How Can I Draw Shaded Shapes on a Chart? (w/video)

Chartists can draw filled shapes on a SharpChart with just a few easy mouse clicks. First, create a SharpChart and open the ChartNotes workbench by clicking the "annotate" link at the bottom. Second, hold down the CTRL key and drag out the desired shape. Chartists can choose the box, circle or square icons. Once drawn, you can change the fill mode and the opacity using the icons on the left. Fill mode can be solid, filled or no fill. All three options are shown with their relevant icon in the image below. 

Choose the filled option and then adjust the opacity using the icon just underneath. 30% opacity will create a shaded box that can be used to mark a support or resistance zone. Chartists can also change the thickness of the outside lines using the "line width" icon and round the corners using the "corner type" icon. Note that these icons are only visible when a shape has been selected. Use the selection tool to make sure it is selected and the icons are available. 

How Can I Add Space to the Left of Right of the Chart (w/video)?

First, note that chartists can add time to the chart by using the "Extra Bars" function in the Chart Attribute section, which is just under the SharpChart. Adding 20 bars to a daily chart will extend the chart 20 days. Adding 10 weeks to a weekly chart will extend the chart 10 weeks. 

Chartists can also add blank space to a SharpChart when annotating. Click the "annotate" link below the SharpChart to open the ChartNotes workbench. Chartists will then see a row of annotation icons at the top. The two icon in the middle with the yellow areas can be used to add space to the left or right of the chart. This is blank space that chartists can use to extend annotations or add remarks. The example below shows a SharpChart with two space additions to the left and right. These can be removed by holding the CRTL key and clicking the space icons. Mac users would press the CMD key. 


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How Can I Measure the Distance between Price and a Moving Average? (with video)

There are two ways to measure how far above or below the price is from a moving average. First, as Greg Schnell has shown us several times, chartists can use the "percentage change tool" when annotating a SharpChart. This tool can be found just under the icon with the green-red line (support-resistance tool). Click to select, move to the moving average and click-drag from the moving average to the price. The example above shows a 3.3% difference between the 50-day EMA and the closing price. 

Chartists can also plot the differential using the Percentage Price Oscillator (PPO). To measure the difference between the 50-day EMA and the close, use Percentage Price Oscillator (1,50,1). The first 1 is for a 1-day EMA, which is just the closing price. The 50 is for a 50-day EMA. The second 1 is for the signal line. I used 1 to make is equal to the actual PPO and this essentially hides it. 

As the chart above shows, the PPO(1,50,1) is at 3.271%, which rounds out to 3.3%. Notice that this indicator can trend for short periods. The PPO broke support the second week of March and moved lower into April with a series of lower lows and lower highs. After a breakout in late April, the indicator trended higher with a series of higher highs and higher lows into early July. Most recently, the indicator has been flat. A break below support would be negative for momentum and could foreshadow a correction. 

Charting the Correlation between Two Asset Classes (video)

StockCharts users can chart the correlation between two asset classes using the Correlation Coefficient indicator. This tells us the degree of correlation between two symbols. A positive Correlation means the two move in the same direction, while a negative Correlation Coefficient means they move in opposite directions. The video is at the bottom of the article. 

The Correlation Coefficient can be added as an indicator and placed above or below the main chart window. Note that chartists can use the "Advanced Options" to add an indicator to the Correlation Coefficient, such as a moving average. In the example above, 12-month exponential moving average was added to smooth out the fluctuations in the indicator.  

Continue reading "Charting the Correlation between Two Asset Classes (video)" »

How Can I Add Price Labels to a Chart? (video)

This article explains two options for adding price labels to a SharpChart. There is also a video at the end. For the first option, users can check the "price labels" box in the Chart Attributes section under the SharpChart. Click "update" and the chart will refresh with price labels on key highs and lows. A close-only chart will show price labels for the closing levels. A bar or candlestick chart will show price labels for the period high or low. These price levels make it easier to quantify support and resistance levels. 

Chartists can also add individual price labels using the "price box tool" on the ChartNotes workbench, which is what we use to annotate a chart. The icon for the price box tool is under the "arrow tool" icon. Simply hover over the arrow tool and the other icon will appear. Click to select, move to a price bar and click to add a price box. This will display the closing price with a small callout box. 

How Can I Change the Background, Price and Indicator Colors?

Chartists can change the overall color scheme on a chart as well as price and indicator colors. The first step is to select a "color scheme" from the drop down menu just below the SharpChart. There are over two dozen schemes available. The chart below shows "night", which is a black background. 

The second step is to change the price colors, which can be done with the drop down menus just to the right of the color scheme. Of the twelve color choices, I chose lime for both up and down candlesticks. This creates a florescent look and makes the prices really stand out. Note that you can choose two different colors: one for up periods and one for down periods. 

Chartists can also choose colors for their favorite indicators. The indicator window shows the MACD Histogram in orange. Simply click the green triangle to open "advanced options" and see the color options. 

