Cy Scanner Configuration and Features

Alert Types

Name Description
[New high] New high These alerts appear any time there is a print for a higher or lower price than the rest of the day.  Highs and lows are reset once a day at a time determined by the exchange.

When the alerts server sees a new high, it looks for the most recent day before today when the price was higher than it is now.  It reports the day when this happened, and the high for that day as resistance.  For a new low, the server looks for the most recent day when the price was lower than the current price.  It reports the low for that day as support.  Note:  This is a very simple version of support and resistance based only on daily highs and lows.  Several alerts listed below implement more advanced algorithms for finding support and resistance.

These alerts are related to the Position in Range filters.  Use these filters to make other alert types sensitive to highs and lows.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[New low] New low
[New high ask] New high ask These alerts appear any time the ask price goes higher or the bid price goes lower than any time today.  These are reset at the same time as the highs and lows.  These alerts are never reported in the 30 seconds before or 60 seconds after the open.  More options related to these alerts are listed below.
[New low bid] New low bid
[New high (filtered)] New high (filtered) These alerts are a subset of their unfiltered counterparts.  When the price quickly changes several times in a row, only one of these alerts will appear.  The unfiltered alerts appear once every time the price changes.

Typically no more than one alert per stock will appear each minute.  However, if a stock price changes by more basis points than expected, new alerts will be displayed more often.  The cutoff point for each symbol is automatically chosen based on volatility.

Daytraders often prefer to display the unfiltered versions of these alerts on a large set of stocks.  The effect is to create a window where the user can quickly see if the market as a whole is moving up or down.  Other traders prefer to see fewer, more interesting alerts.  For that effect, select these filtered versions of the alerts.  Some people create two or more alert windows, some with filtered alerts and some with unfiltered alerts.

[New low (filtered)] New low (filtered)
[New high ask (filtered)] New high ask (filtered)
[New low bid (filtered)] New low bid (filtered)
[New high bid (filtered)] New high bid (filtered) These are similar to the new high ask (filtered) and new low bid (filtered), listed above.  More options related to these alerts are listed below.
[New low ask (filtered)] New low ask (filtered)
[Pre-market highs] Pre-market highs Pre-market highs and lows show the highest and lowest prices of the morning.  This only includes the pre-market prints, which are not part of the normal highs and lows.

You can filter these the same way as normal highs and lows.  For example, set the filter to 1 if you only want to see highs which are higher than the previous day's high, or lower than the previous day's low.  More details

[Pre-market lows] Pre-market lows
[Post-market highs] Post-market highs Post-market highs and lows show the highest and lowest prices since the market closed.  This only includes the post-market prints, which are not part of the normal highs and lows.

You can filter these alerts the same way as other highs and lows, with one difference.  We start counting the number of days from today's close.  So a value of 1 day means that the high was higher than today's high, but not higher than the previous day's high.  If that same print had happened before the market closed, it would have generated an alert with a value of 0 days.  More details

[Post-market lows] Post-market lows
[75% pullback from lows] 75% pullback from lows If the stock gapped down, start with yesterday's close price.  If the stock gapped up, start with today's open price.  Follow the stock down to today's low.  Report an alert when the stock returns 25% or 75% of the way from the second point back to the first point.  A stock can report these alerts more than one time per day.

Note:  These alerts examine and report on every print.  We do not filter out or otherwise correct bad prints.  These alerts are typically used as a warning of something coming, so these alerts report as quickly as possible, rather than waiting for confirmation.

Our proprietary filtering removes the most insignificant moves.  More filtering options related to these alerts are listed below.

[25% pullback from lows] 25% pullback from lows
[75% pullback from highs] 75% pullback from highs These work just like the Pullback from lows alerts, but in the other direction.
[25% pullback from highs] 25% pullback from highs
[Check mark] Check mark The check mark pattern is defined by higher highs followed by lower lows followed by even higher highs.  This pattern is most commonly seen as a continuation pattern.  The inverted check mark is the same pattern, but upside down.

These patterns are based on daily highs and lows.  The exchanges report highs and lows almost exclusively during market hours, so these alerts rarely if ever occur after market.  We never report these alerts before the open or in the first three minutes after the open.  The last part of the check mark must happen at least three minutes after the open.

[Inverted check mark] Inverted check mark
[% up for the day] % up for the day These alerts report when a stock moves up or down a certain percentage since the previous close.  These alerts are based on official prints, not the pre- and post-market.

These alerts were requested by money managers who often have to report to investors when a stock moves against them by too much.  These alerts are more straightforward than many of our alerts.  A money manger will typically watch several types of alerts, but will only report simple events to clients.

Typically these alerts only report once at each price level.  However, if an alert was based on a bad quote, the server will reset itself to the last valid alert.

The server does not report an alert until the stock price has changes by at least 3%.  The user can require higher standards, as described below.

[% down for the day] % down for the day
[Standard deviation breakout] Standard deviation breakout These alerts report each time the stock price moves an integer number of standard deviations from the closing price.  These are very similar to the % up/down for the day alerts, but these are based on volatility rather a percentage.  For some stocks it is interesting and unusual when they move up by less than 1% from the previous close.  Others must move by 2% or more before they are interesting.  The user can require higher standards, as described below.

These alerts are slightly different from our other volatility alerts, because these use a more traditional formula for volatility.  For most of our alerts we use two weeks worth of volume-weighted, intraday volatility data, and we scale it so that "1" means a typical move for one 15 minute period.  These alerts are based on a year's worth of volatility data.  Recent data is weighted more heavily than year old data, and the data is scaled so that "1" means a standard deviation for one day.

Special thanks to our friends at Bright Trading for sharing this formula with us!

[Standard deviation breakdown] Standard deviation breakdown
[Crossed daily highs resistance] Crossed daily highs resistance The crossed daily highs resistance alert reports whenever a stock crosses above any previous day's high for the first time since the end of that previous day.  The crossed daily lows support alert reports whenever a stock crosses a previous day's low for the first time since the end of that previous day.  These compare the current price to the daily highs and lows for the past year.

These alerts are a variation on the idea of a 5 day high or a 52 week low.  These alerts tell you when a stock is moving from 5 day highs to 6 day highs.  Or from 6 day highs to 7 day highs.  Etc.

The messages and the filters for these alerts are the same as for the new high / low price alerts.  In fact, these alerts are a subset of the standard daily high / low alerts.  These alerts only report when the number of days in the new high or low changes.

[Crossed daily lows support] Crossed daily lows support
[Large bid size] Large bid size These alerts report when a stock has an unusually high number of shares on the best bid or ask.  These are very short term alerts aimed at very fast, experienced traders.

We only generate these alerts for stocks with an average daily volume of less than 3,000,000 shares per day.  If a stock typically trades less than 1,000,000 shares per day we require a bid or ask size of 6,000 shares or greater to generate an alert.  Otherwise we require a bid or ask size of 10,000 shares or greater to generate an alert.  We also have additional filters to prevent a stock from reporting this alert too often.  For example, if the best bid for a stock is 20,000 shares at $10.00, then someone adds a bid of 100 shares at 10.01, the 20,000 shares still appear in the order book.  When the 100 shares go away, and the best bid returns to the 20,000 shares at $10.00, we do not report another alert.

If we report a large bid or offer size, then the size grows even larger, we typically report another alert.  The message for that alert is labeled "(Size increasing)".

If a stock is showing a large bid or ask size, and the price changes but the size remains large enough, we may report an additional alert.  The message for that alert is labeled "(Price rising)" or "(Price dropping)".  This message only applies to large size.  For example, if we see a 20,000 shares on the bid at $10.00, we report an alert.  If the best bid changes to 100 shares at $10.05, we report nothing.  If the best bid then changes to 15,000 shares at $10.02, we report a second alert, labeled "(Price rising)".

If a large bid is dropping, or a large ask is rising, this makes for a stronger alert.  If a large bid is rising, or a large ask is dropping, this may be a "head fake"; someone may be trying to trick you by showing large size in one direction, while slowly buying or selling in the other direction.  In either case, we report an alert.

The bid and the ask are two completely separate alerts.  The size or price of the bid does not influence the Large ask size alert.  The size or price of the ask does not influence the Large bid size alert.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Large ask size] Large ask size
[Market crossed] Market crossed The market crossed alerts appears when the ask price for a stock is lower than the bid price.  These conditions occur when the stock is unusually active and often signal a turning point.

