Update: New Computer Investing Products
by CI Staff
QuoteScope is a trading tool for active traders who use Ameritrade.com. It has a downloadable graphic software interface that consists of circular price bands that expand and compress to show changes in stock liquidity.
The interface provides in-depth dynamic visual representation for a specific stock. The software displays Nasdaq Level II data in a circular fashion to help users visualize a wealth of market information at once. It shows the number of shares available at a specific price, allowing users to quickly spot price changes. The interface also displays the liquidity flow and liquidity ratio to help users identify emerging trends.
The price bands display the price and size on the bid and ask side. Each band represents a different price and the width of the band provides the user with a quick assessment of liquidity. Key quote information is displayed at the center of the interface. Market participant bands are also available.
Once the user sees a change moving in his favor, the user can place an order with one click of the mouse. Buy and sell toolbars are located across the top of the window for ease of use. Split-buy and split-sell buttons allow the user to place orders at the midpoint of the spread.
The user has the option of placing market orders, split-buy and split-sell orders, as well as limit orders. Market orders can be placed by clicking on the buy or sell icon located on the buy/sell toolbar. Split-buy and split-sell orders can be placed by using the split-buy or split-sell button. Limit orders are placed using the price band. Additionally, users can click on any price quadrant to buy at the asked and sell at the bid.
Users can also customize the interface to their liking by changing the colors, fonts, band proportions, band settings, and order settings. In addition, users can track several stocks at one time by opening multiple windows at once.
eMarketCenter is a downloadable service from eSignal.com that provides real-time streaming quotes and charts for U.S. and international stocks, futures and options.
The software is easy to use for beginner investors with limited resources and funds. It is also a quick way to access the market.
MarketCenter is set up as a spreadsheet. To track a particular stock, the user simply enters the ticker symbol in the symbol column and the stock information is updated in real-time. A link at the bottom of the window allows users to look up unknown tickers.
Users can also customize the display fields. Three unique fields include trend, mini-chart, and pressure. The trend column indicates whether the current trend is bullish or bearish; the mini-chart column shows the price movement for the last 75 ticks; and the pressure column indicates whether there is buying or selling pressure.
This program allows the user to create up to 10 portfolios, which are saved automatically. Individual portfolios are set up using the dropdown menu at the bottom of the window. Colors and fonts can be customized and columns can be sorted within each portfolio.
Right-clicking on an individual symbol in the portfolio will bring up streaming charts, snap quotes, EDGAR reports and market guides. Users can insert more than 15 technical studies into each streaming chart, alter chart types and view prices and indicators using the crosshair tool. The parameters and the colors of the indicators can also be changed.
MarketCenter also keeps track of trades placed with brokerages and allows users to access Web sites for market news, market statistics, and historical charts. In addition, users can connect to the bulletin boards and chat with other eSignal users.
MHP Systems recently introduced this site devoted to technical analysis education. Users can learn how to interpret stock market movements, how to use technical indicators, and what trends to look for. Web site access plus monthly newsletter are free.
AmiBroker 4.50 is a real-time technical analysis platform for studying and predicting market trends in stocks, mutual funds and futures. Advanced-user options include portfolio-level backtesting, optimization, multiple time frame functions, and enhanced system reporting. A license for the standard edition is $129 and is $199 for the real-time version; both include free upgrades for one year.
Reuters Investor Risk Alerts
A new function added to the Reuters site, Risk Alerts rates stocks on six criteria to help investors decide if its time to review a holding. The six risk alert screens cover analyst downgrades, lowered analyst expectations, relative price deterioration, actual price deterioration, short selling and institutional selling. A downloadable spreadsheet containing risk alert functions can handle 100 stocks.
Equis Internationals latest version of the MetaStock technical analysis software includes three new tools: stocks grouped by sectors, a self-extracting historical data CD, and one-button database updating. Nine new system tests allow users to perform explorations for Bollinger bands, the directional movement index, MACD, and relative strength index, among others. Additionally, the Point & Figure Toolbox contains four explorations, four experts, eight indicators and two system tests. MetaStock 9.0 also includes the popular Dynamic Trading Tools and the MetaStock Community. Upgrade price is $129. New subscription prices can be obtained through the Equis Web site.
CCH GainsKeeper has introduced its latest on-line tool, DivTracker, which helps taxpayers report dividend income correctly under the new tax rules. Users enter the stock symbols and number of shares bought or sold, along with the date, and DivTracker displays a report specifying ordinary dividends and qualifying dividends for lines 9a and 9b of the 1040 tax form. DivTracker also links with GainsKeepers automated Schedule D service to enter long-term gains and losses. DivTracker is $19 for a six-month subscription; $9 for current GainsKeeper customers.
Morningstar Stocks 500
The 2004 edition of Morningstar Stocks 500, an annual book of full-page stock reports and analysis tools, includes all of the features of the older editionssuch as Morningstar ratings for stocks, fair value estimates, economic moat measure, stock analyst recommendations and stock gradesplus new features that include governance ratings, new consider buy/sell prices and an expanded management section. The guide is $25, plus $4.95 shipping and handling.