Confused on candlesticks colors and fillings? Click here for a video explaining the different options for candlestick colors. 

How Can I Plot One Indicator Up and the Other Down?

Some indicators come in bullish-bearish pairs. Examples include advances and declines, up volume and down volume, new highs and new lows, and percent bulls and percent bears. These bullish-bearish pairs can be plotted as an up-down pair using a special indicator (Price - Up/Down Pair). Select this indicator and then enter the two symbols separated by a comma. The first symbol will be up (green) and the second symbol will be down (red). 

The chart above shows the Nasdaq in the main window with three examples in the indicator windows. The first is Nasdaq Advances ($NAADV) and Nasdaq declines. The second is Nasdaq New Highs ($NAHGH) and Nasdaq New Lows ($NALOW). These two indicators are updated daily. The third indicator is AAII Bulls (!AAIIBULL) and AAII Bears (!AAIIBEAR), which is a weekly sentiment indicator. 

Click this image for a live chart

Ranking a Group of Stocks by Percent Change

Q: How do I create a list of ETFs sorted by their performance over the past 20 days?

A: You can do that by using an Advanced Scan with our new "Rank By" feature.  Here's what it looks like:

[group is ETF]
rank by [PctChange(20, close)]

Note that when you run that scan, your results will be sorted by %Change.  Also note that the %Change values are shown in the rightmost column of the results page.

You can also add additional clauses to further reduce the number of results.  Here's one that's a little more "real-world:"

[country is us] and [group is ETFNOUI] and [sma(20,volume) > 100000] 
rank by [PctChange(20, close)]

By the way, "Rank By" must appear at the bottom of your scan.

- Chip

How Can I Compare a Stock to its Sector and Industry Group?

When charting a single stock, StockCharts users can view the corresponding sector and industry group by using the symbols $SECTOR and $INDUSTRY, respectively. The sector and industry group will correspond with the Sector Summary. The image below shows a screen shot from the internet industry group, which is part of the technology sector. Plotting the symbols $SECTOR and $INDUSTRY with Akamai (AKAM) would show the Technology SPDR (XLK) and the DJ US Internet Index ($DJUSNS). 

The chart below shows Akamai in the main window with $SECTOR as the first indicator, $INDUSTRY as the second indicator and AKAM:$SECTOR as the third indicator. Notice how the charting engine automatically pulled up XLK for the sector, $DJUSNS for the industry group and AKAM:XLK for the price relative. This makes it easy to compare performance and identify the industry group or sector. 

And now for the really cool part. You can save this chart as a ChartStyle and easily add the sector and industry group to any stock. If I were to change the main symbol from AKAM to BIIB, $SECTOR would automatically change to the HealthCare SPDR (XLV) and $INDUSTRY would change to the DJ US Biotech Index ($DJUSBT). These means any stock will be matched with its corresponding sector and industry group. While most stocks have sector and industry groups assigned, keep in mind that there are some obscure stocks that do not have assigned sectors and industry groups.   

See Upcoming Pivot Point Levels By Using the "Extra Bars" Setting

Q: It is Saturday afternoon.  How do I see the Pivot Point levels for next week?  Do I really have to wait until the market opens on Monday to see something that you could show me right now?

A: Good question!  You are correct in that as soon as the market closes on Friday, we are able to calculate the Pivot Point levels for next week.  The only issue is where can we display them?  There's no room on a regular "Fill the Chart" type chart.  Here's an example of what I mean:

As you can see, the only Pivot Point values are for last week.  The values for the upcoming week are not displayed.

In order to see those new levels, you need to give us some room to display them.  You do that by adding a number to the "Extra Bars" field located in the "Range" area of the "Chart Attributes" section of the workbench.  We recommend using "3" or more in the "Extra Bars" field when working with Pivot Points.  Here's what happens when you use "3" Extra bars with the chart from above:

Click here to see a live version of this chart

(Note that this is only an issue when looking at Pivot Points on Daily charts during a weekend.)

- Chip

How can I Create Performance and Relative Performance SharpCharts?

Chartists can quickly and easily create performance charts by entering up to six comma-separated symbols in any symbol entry box. There is a symbol entry box at the top of every webpage and above every SharpChart. The chart below shows one-year performance for six symbols over the past year. Note that QQQ is up around 26% and RSP is up around 20%. DIA is up only 11.38% and the laggard of the group.

Click this image for a live chart

Chartists can also create a relative performance chart with just two mouse clicks. First, click the check box at the top to "use the first symbol as the baseline". Second, click the update button to refresh the chart. Users can also change the date range by using the drop down menu just under the SharpChart. 

Click this image for a live chart

The example above shows year-to-date relative perforance for five major index ETFs. Each plot represents the performance of a ratio chart (e.g. DIA:SPY, IWM:SPY, MDY:SPY, QQQ:SPY, RSP:SPY). Year-to-date, the Equal-Weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) is the strongest of the five and the Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) is the weakest. I am not including SPY because it is used as the benchmark. 

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