These alerts will not appear every time the market is crossed.  Crosses often appear in groups.  The alerts server will filter these, and report the first crossing in each group.  It will report new alerts only if the size of the cross grows, or if the market has been uncrossed for several minutes before crossing again.  Some stocks, particularly the highest volume stocks, are crossed on a regular basis.  The alerts server may filter out most or all of the alerts for these stocks.

In some cases the alert server will describe the alert as "up" or "down".  This distinction is based on the primary market.  The assumption is that the primary market does not react as quickly as the ECNs.  So if the bid on an ECN is higher than the specialist's offer on an NYSE stock, many traders assume the price will move up soon.

Note:  These alerts are only intended to highlight stocks which are doing interesting things.  A crossed market is often a leading indicator of other activities.  These are not intended for arbitrage.  Crossed markets typically last for only a second or two, and disappear before most traders can take advantage of them.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Market crossed up] Market crossed up
[Market crossed down] Market crossed down
[Market locked] Market locked The market locked alert occurs whenever the bid and ask for a stock are at exactly the same price.  Like a market cross, a market lock typically shows when a stock is especially volatile.  These alerts are automatically filtered similar to the market crossed alerts.  If this condition occurs several times in a row, you will only see one alert.
[Large spread] Large spread These alerts tell you when the specialist's spread for an NYSE stock suddenly becomes large.  Large is at least 50 cents.  If the spread changes multiple times in a short time period, you'll only be alerted the first time.

For additional ways to work with the spread, be sure to look at the min and max spread filters.

[Trading above] Trading above Trading above occurs when someone buys a stock for more than the best offer price.  Trading below occurs when someone sells a stock for less than the best bid.

These alerts typically signify a temporary condition where a stock is suddenly more volatile than normal.  Often this is caused by traders who know that the stock price is about to change quickly, so they choose the fastest execution venue rather than attempting to get the cheapest one.  Highly experienced short term traders may choose to join the action, in anticipation of a fast change in the stock price.  Longer term traders still take note of this condition because it is a leading indicator of which stocks will have interesting activity.

This signal is strongest when there are multiple events for the same stock in a short period of time.  When this happens the alerts server will group multiple events into the same alert.  The alert message will say something like "Trading above 4 times" to indicate that this alert includes 4 different prints that were higher than the best offer.  If it just says "Trading above" but doesn't say "times", then this alert only refers to a single print.

More options related to these alerts are described below.

[Trading below] Trading below
[Trading above specialist] Trading above specialist These alerts are a subset of the Trading above and below alerts.  These alerts only apply to NYSE and AMEX stocks, and they only work during normal market hours.

If a print is below the NYSE specialist's bid, then we display a Trading below specialist alert.  If a print is above the specialist's offer, then we display a Trading above specialist alert.

More options related to these alerts are described below.

[Trading below specialist] Trading below specialist
[Offer stepping down] Offer stepping down The offer stepping down alert describes a trading pattern often associated with a market short sale.  Although there is no certain way to detect a market short, many proprietary traders tell us they are looking for exactly this pattern.

The basic pattern looks like this.  The stock has a large number of shares on the offer.  (The exact minimum size on the offer is different for different stocks.)  The best offer price is exactly one penny above the last sale price.  The sale price drops, and the large offer follows it.  The prices must drop at least one more time in this way before we print the first alert.  Each successive time the price steps down in this way we report another alert.  We add our own filtering on top of this to remove noise and display the highest quality alerts.

This pattern is based on the rules for short sales.  For most stocks, especially the lower volume stocks, most traders cannot sell short on a down-tick.  One option is to wait for an up-tick.  The other is to do a short offer.  In the latter case, you will want to lower your price as much as possible, as soon as possible, each time the price of the last print goes down.  The offer stepping down alert is looking for this particular trading pattern.

[Crossed above open] Crossed above open These alerts appear any time a stock changes between being up for the day, and being down for the day.  These compare the current price to the price of the open.  Daytraders typically use the open, not the close, to decide if a stock is up or down for the day.

These alerts always compare the price of the last print to the price of the most recent open.  In the pre-market, this refers to the open of the previous trading day.  Otherwise this refers to today's open.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Crossed below open] Crossed below open
[Crossed above close] Crossed above close These alerts are similar to the previous two alerts, except these alerts look at the close, not the open.  Most institutional traders use the close, not the open, to say if a stock is up or down for the day.

Before and during normal market hours, this refers to the previous trading day's close.  After normal market hours, this refers to the current day's close.  Note:  This value can change during post market trading.  The closing price can be estimated right at the close, but the official number is not available until later.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Crossed below close] Crossed below close
[Crossed above open (confirmed)] Crossed above open (confirmed) These alerts present information similar to their unconfirmed counterparts.  Each time the price of the last print crosses the open or the close, one of the preceding unconfirmed alerts appears.  The advantage of this is that the messages are instant, and the last message shows the current direction of the market.  The disadvantage is that it is noisy.  If the price stays near the open or the close, many alerts will appear.

The alerts listed here require statistical confirmation before they appear.  This filters out noise, but requires a slight delay.  This analysis involves price, time, and volume.  If the price continues to move around the open or close, this alert may never appear.  Once the price chooses a direction the exact amount of time required for the alert to appear depends on volume. 

The statistical analysis does not require that every print cross the open or the close before the alert is displayed.  The analysis filters out insignificant prints that go against the general trend.  It is even possible, although unlikely, that the last print disagrees with the analysis as a whole.

[Crossed below open (confirmed)] Crossed below open (confirmed)
[Crossed above close (confirmed)] Crossed above close (confirmed)
[Crossed below close (confirmed)] Crossed below close (confirmed)
[Sector breakout (from open)] Sector breakout (from open) These alerts report when a stock's price is acting differently than expected based on the prices of related stocks.

The server reports a breakout and displays a green arrow if the stock is performing better than the rest of the sector.  The server reports a breakdown and displays a red arrow if the stock is performing worse than the rest of the sector.  These are all relative measurements.  It is possible that all stocks in the sector are moving up today.  If one stock in the sector is moving up faster than the rest, that stock will report a breakout.  If another stock in that sector is also moving up, but much more slowly than expected, it will report a breakdown.

The server determines which stocks are related to which other stocks empirically.  It compares the intraday moves of each stock to the intraday moves of a variety of different indices.  It records which index is the best predictor of the stock, and it records additional statistical information about the relationship.  This is often an index of the stock's sector, but it may also be a broader market index.  For some stocks no index is appropriate.  The server never reports one of these alerts for those stocks.

During the day the server monitors various ETFs and similar products.  These give a more timely description of the underlying stocks than watching an index directly, especially near the open.  In real time the server compares the changes in each stock's price to the expected changes based on the other products.  It reports an alert as soon as the actual price varies too much from the expected price.  It recomputes this every time a stock prints; it does not include any type of confirmation.

These alerts are not available for indexes.  The opening price data for an index is not reliable.  Instead, use the following alerts, which are similar but use the previous close rather than today's open.

The server does not report a breakout unless the actual stock price is at least 1% above expectations.  It does not report a breakdown unless the actual price is at least 1% below expectations.  The user can require higher standards, as described below.

[Sector breakdown (from open)] Sector breakdown (from open)
[Sector breakout (from close)] Sector breakout (from close) These alerts are similar to the previous set of alerts.  While those compare each stock's current price to its price at today's open, these compare the current price to the previous day's close.  Otherwise, these alerts use the same algorithms and historical background data as the previous alerts.

The most obvious advantage to using the previous close is that these alerts work in the premarket.  The previous alerts only report after the opening print.

More importantly, the two types of alerts handle the gap differently.  If you believe that the gap was based on news after the market, and the market has already stabilized, use the previous set of alerts.  Those start fresh after the open, and only look for new changes.  If you think that the gap is significant and will continue to effect the stock prices through the day, use these alerts.  This philosophy is appealing to traders who believe that the beginning of the day is too wild to be predictable or the open is manipulated by the specialists.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Sector breakdown (from close)] Sector breakdown (from close)
[Positive market divergence] Positive market divergence These alerts are similar to the Sector breakout/breakdown (from close) alerts.  These are optimized to work well in the low volume times, such as before and after official market hours.

The Sector breakout/down (from open/close) alerts look at a number of possible sectors and indexes, and choose one to match each stock.  They make this choice based on how well the prices match during a typical trading day.  The market divergence alerts try to compare each stock to QQQQ.  This is a popular point of comparison because it is a broad based index and it is so liquid, even before and after normal trading hours.  The market divergence alerts also use a slightly different algorithm than the previous alerts to compare the stocks.  This algorithm pays more attention to the previous close and minimizes the effects of the opening prices.  As with the previous alert types, some stocks do not usually move with QQQQ, so we do not report alerts for those stocks.

