Computerized Investing > April 27, 2013
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Heat maps of the top stocks in nine popular sectors.

Heat maps are becoming a popular way of displaying what’s hot or what’s not in the stock market. Many popular financial websites use these types of charts that show stocks trending up in increasingly brighter shades of green and those trending downward in increasingly brighter shades of red, with color brightness defined by the magnitude of the gain or loss.

StockTouch is a free app for the iPhone and iPad that provides heat maps of the 100-largest stocks (by market cap) in each of nine popular sectors. After installing the app on your iPhone or iPad, you are shown a screen with heat maps for nine sectors: consumer, services, health care, energy, technology, financial, industrial, materials and utilities. Actually, you can view heat maps for domestic and global stocks in each of these areas. In “normal” mode, you can generate heat maps based on four different statistics: price change, volume, price change relative to the S&P 500 index and price change relative to the sector index. You can also sort the heat maps in spiral (largest to smallest based on market cap in a spiral pattern from the center), market cap (largest to smallest from upper left to lower right), winners (arranged in descending order by percentage change from top left to lower right), activity (trading volume) and alphabetical. Lastly, you can generate heat maps for a variety of time periods: day, week, month, three months, six months, one year or five years.

Tapping on a sector name will give you a full-screen display of just that sector. From this display you can toggle between U.S. and global, display statistic type, sort and time period. Tapping on an individual company within the heat map will bring up a company summary page for that stock that includes a description of the company, recent headlines and a line chart that you can also adjust from one day to five years.

Recently, the app added an Expanded View mode to display two new heat maps: Price/Earnings Ratios and Dividend Yields. To enter Expanded View mode, you tap the Favorites icon on the right of the app screen and select Expanded View. Once you have done that, these two new heat maps are available under the Display Statistics. The app uses different color palettes for these two heat maps. P/E ratios are in blue/orange and dividends are in pink/green. The “cool” tones, blue and green, brighten as the values increase, with the highest values in a “hot” tone (orange and pink). Like the price heat maps, these Expanded Mode heat maps can be toggled between U.S. and global stocks and sorted from highest to lowest or lowest to highest P/E or dividend yield.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to visualize the performance or valuation of stocks within broad market sectors, StockTouch is a great choice. There are a few options we would like to see added in the future, including expanded charting capabilities, the ability to create watchlists and price alerts sent via email or text. However, this app is very easy to use, and now free, making it worth a look.

StockTouch for iPhone and iPad



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