Beginner's Guide To Stockcharts.com: Changing The Chart Type
This is one of the strengths of stockcharts.com as there are all sorts of chart types available to users. Every option is available to all users, so even free members have the ability to express themselves as they see fit.
The available chart types are:
- Candlesticks - Candlesticks have become very popular over the past two decades despite being used by Japanese rice traders as early as the 18th century. Candlesticks graphically depict the Open, High, Low and Close, with the body being represented by the difference of the open and close. The wicks to either side of the candle would be represented by the high and low.
SEE - Candlestick Charting - What Is It?
- OHLC Bars - This chart type also depicts the "Open, High, Low and Close," although there is no body. The open is marked by a tick on the left side of the bar, with the close being depicted by a tick to the ride side.
- HLC Bars - Very similar to the OHLC bar chart with the Open omitted. This allows more data to fit in a given chart.
- Line (thin, solid, thin dashed, solid dashed) - A very simple chart that depicts only the closing value connected by a line to each successive period. The available line styles are thin, solid, thin dashed and solid dashed.
- Dots - Chart with a dot at each period's closing value.
- Area - A line chart with the area below the line filled with a semi-opaque color. This chart is useful for contrasting two charts on the same page.
- Histogram - With a histogram chart, each period is represented as a bar that extends from the bottom of the chart to the closing value. The result is similar to an area chart.
- CandleVolume - This chart style combines volume and price into a candlestick with its width proportional to the volume for each individual period. Because the time axis is skewed, it may make trendline analysis misleading. One benefit to using this chart type is that high volume days are very clearly depicted.
- EquiVolume - Similar to CandleVolume charts in that each period's width is proportional to the volume. In this chart, price is depicted as a box representing the high and low for that period.
- Heiken-Ashi - Similar to a candle stick chart, although the data used to derive the candles differ. Instead of using OHLC data, candles are derived as follows -
- Close = (Open+High+Low+Close)/4
- Open = [Open(previous bar) + Close (previous bar)]/2
- High = Max (High, Open, Close)
- Low = Min (Low, Open, Close)
- Three Line-Break - In this chart type, price is depicted by hollow rectangles that represent complete uptrends and downtrends. Three Line-Break charts ignore the passage of time and are based on changes in price. Signals are given based on a change in color after a three adjacent boxes of the opposite color.
- Kagi - Another Time-Independent chart that uses a series of L-shaped vertical lines to depict supply and demand. Thick lines are drawn when price clears a prior high and thin lines are drawn when price undercuts a prior low. (For related reading, see A Look At Kagi Charts.)
- Renko - Another Time-Independent chart that constructed by placing a brick in the next column once the price surpasses the top or bottom of the previous brick by a predefined amount. White bricks are depicted in an uptrend with black bricks depicting a downtrend.
- Invisible - Charts where the main ticker's data is not displayed. While it may seem curious to have an invisible chart, this type of chart is useful when you are trying to stress and overlay instead of the underlying price chart.
- Cumulative - This is a Line chart where the value for the next time period equals the sum of the closing values for all the visible time periods before it. This chart type is more often used with volatility based market sentiment indicators that oscillate around zero such as the "Advance/Decline" line, or "Cumulative New High/Low" ratio.
- Performance - These are line charts where the value for each time period is the percentage change of the closing value compared to the value for the bar furthest to the left.
- Elder Impulse System - Charts based on the Elder Impulse System designed by Alexander Elder. The system identifies inflection points where a trend accelerates or decelerates. Each individual bar is colored either Green (bulls are in control), Blue (neutral) or Red (bears are in control) based on trend.
Overlays are any line or symbol that can be placed on top of price bars in the price plot area. Adding overlays is easily accomplished by selecting one of the dropdowns on the left side of the "Overlays" area. Examples of overlays include Moving averages, Bollinger Bands® and price channels. (For related reading, see The Basics Of Bollinger Bands®.)
*free users can add up to three overlays while subscribers can add up to twenty four.
The available overlays are:
- Horizontal Line - Displays a horizontal line at the specified price level. Multiple lines (separated by commas) can be drawn on the chart as well. This can also be easily accomplished by the annotation tools.
- Simple Moving Average - Displays the average price of the symbol over a specified period of time.
- Exponential Moving Average - Displays an exponentially weighted average price of the symbol over a specified period of time.
- Bollinger Bands® - This overlay displays bands above and below a central average that correlates with the issues volatility.
- MA Envelopes - This overlay displays bands at a fixed level above and below a central average
- Keltner Channels - This overlay displays bands based on the Average True Range (ATR) of the issue and a central average.
- Price Channels - This overlay displays bands based on the maximum and minimum price values for the specified number of periods.
- Ichimoku Clouds - Ichimoku clouds are designed to using moving-averages to show bullish and bearish crossover points.
- Parabolic SAR - Dots that appear on the price plot representing a trailing stop-loss system.
- Volume by Price - A horizontal histogram that displays aggregate volume for different price levels.
- ZigZag - Lines that connect significant turning points on the chart.
- ZigZag - (Retrace) - ZigZag lines with percentage change values.
- VWAP - Volume Weighted Average Price is a moving average weighted to include volume statistics. It is displayed much like any moving average.
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