If you do a lot of trading before the open or in other low volume times, these alerts are ideal.  But they are also useful to traders who only trade at the open and other high volume times.  For instance, take the strategy of open order enveloping.  In this strategy traders assume that the specialist is manipulating the opening print, and they try to take advantage of this.  They start shortly before the open by using yesterday's close and the current price of the futures to predict a reasonable opening value for a stock.  They assume that the actual opening price will often differ from the expected value, but will usually move toward that value after the open.  After placing your initial orders, use the market divergence alerts to watch your stocks.  You will see alerts if the stocks move away from the expected value, moving against you.  You will see no alerts as long as the stock moves toward the expected value.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Negative market divergence] Negative market divergence
[Consolidation] Consolidation This alert appears when a stock price is changing significantly less than normal.  The volatility of the stock sets the expected price range for a stock price.  Statistical analysis determines if a consolidation is strong enough to report.  If the software detects consolidations on multiple time frames, it reports the most statically significant time frame.  On average the software reevaluates each consolidation every 15 minutes, but the exact time depends on how quickly the stock is trading.  The analysis is based on the majority of trades, weighted by volume; outlying prints may be ignored.

This alert works best for stocks with medium to high volume.  For low volume stocks, a few large prints can contribute more volume than all the rest of the prints combined.

More options related to this alert are listed below.

If you are looking for consolidations on a larger time frame, see the consolidation filters, below.  These use a more traditional algorithm for consolidations, and they look at a daily chart.

[High relative volume] High relative volume This alert appears when a stock is trading on higher volume than normal.  Normal volume is based on the average volume of the stock on several recent days, at the same time of day.  Historical volume data is broken into 15 minute intervals.  Current volume must be up a minimum of 50% over the historical average before this alert is reported.  If the current volume is at least 3 times the historical average, the alert description includes "very high relative volume".  Current volume may be smoothed out; if volume in one time period is below average, it will take more volume to cause this alert in adjacent time periods.  Distant time periods also affect each other, but to a lesser degree.

This alert is related to the current volume filters.

More options related to this alert are listed below.

[Strong volume] Strong volume This alert appears when a stock is trading on significantly higher volume than normal.  Normal volume is based on the average total volume of the stock on several recent days.  Current volume is the volume between midnight and the current time.

This alert can appear multiple times for a stock.  If, in the course of a day, a stock trades a total of 3 1/2 times its average volume, the stock will generate 3 alerts.  The first alert will occur when the stock's volume first gets to its daily average.  The second alert will occur when the stock's volume gets to twice the daily average.  An additional alert is generated each time the current volume crosses another integer multiple of the average volume.

This alert is similar to the High relative volume alert, listed above.  High relative volume is much more precise, looking at only the recent volume today, and comparing it to the normal volume for this time of day.  This alert is better at finding stocks which are trading much, much more than normal.

More options related to this alert are listed below.

[Unusual number of prints] Unusual number of prints These alerts appear when a stock prints the tape more quickly than it normally does at this time of day.  They only look at the number of prints, not the size of the prints.  They are focused on timeframes of 3 minutes or less.  This includes all prints, regardless of the exchange or execution venue.

A stock must print at a rate of at least 5 times as fast as normal to generate this alert.  Roughly speaking, if a stock prints as many times in a 3 minute period as it usually does in 15 minutes, then we report an alert.  We can also display additional alerts if the rate continues to rise.

We always compare the current rate of prints to a historical baseline for this stock.  Some stocks typically print more often than others.  And we expect more prints during certain times of day than others.  This historical data is more consistent during regular market hours than in the pre- and post-market.  It is possible to see these alerts in the pre- and post-market, but they are far less common.

These alerts are aimed at finding stocks which are just starting to print quickly; we report these alerts as soon as possible.  However, once we report an alert, we are less likely to report a second alert for the same stock.  If the rate drops, then rises again later in the day, we will display another alert.  And if the rate increases, we will report more alerts. But if the rate remains constant, regardless of how unusual the rate is, you will only see these alerts when this trend starts.  If you wish to see stocks which have been printing more than normal all day long, look at the Strong volume alert or the Min Current Volume filter.

You can filter these alerts based on how much faster the prints are coming in than normal, as described below.

[Running up] Running up These alerts appear when the stock price moves very quickly.  The exact number of basis points required to set off this alert depends on the volatility of the underlying security.  To assist daytraders, this alert works on a time scale of approximately one minute.  Bad prints are filtered out, and will not cause this alert to appear.

The description of each alert includes the size of the move.  Roughly speaking, this number shows how much the price has changed in the last minute.  However, the alert will be reported as soon as the underlying security meets the minimum criteria, which may take less than one minute.  Often the price continues to run in the same direction, so the final size will be larger than the size reported.

This alert will only be reported when the price makes a clear, statistically validated move in one direction.  It will not be reported every time the price of the last print moves by the price displayed on the screen.  Otherwise, random noise would cause this alert to be reported more often.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Running down] Running down
[Running up (confirmed)] Running up (confirmed) These alerts are similar to their faster counterparts, but these alerts work on a longer time frame and require more volume to appear.  These alerts work on a minimum time frame of approximately 15 minutes.  The exact time frame can change based on how quickly a stock is trading.  To assist institutional traders, these alerts have stricter criteria than the faster ones, so fewer of these alerts appear.

There is no direct relationship between the confirmed and faster version of these alerts.  Neither is a subset of the other.  It is analogous to the problem of drawing trendlines on graphs with two different time frames.  A trend may be clear in the smaller time frame but reverse itself several times in the larger time frame.  Conversely, a trend may not be considered strong to report on the smaller time frame, but in the larger time frame the trend is consistent enough to report.  The confirmed version of these alerts actually monitors multiple time frames, with different cutoffs for each one.

Because these alerts require statistical confirmation of a trend, the last print may not agree with the trend.  Often these alerts can be helpful to find tops and bottoms.  During especially turbulent trading, it is even possible to see a running up alert followed almost immediately by a running down alert.  This is not a mistake.  In this case the VWAP graph will show a trend moving up then down, with one or more major volume spikes in the middle.

The description of the alert will include more information:

  • Running up - This stock price is increasing quickly.
  • Running up briskly - This stock price is increasing even more quickly.
  • Running down - This stock price is decreasing quickly.
  • Running down briskly - This stock price is decreasing even more quickly.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Running down (confirmed)] Running down (confirmed)
[Running up (intermediate)] Running up (intermediate) These offer a middle ground between the volume confirmed versions of the running alerts and faster versions.  Watching the confirmed running alerts, or any of the volume confirmed alerts we offer, is similar to watching a week's worth of 15 minute candles.  Watching the faster running alerts is similar to watching 90 seconds worth of data on a tick chart.  Watching the intermediate running alerts is similar to watching 25 minutes of 30 second candles.  Of course, we continuously monitor the tick data, not candles, but this gives you an idea of the time frame for each alert.

Like the other types of running alerts, these alerts point out stocks that are moving more quickly and more consistently than normal.  Normal is defined by the intraday volatility over the past two weeks.  At a high level, the three pairs of alerts are all looking for the same thing.  In practice we need different algorithms to work on each time scale.

In some ways the intermediate alerts are more closely related to the volume confirmed alerts than to the faster running alerts.
  • The intermediate and volume confirmed versions of the alerts smooth the data out before commenting on the trend.  This prevents any one unusual print from causing an alert, no matter how unusual it is.  The cost of this extra filtering is that it can take longer to report a valid change to the trend.  This is analogous to watching a moving average, rather than the current price.
  • The intermediate and volume confirmed alerts look at different time scales within their field of view.  The price does not have to go up consistently for a whole week to generate a volume confirmed running up alert and it does not have to go up consistently for 25 minutes to generate an intermediate running up alert.  The price can go up for a shorter period of time, but it will have to go up more quickly to generate the alert.  It takes a combination of speed (in pennies per second) and consistency to generate these alerts; more of one can compensate for less of the other.
  • The alert specific filters associated with the intermediate and volume confirmed running alerts are more precise than the corresponding filters for the faster running alerts.  Because the faster alerts try to report on a move as soon as it happens, they can't say as precisely how big it will be.  By waiting a little longer, the server can give a more precise description of the trend.
In some ways the intermediate alerts are more closely related to the faster running alerts than to the volume confirmed running alerts.
  • The intermediate and faster alerts are very sensitive to time and pay relatively little attention to volume.  The timescale of the volume confirmed alert changes when volume is low.  Volume confirmed alerts might trigger more slowly, or not at all, if the volume is too low.  The others will always trigger at about the same speed, with little regard to volume.
  • The intermediate and faster alerts pay close attention to the inside market.  Before judging the strength of the move, these alerts subtract the size of the spread from the size of the move.  Prints trading above and below the inside market don't count toward the trend.  We use the inside market as type of confirmation which is weaker yet faster than volume confirmation.

