When first displayed, a Technical Chart contains six months' worth of Daily price activity with the open, high, low, and close for each bar presented in a display box above the chart. Each data point can be viewed by moving your mouse through the chart.
The vertical bars below the chart represent Volume and are color-coded to indicate market activity for the day:
- An up day (where the price is greater than the previous price) will show a green bar.
- A down day (where the price is less than the previous price) will show a red bar.
- When the price is unchanged compared to the previous price, Volume will show as a blue bar.
On futures charts, the horizontal purple line above the Volume bars represents Open Interest.
Technical Charts have the option to create Spread Charts , with the ability to choose from a number of common spreads (such as Corn 1-2, Soybeans Crush, and Wheat Butterfly), or allowing you to enter your own custom spread calculation (supporting all futures, equities, index and forex symbols).
A chart form resides below the chart. This is where you can change the symbol, style, time frame, and other chart settings. If you are logged in to your My Barchart account, you will also see a drop-down list for any Chart Templates you've previously saved. Simply select one from the list and the settings on the template will be applied to the current chart.
- Bar Type - choose from OHLC Bars, Candlesticks, Hollow Candlesticks, Line or Area
- Volume On - displays or hides the volume for the symbol.
- Time Frame - determines the period (Frequency) and amount of data that will be displayed on the chart (Time Period and Start/End Dates).
- For Frequency, choose from Intraday, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
- for Commodity Contracts, you may also select a chart for the Contract, Nearest Futures Contract, or a Continuation chart
Nearest Futures and Continuation Charts
Commodity charts have three additional frequencies for Daily, Weekly and Monthly data: Contract, Nearest, and Continuation.
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Contract will plot prices for that specific contract
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Nearest Futures will use whatever contract was the Nearest Futures contract on the date of the given bar. The Price Box at the top shows the contract that was used to build the corresponding bar
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Continuation Chart will always use the same MONTH specified in the chart form to build the given bar. The Price Box at the top shows the contract that was used (in this case, December, or Z)
- The information is back-dated to the start of the period, so on a 5-minute chart information in the period dated 12:45 includes all trades between 12:45 and 12:49 inclusive. A trade at 13:00 would be included within the next bar dated 13:00.
- A default Time Period is set based on your Frequency setting. For example, an Intraday chart will use a Time Period of 3 Days, while a Daily chart uses a Time Period of 6 Months. You may change the Time Period to increase or decrease the density of the bars displayed on the chart. The longer the time frame, the closer together the individual bars. The shorter the time frame, the more distance between the bars.
- You may override or further define the Time Period, or generate a historical chart, by entering a Start and End Date for the data. For example, you can get a Daily chart with 6 months of data from one year ago by entering an End Date from one year back.
- Display Settings - further define what the chart will look like.
- Price Box - when checked, displays a "Data View" window as you mouse-over the chart, showing OHLC for the bar, and all indicator values for the given bar.
- Price Scale - when on, scale on the right of the chart shows prices.
- % Change Scale - when on, scale on the right of the chart shows the percent change from the open.
- Linear Scale - when on, scaling will calculate the most intelligent scale using the high, the low and a series of acceptable divisors for possible scales.
- Logarithmic Scale - when on, uses logarithmic scaling instead of the linear scaling.
Spread Charts allow you to choose from a number of common commodity spread chart calculations. You may also create your own custom spread chart by selecting up to three commodity contracts and multipliers, or by entering your own custom spread expression. The calculated results are displayed as a line chart.
Expression: shows the calculation used to create the chart. When you select a Common Spread from the drop-down list, or when you create a Futures Spread using the fields on the form, the Expression is built automatically for you.
If you want to create your own custom Expression, you can enter the calculation directly into the Expression field. Valid syntax for an Expression calculation includes the use of addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*) and division (/) between each leg. Calculations are performed from left to right, unless you change the order of the calculation using parentheses. Examples:
IBM-DELL subtracts the last price of DELL from IBM.
2*IBM+DELL multiplies IBM by two, then adds the price of DELL.
2*DELL/3+IBM multiplies DELL by two, then divides by three, then adds IBM.
(2*DELL)/(3+IBM) multiplies DELL by two, then divides the result by the sum of three plus IBM.
$DXY-$SPX subtracts the S&P 500 Index from the Dollar Index.
^USDCAD+^CADAUD adds the Canadian Dollar/Australian Dollar to the US Dollar/Canadian Dollar.
Note for Futures Contracts: Barchart's charting application commonly uses the * symbol on futures contracts as a shortcut to specify the month. For example, ZC*1 will return the front month, ZC*2 returns the second month out, ZC*3 returns the third month out, etc. When creating a custom expression using futures contracts, you must use parentheses to group the order of the calculation in the expression:
(ZC*1+ZC*2+ZC*3)/3 will add the front, second and third months for Corn, then divide the result by three.
(ZCZ0+ZCH11+ZCK11)/3 will add December 2010 Corn, March 2011 Corn and May 2011 Corn together, then divide the results by three.
(ZC*1)*2+(ZC*3)*2 will multiply the front month for Corn by 2, then add the result to the (third month out for Corn multiplied by two).
ZC*2*4 will take the second month out for Corn and multiply the price by 4.
Common Spreads: choose from a number of common commodity spreads. (the expression will be displayed once you've made a selection from the list.)
- Create a Futures Spread: select up to three different commodities, including the month, year, multiplier and function (+ - / *) between the second and third leg. The expression will be built and displayed in the Expression field as you enter the different legs of the spread.
Select up to three symbols to compare against. This will generate a chart with the price data of the symbols overlaid. To produce a chart of percent changes between symbols, check the Percent Change box. The colors of the boxes (green, purple, red) indicate the color of the line that will be drawn on the chart for the symbol. You may also indicate whether to display that symbol's price scale on the left side of the chart (by default, prices will all display on the right side).
Studies / Parameters
Select the indicators you wish to add to the chart. To remove an indicator, click the red "delete" icon. To change an indicator's parameters, click on the indicator name.