart shows the highest, lowest and closing price for the security or index based on the selected frequency (daily, weekly or monthly). The high-low-close values are shown by a vertical line intersected by a hyphen (-). The highest point on the line shows the highest price for that period; the lowest point shows the lowest; and the hyphen indicates the price level at which the security or index closed for the period.
Note: The High-Low-Close option is only available when generating a chart for a single security. This option is unavailable for charts containing multiple securities or indices, or upper or lower technical indicators.
- Save Settings: Click the Save Settings button to store your customized chart options as your default chart options. The saved settings may include Timeframe, Frequency, Size, and all upper and lower technical analysis indicators: Simple Moving Averages, Exponential Moving Averages, Bollinger Bands, Volume, MACD, RSI, Volatility, Momentum and Stochastic Oscillator.
- Load Settings: Click the Load Settings button to generate one or more charts with your stored or default chart settings.
- Technical Analysis Indicators: For details on customizing each technical analysis indicator, from Simple Moving Averages to Stochastic Oscillator, click the appropriate links below.