The intermediate running alerts include a model for how much a stock normally moves in a given amount of time, based on that stock's volatility.  This is similar to the models used by the other running alerts.  The stock price must move at least twice as far as expected in the given time period or no alert will be generated.  The user can require a higher standard, as described below.

Roughly 30% of these alerts represent stocks moving at less than 2.4 times the expected rate.  Roughly 40% are for stocks trading 2.6 times the expected rate.  50% represent stocks at 2.9 times expectations.  60%, 3.2 times expectations.  70%, 3.7 times expectations.  90%, 6.6 times expectations.

These numbers can vary from one day to the next based on what the market is doing that day.  However, if you set the minimum to 6.6, you will see only about 10% of the alerts that you would see if you did not set a value for the filter.  You will see only the most active stocks.  If you set the filter to 3.2, you will see about 40% of the alerts that are available.

[Running down (intermediate)] Running down (intermediate)
[Crossed above 200 day moving average] Crossed above 200 day moving average These alerts are similar to the "Crossed above open (confirmed)" alert.  These alerts use the same statistical analysis of the price, but they compare the price to other technical levels.

The 200 day moving average is the traditional way to determine if the stock is up or down in the long term.  This technical level is a staple for institutional traders.

The 50 and 20 day moving averages are commonly used by many different types of traders.

The VWAP is often used by institutions to grade their traders.  The VWAP can also be used to set prices on institutional orders.

[Crossed below 200 day moving average] Crossed below 200 day moving average
[Crossed above 50 day moving average] Crossed above 50 day moving average
[Crossed below 50 day moving average] Crossed below 50 day moving average
[Crossed above 20 day moving average] Crossed above 20 day moving average
[Crossed below 20 day moving average] Crossed below 20 day moving average
[Crossed above VWAP] Crossed above VWAP
[Crossed below VWAP] Crossed below VWAP
[Positive VWAP Divergence] Positive VWAP Divergence These alerts compare the price of the last print to the current VWAP for the day.  These will notify you when the price moves an integer number of percentage points off the VWAP.

These alerts are popular because of algorithmic trading.  One of the most important metrics for algorithmic traders is how far off the VWAP a stock is trading.  Other traders use our alerts to predict how the algorithmic trading strategies will try to hide large order flow.

These alerts will typically go off only once at each integer percent level.  However, if a price moves one way, then back the other way, the alerts will notify you of the return trip.  To limit the alerts even further, use the alert specific filters, as described below.

[Negative VWAP Divergence] Negative VWAP Divergence
[Gap down reversal] Gap down reversal A gap is when a stock changes price between yesterday's close and today's open.  A gap reversal is when a stock moves in one direction between yesterday's close and today's open, then moves in the other direction after today's open.  A gap reversal alert occurs when a stock price crosses yesterday's closing price for the first time since today's open.

This alert reports the size of the gap.  The gap is defined as today's opening price minus yesterday's closing price.  This value is positive, and this is called a "gap up", if the stock price moves up between the close and the open.  This value is negative, and this is called a "gap down", if the stock price moves down between the close and the open.  If the close and the open have the same price, there is no gap, and this alert will not occur.  Note:  This is a very common definition of "gap", but this is not the only definition of gap.

This alert also reports the continuation.  If the stock gaps in one direction, then immediately starts trading in the other direction, there is no continuation.  However, if the stock gaps in one direction, then continues to trade in that direction before eventually reversing, that is called a continuation.  The size of the continuation is the amount that the stock moved in the direction of the gap, after the open, but before the reversal.

This alert will occur the instant a stock price crosses yesterday's close, even by a fraction of a penny.  Normally this alert will not occur more than once per day.  It is possible to see this more often if the exchange reports a correction to a bad print.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Gap up reversal] Gap up reversal
[False gap up retracement] False gap up retracement These alerts occur when a stock gaps in one direction, starts to fill the gap, but retraces its steps and continues in the original direction of the gap.

A false gap up retracement alert occurs when the price continues above the open by a sufficient margin for the first time.  A false gap down retracement alert occurs when the price continues below the open by a sufficient margin for the first time.  In order to have an alert, there must have been a sufficiently large gap between the close and the open, and the price must have partially filled that gap.  If the price immediately moves away from the close price (continuing in the direction of the gap), if the price crosses the close price (overfilling the gap), or if the gap was too small, there can be no alert.

Normally each stock can have no more than one of these alerts per day.  However, if the exchange reports a correction to a bad print, it is possible to see more.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[False gap down retracement] False gap down retracement
[Channel breakout (confirmed)] Channel breakout (confirmed) A volume confirmed channel breakdown / breakout alert occurs when a stock transitions directly from a consolidating state to a running state.  See the definitions of the consolidation alert, and the running up / down (confirmed) alerts for more details.

A consolidation does not always end in a channel breakdown or breakout alert.  If the stock price moves just slightly outside of the range of the consolidation, the software may just increase the size of the channel.  In this case another consolidation alert will eventually occur, but it will be labeled as "decaying".  Alternatively, the stock price can move far enough outside of the channel that the stock in no longer consolidating.  If it does so slowly enough, no alerts will occur.  These alerts only occur when the stock price moves quickly enough to be interesting.

These alerts require a certain combination of volume and price action for confirmation.  This is required by the way we report consolidations.  The top and the bottom of the channel are based on the price of most of the prints, but some prints will be outside of the channel.  Therefore, an alert does not occur every time a single print is outside of the channel.  An alert only occurs when there is a recognizable pattern of price, time, and volume.

In the past, "channel breakout" and "channel breakdown" appeared in the description of running up / down (confirmed) alerts.  Now these alerts have their own alert type, so a user may enable or disable these separately from the running alerts.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Channel breakdown (confirmed)] Channel breakdown (confirmed)
[Channel breakout] Channel breakout The user sees these alerts whenever a consolidation pattern ends abruptly.  These alerts attempt to identify the same chart patterns as their confirmed counterparts.  The primary difference is that these alerts attempt to notify the user as quickly as possible, while the confirmed alerts wait until the chart pattern is clearer.  As a trade-off for being notified sooner, the user may receive some false signals.

Very roughly speaking these alerts are on the same time-scale as a one minute chart, and the confirmed versions are on the same time-scale as a 15 minute chart.  These alerts pay less attention to volume and rate of price change than the confirmed versions.  These alerts pay more attention to the order book and the precise position of support and resistance than the confirmed versions.  These alerts are more common than the confirmed versions.

The volume confirmed versions of these alerts require volume confirmed running up or down patterns.  These alerts do not require a corresponding running up or down alert.  These alerts include analysis very similar to the analysis used by the running up and down alerts.  These alerts can be triggered much more quickly than a running up or down alert.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Channel breakdown] Channel breakdown
[5 minute consolidation breakout] 5 minute consolidation breakout These alerts describe a consolidation breakout pattern.  This pattern starts when a stock price moves only a small amount for a sufficient amount of time, creating a “consolidation” pattern.  We first report an alert when the stock price moves outside of the range of the consolidation pattern.  If the price continues to move in the same direction, and it moves quickly enough and far enough, we will report additional alerts.

These alerts describe the same general pattern as the channel breakout and channel breakdown alerts.  However, these alerts use more traditional methods of analysis, and may be easier to see on a stock chart.  For one thing, each of these alerts works on one specific time frame, where the channel breakout/breakdown alerts automatically look at a wide range of timeframes.  Also, these alerts pay more attention to time, and very little attention to volume.  Finally, these alerts do not require any confirmation; a single print can create an alert.

To see these alerts clearly, configure your stock chart to show candlesticks.  And show exactly 41 periods in the chart.  This pattern will be visible on other charts, but it will be easiest to spot on a chart configured in this way.

