Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
ChartSmart offers a two-in-one product that combines technical analysis tools with stock screening capabilities. Users of ChartSmart can screen a database of over 15,000 stocks on numerous exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ, Amex, Toronto, Canadian and OTC).
ChartSmart includes eight years of historical pricing data, 19 technical indicators for charting, and close to 100 variations for screening. Additional screening criteria include sector, numerous price and volume variables, multiples and ratios, and some financial statement data. A fairly unique feature is the ability to screen by news release keyword.
A fair number of predefined screens come with the program, but creating custom screens is relatively easy to grasp. The program also offers several tutorials (written and video) to help learn program functions.
An unlimited number of portfolios and watchlists can be created. Portfolios can also be created from a stock screen’s results.
To view charts on individual companies, simply enter the ticker symbol and denote the exchange. Price and volume charts can show daily or weekly data and technical indicators can be added as well. Charts feature buttons with links to view detailed financial statement and earnings data, recent news stories and historical pricing data. You can also create memos for individual stocks.
A “Get Started” video is offered when you open the program (either in the free trial period or as a registered user) and provides a good overview of the program.
OptionEdge version 2.1 is a stock option trading application for use with Microsoft Excel. The program utilizes the Black-Scholes option pricing model to simulate and analyze various stock option trading strategies. The Black-Scholes model assumes an option’s underlying price follows a lognormal probability distribution over time, which means that the log return (sometimes called a continuously compounded return) is normally distributed (bell-shaped).
OptionEdge can be downloaded for free from the OptionEdge Web site. After downloading and installing the program, you have four options: Trade Analyzer, which allows you to set up customized strategies and view a graphical analysis of a strategy; Detailed Analysis, which offers an in-depth look at the customized trading strategy; Open Positions, which allows you to track current investments and test various trading strategies; and Closed Positions, which allows you to keep track of all your options sales.
The Trade Analyzer allows you to test various trading strategies including buying and selling calls, puts and stock. You enter the appropriate strike price, underlying asset price, expiration date, actual call price, volatility, risk-free rate and yield, and then the program will calculate the Black-Scholes price and delta. The program can also perform a breakeven analysis and includes a graphical representation of the profit and loss caused by change in price. This chart can be customized.
To see a more in-depth analysis of the option you entered, use the Detailed Analysis tab. The Open and Closed Positions tabs allow you to track your options trades. A spreadsheet provides the framework for data tracking. Trades can be ranked by various criteria.
The UpDown site is an on-line social networking site that offers what is essentially fantasy football for investing. Users can create virtual portfolios to collaborate and compete with each other based on performance. The virtual portfolios include brokerage simulations with fees, commissions and spreads. You can create watchlists, see other users’ portfolio performances, create groups of “friends” and perform basic stock analysis. The site is free to use.
Investor Dashboards allows you to view multiple price and moving average graphs. To use the site, you must create a username and password and then add desired ticker symbols. You can create five lists each containing up to 100 stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. Customization options include the number of charts per page, timeframe, moving average increments and ticker symbol for comparison. All data is about 20 minutes delayed. The site is free.
TraderNews.com is a free financial market news Web site. The site touts updates “every 60 seconds.” The home page offers summaries of the day’s action including performance charts for the popular indexes and various measures of market momentum. The site is then broken down by region, providing sections for U.S., European, Asian and Global news. Each section includes links to regional (or global) economic news stories. A Stock Alerts section provides links to news stories pertaining to individual stocks.
Kiplinger.com’s Tax Center offers free tax resources including articles with tips on lowering tax bills, overlooked deductions, home improvement and energy tax breaks, and more. Also, tax laws are explained and a glossary of frequently used tax terms is provided. Finally, there are several tax tools and calculators including a withholding calculator and flex account calculators. You can also sign up to receive the Kiplinger Tax Letter.
Traders Audio, a distributor of live audio from the trading pits, has added to its squawk box offerings. You can now listen to the Live Cattle Futures Squawk Box with information coming straight from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Agriculture Quadrant. A free trial of the service is available. Subscription prices vary based on service.
Market Probability has introduced a free trading tool that reports current and historical trend data for stock sectors and industries called SectorCheck. The tool reports the most recent average returns by sector and industry relative to closing prices of the previous trading day. U.S. equities larger than $3.00 per share and stocks with average daily volumes higher than 75,000 shares are included. There are about 2,800 active symbols included in the SectorCheck analysis. To use the tool, simply enter a stock ticker symbol. SectorCheck shows the five top- and bottom-performing industries for the day and where your stock’s sector and industry rank currently.