Our definition of a consolidation removes any stock with empty candles.  If a stock hasn’t traded at all in some time, that does not count as a consolidation pattern.  Each candle in the consolidation must contain at least one print.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[5 minute consolidation breakdown] 5 minute consolidation breakdown
[10 minute consolidation breakout] 10 minute consolidation breakout
[10 minute consolidation breakdown] 10 minute consolidation breakdown
[15 minute consolidation breakout] 15 minute consolidation breakout
[15 minute consolidation breakdown] 15 minute consolidation breakdown
[30 minute consolidation breakout] 30 minute consolidation breakout
[30 minute consolidation breakdown] 30 minute consolidation breakdown
[Crossed above resistance (confirmed)] Crossed above resistance (confirmed) These alerts appear whenever a stock crosses important support and resistance lines.  When a stock trades a lot near a particular price level, but never goes above that price, we draw a resistance line at that price.  When a stock trades a lot near a price level, but never goes below that price, we draw a support line at that price.

Support and resistance lines are not an exact science.  Most interesting stocks always fluctuate by at least a few cents in even the smallest timeframes.  We use proprietary filtering algorithms to determine the best place to draw these lines, and a few prints are always on the wrong side of the line.  We use related algorithms to determine when the lines have been crossed.  Again, a single print can cross the line without causing an alert.  Sufficient volume is required to cause the alert.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Crossed below support (confirmed)] Crossed below support (confirmed)
[Crossed above resistance] Crossed above resistance These alerts appear whenever a stock crosses important support and resistance lines.  These are similar to their volume confirmed counterparts.  Both sets of alerts use the same definition of support and resistance, and the exact same lines.  The volume confirmed versions of the alerts require more proof that the price has really crossed the support or resistance line.  These alerts require less confirmation than their volume confirmed counterparts, so we typically report them sooner.

Support and resistance are particularly sensitive to noise.  By definition, support and resistance are places where the stock price spends a lot of time.  The stock does not stay at one exact price, but it moves around near that price.  If we just drew a line right through the middle of support or resistance, and reported every time the stock made a single print on the wrong side of the line, we would generate too many alerts.

These alerts are similar to looking at a 1 minute stock graph.  The volume confirmed versions of these alerts are similar to looking at a 15 minute stock graph.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Crossed below support] Crossed below support
[Block trade] Block trade A block trade alert means that there was a single trade with at least 20,000 shares.  Block trades usually show institutional trading.  These large trades are done over the phone.  The traders report them electronically after the fact.  If a trader tries to make a large trade on an ECN, the trade will usually be broken into many smaller prints, rather than one large one.

The description of the alert may contain additional information:

  • At the ask - The price of the trade was the current ask price.
  • At the bid - The price was the current bid price.
  • Trading above - The price was higher than the current ask price.
  • Trading below - The price was lower than the current bid price.
  • Trading between - The price was between the bid and the ask.

The description also includes the name of the exchange where the trade takes place, when that information is available.

Note:  This was previously known as a "block print" alert.

More options related to this alert are listed below.

[Broadening bottom] Broadening bottom The broadening pattern, also called the inverted triangle pattern, is a common pattern in technical analysis.  This pattern is defined as a series of higher highs and lower lows.  It takes at least 5 consecutive highs and lows in this pattern before we report it.

A broadening bottom alert means that the price touched the bottom of the pattern, then turned back up.  A broadening top alert means that the price touched the top of the pattern, then turned back down.

These are part of a series of alerts all based on local highs and lows.  Compared to most of our alerts, these alerts have longer terms and are based on more complicated chart patterns.  These patterns take longer to see, but they also last longer.

The analysis for these alerts starts with our standard volume confirmation.  This allows us to see which price trends are significant, and which prints should be filtered out.  You need more than just a price trend to define a high or a low.  You need significant volume below a high price, just to set a baseline.  Then you need significant volume near or at the high price to define the high price.  Finally you need significant volume below the price, again, to show that the trend has reversed itself and the price has turned around.  Lows are defined similarly.  After you have a series of these turning points, you can see the patterns described in these alerts.

The description of each alert lists the prices of the highs and lows that formed the pattern.  This includes our normal algorithm for removing stray prints.  This shows the most extreme prices where more than a trivial amount of volume occurs.  In some cases this price is an average of several prints, if no one print described the turning point adequately.

The description also includes the times when the pattern started and ended.  As a result of the smoothing and confirmation, the times are not as precise as the prices.  This is particularly obvious with NASDAQ stocks.  Often a significant turning point will occur between one day's close and the following trading day's open. The alert will attempt to find the exact turning point, but since trading gradually trails off in the evening, and gradually picks up in the morning, there may be no specific point in time.  The alert will just give its best estimate between the open and the close.  For NYSE stocks, the open is much more precise, So these alerts will often list the open as the exact starting time.

We report only the times when the stock was at the first high or low price and the when the stock was at the last high or low price.  The definition of these alerts requires the stock price to move in a certain direction before and after this to define a turning point.  We don't include this additional period in the time.

Each of these alerts can be filtered based on the volume inside the pattern.  Like the times, we only include volume between when the stock was at the first high or low and when the stock was at the last high or low.  We do not include the volume before and after these turning points.  More details on this filter are listed below.

[Broadening top] Broadening top
[Triangle bottom] Triangle bottom These alerts report standard triangle patterns, which are common in technical analysis.  A triangle pattern describes a stock price which keeps moving, but covers smaller and smaller price ranges over time.  A triangle is defined as a series of lower highs and higher lows.  It takes at least 5 consecutive highs and lows in this pattern before we report it.

We use the terms "triangle bottoms" and "triangle tops" because they are so common in the literature.  While triangles are important patterns, it is hard to say for certain if the price will go up or down after a triangle.  We call a triangle a "bottom" and color it green if the first point is at the bottom, and the first line is going up.  For the most common case, when the pattern contains exactly 5 turning points, a triangle bottom will end by going up.

After seeing a triangle pattern with 5 turning points, we might see more lower highs and higher lows.  These points make the triangle pattern stronger and more distinct.  Each one of these points means that the stock price changed direction.  In these cases we continue to use the first point, not the last point, to choose a name and icon for the pattern.  We use the initial because point because the initial trend is the largest and the strongest trend in the triangle.  The last point shows the smallest and the weakest trend.

The analysis and reporting of triangle patterns is very similar to the analysis and reporting of broadening patterns, described above.

[Triangle top] Triangle top
[Rectangle bottom] Rectangle bottom A rectangle is another standard technical analysis pattern.  A rectangle is defined by a series of highs and lows where each high is at approximately the same price as the other highs, and each low is at approximately the same price as the other lows.  We report a rectangle pattern after seeing at least 5 consecutive highs and lows.

If the last turning point was a low, we call the pattern a rectangle bottom, and we draw a green icon to show that the price is going up.  If the last turning point was a high, we call the pattern a rectangle top, and we draw a red icon to show that the price is going down.  Each time we add another point to the rectangle, the direction changes.

Rectangles are similar to consolidation patterns, because they both show a stock trading in a channel.  However, we use completely different algorithms to build the two types of channels.  The consolidation algorithm depends heavily on the volatility of the stock, comparing the amount that the stock price moved recently to the amount that we would expect it to move.  A consolidation pattern can become stronger if the price just stays inside the channel.  A rectangle pattern depends more on the specific prices near the edges of the pattern.  The only way to confirm a rectangle pattern is for the price to move up and down through the entire range of the rectangle.  A rectangle might not be a consolidation pattern if the rectangle is too tall.  A consolidation might not be a rectangle if the top and bottom edges are not precise enough.

We use the channels from our consolidation algorithm to create channel breakout alerts.  This algorithm is good at finding a specific interesting price level.  Our rectangle algorithm is best at exactly the opposite.  The rectangle alert tells you that the channel has been confirmed, and the price is moving back inside the channel.

The analysis and reporting of rectangle patterns is very similar to the analysis and reporting of broadening patterns, described above.

[Rectangle top] Rectangle top
[Double bottom] Double bottom A double bottom is common long-term technical analysis pattern.  A double bottom is defined by at least two lows at approximately the same price level.  Significant time and volume must to exist between the two lows, making them distinct.

This alert can also report triple bottoms, quadruple bottoms, etc.  In these cases the alert description states the number of lows.  We do not require as much time or volume between the individual lows in a triple or quadruple bottom as we do in a double bottom, as long as the first and last low are spread sufficiently far apart.

The analysis and reporting of double bottom patterns is very similar to the analysis and reporting of broadening patterns, described above.

[Double top] Double top This alert reports when an double top pattern appears.  This includes triple tops, quadruple tops, etc.  These patterns are identical to double bottoms, but upside-down.
[Inverted head and shoulders] Inverted head and shoulders This alert reports the inverted head and shoulders pattern which is common in technical analysis.

An inverted head and shoulders pattern is defined by exactly 5 consecutive turning points.  The first point is a low.  The last point is a low at approximately the same price as the first point.  The second point is a high.  The fourth point is a high at approximately the same price as the second point.  The middle point is a low, and it must be lower than any of the other 5 points.  Our definition of "approximately the same price" depends on the size of the pattern and the volatility of the stock.

There are many common interpretations of an inverted head and shoulders pattern.  Some people use the first and last points, the shoulders, to draw a support line.  We use a green icon to represent this pattern, since many people use this as a reversal pattern.

The analysis and reporting of an inverted head and shoulders pattern is very similar to the analysis and reporting of broadening patterns, described above.

[Head and shoulders] Head and shoulders This alert reports when a head and shoulders pattern appears.  This pattern is identical to a inverted head and shoulders pattern, but upside-down.
[5 minute high] 5 minute high These alerts report when a stock makes a new intraday high or low.  These alerts are defined in terms of a standard candlestick chart.  Look at the current candle that is building for a stock, and compare that to the previous candle.  The first time that the current candle goes above the high of the previous candle, we report a new high.  The first time that the current candle goes below the low of the previous candle, we report a new low.  We ignore candles with no volume; we always go back to the last candle representing at least one trade.

These alerts are based strictly on traditional candlestick analysis.  These alerts only look at price and time, and they do not filter out bad prints.  Most of our alerts take volume, spread, and volatility into account.  This trade-off makes these alerts slightly easier to understand than most of our alerts, but much noisier.

These alerts can serve the purpose of a trailing stop.  They constantly tell you when the stock price pulls back in one direction or the other.  The best way to use these alerts is to apply them to your current portfolio so you know if one of your positions is moving away from you. 

[5 minute low] 5 minute low
[10 minute high] 10 minute high
[10 minute low] 10 minute low
[15 minute high] 15 minute high
[15 minute low] 15 minute low
[30 minute high] 30 minute high
[30 minute low] 30 minute low
[60 minute high] 60 minute high
[60 minute low] 60 minute low
[Trailing stop, % up] Trailing stop, % up These alerts are based on the idea of a trailing stop.  They will report when a stock price pulls back from a local high or low.  These highs and lows can happen on any time frame, they are not limited to candles of any particular size.

A trailing stop is a feature of many trading applications which helps you lock in profits.  The software will watch each of your positions.  Each time one of your long positions goes up, the software adjusts your stop loss.  If the prices moves back down a predetermined amount, you will hit the stop loss, and the software will automatically sell your stock.  The software constantly compares the current price of each of your long positions the highest price since you owned the stock.  Short positions work the same way, but the direction is reversed.

Trade-Ideas does not know when you buy or sell a stock, so we can not replace a stop loss.  However, we can approximate your stop losses.  To do this we assume that you always buy stocks when they are going up, and short them when they are going down.

The trailing stop alerts are similar to the pullbacks from highs and lows, and the Fibonacci retracements.  All of these alerts report when a stock moves in one direction, then turns around and moves sufficiently far in the other direction.  Trailing stops are different because they work on a shorter time scale and typically report more often.  For the pullbacks from highs and lows, the turning point must be a new high or low for the day.  For the Fibonacci retracements, the turning point must be a volume confirmed support or resistance line.  Trailing stop alerts, like real trailing stops, will allow even a single print to serve as the turning point.

The first trailing stop alert will occur when the stock moves at least 0.5% down from the last high or up from the last low.  The stock will produce another alert each time the stock continues in that direction for another 0.25%.

The there are three common ways to use these alerts.  If you are watching your stocks very closely, you can use these alerts similar the way you'd use a real trailing stop.  You can have one alert window generate stop loss alerts whenever your long positions move down, and have another window generate stop loss alerts whenever your shorts move up.

For more general information you can put the up and down alerts into the same window and watch all of your stocks.  This acts a lot like a standard stock ticker.  The difference is that most stock tickers list the stocks as red or green depending only on whether they are up or down for the whole day.  These alerts to show you which stocks are up or down for a shorter time frame, and you can configure them to adjust that time frame.

If you use real trailing stops in your trading, these alerts can help you determine the best values to use for these stops.  Often when you use a trailing stop you are surprised how quickly you are stopped out.  Traditional backtesting tools are not precise enough to simulate a trailing stop.  If an up candle is very tall, does that mean that the stock went straight up?  Or did it move back and forth a lot in the middle of the candle?  Use these alerts with our history feature to see just how much a stock typically moves around in these smaller time frames.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Trailing stop, % down] Trailing stop, % down
[Trailing stop, volatility up] Trailing stop, volatility up These alerts are similar to the ones above, but these are triggered by volatility, not percent.  This makes it easier to use just one filter value for a lot of stocks.  This also prevents the same stocks from reporting a lot every day, while other stocks never report.  Stocks which are move volatile will have to move further to set of an alert.

These alerts use the same volatility measurements that we use throughout the system.  One "bar" is the amount that a stock typically moves between each bar of a 15 minute bar chart.

These alerts will first report when a stock moves an entire bar off of its last high or low. Additional alerts will appear each time the stock continues in the same direction for another 1/2 bar.

Some traders prefer the % versions of these alerts because the math is easier; they can see exactly what the alert is doing.  In most cases we recommend that you use the volatility versions of these alerts.  Let our servers do your homework for you; let us tell you how large a move has to be before it is considered interesting.  That way you'll get the right value for every stock, and the values will be updated every night.  Look up a stock in our stock screener if you want to know the exact value of a volatility bar for that stock.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[Trailing stop, volatility down] Trailing stop, volatility down
[1 minute opening range breakout] 1 minute opening range breakout These alerts define support as the lowest point in the first candle of the day.  Resistance is the highest point in the first candle.  The first time we break above resistance, that's an opening range breakout.  The first time we break below support, that's an opening range breakdown.  You can choose between 1, 5, 10, 15, 30 and 60 minute candles.  15 is the most popular choice, but they are all valid.

These alerts each include a one minute blackout period.  For example, if you ask for a 15 minute breakout, the server starts buy looking for the highest price during the first 15 minutes of the market.  If the price goes above that resistance level during the 16th minute, that stock will not report a 15 minute breakout for today.  This separates the stocks which are simply moving up from the stocks which establish a resistance level, then break through that level.

Many trading strategies tell the trader to watch a stock closely from the open, but not to make any trades until the market has settled down.  Wait for the stock to choose a direction.  Use the size of the first candle to tell you how much the stock has to move before it has selected a direction.

These alerts automate the strategy described above.  Instead of watching one stock closely, let our software search through the entire market to tell you what's hot.  Scans like these monitor all stocks on various time frames.  Let's say, for example, that you don't like to start trading until 10 O'clock.  Bulls and bears will become obvious at that time if you watch the 30 minute opening range breakouts and breakdowns.  In addition to picking individual stocks, you can uses the alerts to get a feel for the overall market.  Gauge the strength or weakness of the market based on the number of breakouts vs. breakdowns that you see.

These are powerful alerts because the stock price must pass through two forms of support or resistance.  A breakout alert only occurs when the stock price breaks above the high of the first candle, for the first time all day.  That means that the stock is also making new daily highs at the same time as it is crossing the resistance line described above.  For the same reason, a breakdown alert means that the stock is making new lows for the day at the same time as it is passing through the support described above.

Note:  "1 minute" does not mean one minute after the bell rings to start the trading session.  Each stock has its own clock.  We start the clock when a stock has its first print of the day.  For NYSE stocks we ignore any prints before the specialist opens the market.

[1 minute opening range breakdown] 1 minute opening range breakdown
[5 minute opening range breakout] 5 minute opening range breakout
[5 minute opening range breakdown] 5 minute opening range breakdown
[10 minute opening range breakout] 10 minute opening range breakout
[10 minute opening range breakdown] 10 minute opening range breakdown
[15 minute opening range breakout] 15 minute opening range breakout
[15 minute opening range breakdown] 15 minute opening range breakdown
[30 minute opening range breakout] 30 minute opening range breakout
[30 minute opening range breakdown] 30 minute opening range breakdown
[60 minute opening range breakout] 60 minute opening range breakout
[60 minute opening range breakdown] 60 minute opening range breakdown
[Fibonacci 38% buy signal] Fibonacci 38% buy signal These alerts appear whenever a price crosses a common Fibonacci support or resistance level.  When a price moves in one direction for a certain price interval, then turns around and moves in the other direction, many traders use Fibonacci numbers to determine interesting price levels.  When the price gets as far as one of these levels, we generate an alert.

The most common interpretation of this alert is a reversal.  The icons and textual descriptions of these alerts are based on this interpretation.  When the price goes down through a level, the icon is green and the text says buy.  When the price goes up, the icon is red and the text says sell.  Warning:  Trading systems involving Fibonacci levels typically have additional criteria for entering a trade. These alerts tell the trader to take a closer look because the price is at an interesting level.  Do not buy or sell only from these alerts.  This is a very popular technical indicator, so there are numerous books, websites, classes, etc., describing different ways to trade with Fibonacci.

These are some of our more intricate alerts.  There are three interesting points in the pattern.  Although the analysis of these points is similar to our other alerts, each point is examined using different levels of confirmation.

  • The point on the far left requires the strongest volume confirmation.  This algorithm is similar to the algorithms used to generate our geometric pattern alerts, like the rectangles and the triangles.  This ensures that we have enough data to see a meaningful pattern.  Note that some of the volume required for confirmation has to happen before the pattern starts.  This ensures that the alert always starts with a pivot, and we're not just looking a small part of a larger pattern.  The description of each alert starts at the extreme point of the pivot, and does not count this extra confirmation.
  • The point in the middle requires volume confirmation similar to the lines we draw for the support and resistance alerts.  Once we have established a valid start for the pattern, we do not need as much to recognize the second point.  In fact, this gives us more freedom, especially when tracking multiple pairs of support and resistance lines at the same time.
  • The final point requires the least confirmation.  No confirmation is required in advance; a single print crossing the Fibonacci level can set off these alerts.  However, we examine the trend after reporting the alert.  If the trend follows this initial print, we are done.  If most of the prints do not cross this threshold, we reset the alert, and look for the price to cross the level again.  This is similar to the algorithm we use for the faster versions of our crossed support and resistance alerts.

Each of these alerts can be filtered based on the volume inside the pattern.  Like the description, this filter only includes volume starting at the first pivot.  We do not include the volume before the pivot, even though it was used in the analysis.  More details on this filter are listed below.

[Fibonacci 38% sell signal] Fibonacci 38% sell signal
[Fibonacci 50% buy signal] Fibonacci 50% buy signal
[Fibonacci 50% sell signal] Fibonacci 50% sell signal
[Fibonacci 62% buy signal] Fibonacci 62% buy signal
[Fibonacci 62% sell signal] Fibonacci 62% sell signal
[Fibonacci 79% buy signal] Fibonacci 79% buy signal
[Fibonacci 79% sell signal] Fibonacci 79% sell signal
[5 minute linear regression up trend] 5 minute linear regression up trend These alerts are based on the entry signals taught by Precision Trading System.  This system reports high probability trades based on the way stocks typically move in a linear regression channel.  For details about this system, contact Precision Trading System.

For each stock we perform short and long term linear regression analysis.  We use the longer term linear regression to form a channel, and tell us where the stock is likely to move.  We use the shorter term linear regression to show us the stock's current momentum.  When a stock starts moving from one side of the channel to the other, we report an alert.

These alerts do not report exactly the same signals described by Precision Trading System.  We recommend that you use these alerts to find interesting stocks, then examine the charts yourself to verify that these match your trading criteria.  Each type of alert is based on signals from a single chart, however you may want to check additional charts for confirmation.

You can filter these alerts based on the amount of room left in the channel.  See below for details.

[5 minute linear regression down trend] 5 minute linear regression down trend
[15 minute linear regression up trend] 15 minute linear regression up trend
[15 minute linear regression down trend] 15 minute linear regression down trend
[30 minute linear regression up trend] 30 minute linear regression up trend
[30 minute linear regression down trend] 30 minute linear regression down trend
[90 minute linear regression up trend] 90 minute linear regression up trend
[90 minute linear regression down trend] 90 minute linear regression down trend
[5 minute Doji] 5 minute Doji These alerts report when a Doji pattern is created on a standard candlestick chart.  Because the closing price is so specific for a Doji pattern, we only report these at the end of the timeframe.  The different alerts work on charts of different timeframes.
[10 minute Doji] 10 minute Doji
[15 minute Doji] 15 minute Doji
[30 minute Doji] 30 minute Doji
[5 minute hammer] 5 minute hammer These alerts report when there is a traditional hammer pattern on a standard candlestick chart.  Because the closing price is so important to a hammer trading pattern, we only report these at the end of the timeframe.  The different alerts work on charts of different timeframes.

The last candle in a hammer pattern has no upper wick, a small body, and a large lower wick.  This candle must occur in a downtrend.  We associate this alert with the color green because most traders see a hammer as a reversal pattern.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[10 minute hammer] 10 minute hammer
[15 minute hammer] 15 minute hammer
[30 minute hammer] 30 minute hammer
[5 minute hanging man] 5 minute hanging man These alerts report when there is a traditional hanging man pattern on a standard candlestick chart.  A hanging man is similar to a hammer, except that a hanging man occurs in an up trend.  We associate this alert with the color red because most traders see a hanging man as a reversal pattern.

More options related to these alerts are listed below.

[10 minute hanging man] 10 minute hanging man
[15 minute hanging man] 15 minute hanging man
[30 minute hanging man] 30 minute hanging man
[5 minute bullish engulfing] 5 minute bullish engulfing These alerts signal the appearance of a bullish engulfing pattern on a traditional candlestick chart.  More options related to these alerts are listed below.
[10 minute bullish engulfing] 10 minute bullish engulfing
[15 minute bullish engulfing] 15 minute bullish engulfing
[30 minute bullish engulfing] 30 minute bullish engulfing
[5 minute bearish engulfing] 5 minute bearish engulfing These alerts signal the appearance of a bearish engulfing pattern on a traditional candlestick chart.  More options related to these alerts are listed below.
[10 minute bearish engulfing] 10 minute bearish engulfing
[15 minute bearish engulfing] 15 minute bearish engulfing
[30 minute bearish engulfing] 30 minute bearish engulfing
[5 minute piercing pattern] 5 minute piercing pattern These alerts signal the appearance of a piercing pattern on a traditional candlestick chart.  More options related to these alerts are listed below.
[10 minute piercing pattern] 10 minute piercing pattern
[15 minute piercing pattern] 15 minute piercing pattern
[30 minute piercing pattern] 30 minute piercing pattern
[5 minute dark cloud cover] 5 minute dark cloud cover These alerts signal the appearance of a dark cloud cover pattern on a traditional candlestick chart.  More options related to these alerts are listed below.
[10 minute dark cloud cover] 10 minute dark cloud cover
[15 minute dark cloud cover] 15 minute dark cloud cover
[30 minute dark cloud cover] 30 minute dark cloud cover
[NR7] NR7 NR7 is a chart pattern based on traditional candlesticks.  NR7 means that the last candlestick has the narrowest price range of the last 7 candlesticks.  Our NR7 alerts look at a 15 minute stock chart.

A description of “NR7-2” means that the stock chart shows an NR7 pattern for the last candlestick, and for the previous candlestick.  “NR7-3”, “NR7-4”, etc., are all defined in the same way.  This information is also available as a filter.

The NR7 pattern shows when a stock’s price shows a short-term pattern of decreasing volatility.  In this way NR7 is like a triangle chart pattern, but with more emphasis on the volatility, and less emphasis on the specific shape or direction.  In either case the common assumption is that volatility is like a spring.  When you push in on it, it has to pop back out.  The longer and harder you push, the more explosive the final reaction will be.

The NR7 pattern does not, by itself, predict which direction a stock will move.  People use it to predict which stocks are likely to make a large price move.

[Heartbeat] Heartbeat The Heartbeat alert is different from the other alert types because it is based primarily on time.  Most alerts are set off by a print or a change to a stock's level 1 information.  Each stock gets one Heartbeat alert every 5 minutes with little regard for any market data.

The user must select at least one alert type in each alert window.  Adding alert types requests more data for the window.  Adding filters to a window makes the request more specific, so the window will show less data.  If you want to see every stock which matches certain filters, select the Heartbeat alerts, and the desired filters.  This allows you to use Trade-Ideas like a traditional stock screener.

More options related to this alert are listed below.

[Tests and Demonstrations] Tests and Demonstrations This alert type is used for tests and demonstrations.  It does not contain any real information.  Do not enable this alert type unless someone at Trade-Ideas specifically asks you to.

     
Are you looking for the ATRADE alerts?  Click here.

Alert Specific Filters

Some alerts have their own filters.  These filters appear immediately to the right of the corresponding alerts.  These are always optional.  Leave them blank to see more alerts.  Fill them in to limit the number of alerts of the given type.  Each filter only applies to the given alert type.

Each of these filters describes the quality of the alert.  Higher numbers always require higher quality.  A higher number asks the alerts server to display fewer alerts.  More information about each specific filter is listed below.

Applies to Description
New high New low For highs and lows the user can specify a minimum number of days.  0 means that any new high or low will cause an alert.  1 means that a high must be higher than yesterday's high, or a low must be lower than yesterday's low to cause an alert.  7 means that only new highs and lows for the week are shown.  365 only shows 52-week highs and 52-week lows.

Any number between 0 and 366 is allowed.  The default is 0.

New high (filtered) New low (filtered)
Pre-market highs Pre-market lows
Post-market highs Post-market lows
Crossed daily highs resistance Crossed daily lows support
New high ask New low bid For bid related alerts, you can specify the minimum number of shares on the best bid.  For ask related alerts, you can specify the minimum number of shares on the ask.  If a stock is showing fewer shares when the alert is reported, you will not see the alert.  We do not smooth or average this value; all that matters is the value at exactly the time the alert was reported

If you leave this field blank, you will see the most alerts.  Some alert types have minimums built into them.  You can also set minimums for the entire window.  An alert must pass through all of these filters to be displayed.

New high ask (filtered) New low bid (filtered)
New high bid (filtered) New low ask (filtered)
Large bid size Large ask size
Market crossed The user can filter the market crossed alerts by how far the market was crossed.  Leave this blank to see every market crossed alert.  Set this to 0.05 to only see when the bid is at least 5 cents higher than the ask.
Market crossed up Market crossed down
Trading above Trading below The user can filter these alerts based on the number of events that have occurred in a row.  Note that not every event causes an alert.  Look at the alert description to see how many events were in each specific alert.  This filter bunches several alerts together.  If several alerts occur in a row, each one will have a higher number associated with it, and each alert will be more likely to satisfy this filter.
Trading above specialist Trading below specialist
Running up Running down The user can filter the short term running up and down alerts based on how exceptional the chart pattern is.

The alerts server continuously measures the momentum of the stock (in dollars per minute) and compares that to the stock's volatility.  Based on the volatility of the stock, the alerts server determines a minimum threshold.  Setting this filter to 1 displays all alerts that meet this minimum threshold.  Setting this filter to 1.5 displays only the stocks with momentum at least 50% greater than the minimum required by the alerts server.  Larger values require proportionally more momentum.

The default for this filter is to allow all alerts.  A value less than or equal to 1 means the same thing.  A value of 4 discards approximately 2/3 of the alerts, and only shows the most extraordinary 1/3 of the alerts.  A value of 10 discarded approximate 99% of the alerts.  There is no absolute maximum value.

Running up (confirmed) Running down (confirmed) The user can filter the volume confirmed running up and down alerts based on how exceptional the chart pattern is.  This value is not based on the size of a price move, but the speed and consistency of the move.

A value of 1.0 is the minimum that the alerts server ever reports.  Leaving this field blank, or setting it to 1.0, shows all alerts.  Alerts with values of 5.0 or higher as marked as moving "briskly" in the description field.  There is no upper limit to this value, but very few alerts have a value above 10.0.

A volume confirmed channel breakout / breakdown is a special case of a volume confirmed running up / down alert.  This filter applies the same to a channel breakout / breakdown as it does to any other running alert.

Channel breakout (confirmed) Channel breakdown (confirmed)
Crossed above open Crossed below open The user can filter the crossed above open, crossed below open, crossed above close and crossed below close alerts by time.  By default the user will see every time the prices crosses one of these technical levels.  The problem is that the price will often stay near one of these levels for a while, constantly crossing above and below that level by just one or two pennies.

With this filter the user will always see the first time that the prices crosses the given level.  The user will not see another alert for the same level until the price stays on one side of the technical lever or the other for the specified amount of time.

This filter does not apply to different stocks.  Regardless of the filter settings, if 10 different stocks each cross their opening prices, the user will see all 10 alerts.  This filter treats the open and close as two completely separate events.  If a stock price crosses the open and the close, the user will always see two different alerts, regardless of any filter settings.

Alerts for crossing above and crossing below the same level use the same timer.  Assume a user sets all of his filters to 60 seconds.  Assume a stock price crosses above the close.  The user will not see another crossed above close or crossed below close alert for that symbol until the stock price stays on the same side of the close for at least one minute, then crosses the close.

Enabling these filters is similar to choosing the volume configured versions of these alerts, with the following exceptions.

  • These filters can be set to any time frame.  The volume confirmed alerts always use an average time frame of 15 minutes.
  • These filters always work with exactly the given amount of time.  The volume confirmed alerts will look at shorter intervals when the stock is trading more actively than normal, and longer time intervals when the stock is trading less actively.
  • The timer for these filters is reset any time a single print crosses the given price.  The volume confirmed alerts can ignore some prints.
  • These filters always report the first time a stock price crosses the open or close, and they report it immediately.  After the price crosses, the volume confirmed alerts wait to see if the price will stay there.  If the price crosses then immediately returns, the user will never see the volume confirmed alert.
Crossed above close Crossed below close
Gap down reversal Gap up reversal The user can filter gap reversals based on the maximum distance that the price moved away from the close.  This value is called the total retracement. The user can specify a minimum value for the total retracement and will not see alerts with a smaller total retracement.

For example, assume a stock closes at $10.00.  Assume the stock opens at 10.75.  Assume the stock trades up as high as 10.85.  Then the price drops to 9.99.  In this case the gap would be $0.75, the gap continuation would be 0.10, and the total retracement would be 0.85.

The default for this value is 0.  Any time a stock opens at a different price than the previous close, that stock might create a gap reversal alerts.  The difference between the open and the close can be less than $0.01.

Consolidation The user can filter consolidation alerts based on the quality of the consolidation.  The user can also filter channel breakouts and channel breakdowns based on the quality of the consolidation pattern which was just broken.

The quality of a consolidation is based on the chance that the consolidation pattern could be random, rather than interesting.  The more time and volume in a consolidation, the higher the quality.  For a given stock, the smaller the range, the higher the quality.  For different stocks, historical volatility is used to make the quality scales match.

Internally, when the alerts server examines a stock it produces a Z-score describing the error in the consolidation pattern.  This is a statistical measure comparing the ideal pattern, a range of $0, to the actual range, taking the volatility into account.  Larger errors translate to lower quality.  This Z-score is translated into a quality value so it will be easier to understand.

2 is the lowest quality that the alerts server ever reports.  That is the default.  5 is the cutoff for a "tight" consolidation.  That is reported in the description of the consolidation alert.  10 is the best quality reported by the alerts server.  10 means that the top and bottom of the trading range, as reported in the consolidation alert, are the same.  This does not mean that all the prints were at exactly the same price.  It means that, statistically speaking, this pattern is as good as we can measure or expect.

Note: The alerts server reports breakouts and breakdowns as quickly as possible.  This means that the alerts server cannot say anything about the size or the speed of the move when it happens.  The only meaningful data at this time is the quality of the consolidation.

Channel breakout Channel breakdown
5 minute consolidation breakout 5 minute consolidation breakdown For a consolidation breakout, this says how far the last print was above the top of the consolidation pattern.  For a consolidation breakdown, this says how far below the bottom.  This is measured in dollars.
10 minute consolidation breakout 10 minute consolidation breakdown
15 minute consolidation breakout 15 minute consolidation breakdown
30 minute consolidation breakout 30 minute consolidation breakdown
Block trade The user can filter block trade alerts based on the size of the trade.  The alerts server never reports a block trade with less than 20,000 shares.  By default the user sees all block trades which meet that minimum criteria.  The user can, however, enter a larger value.  For example, if the user enters 50000 for this value, then he will only see trades with at least 50,000 shares.
False gap up retracement False gap down retracement The user can filter false gap retracement alerts by the percentage of the gap which was filled.  This value is reported in the description of each alert.

For example, assume a stock closes at $10, then opens the next day at $11.  It gapped up $1.00.  Assume, as soon as it opens, the price drops.  Eventually the price goes down as low as $10.40.  Then the price goes back up to $11.05, to cause a False gap up retracement alert.  The price went down $0.60 and the gap was $1.00, so the gap was 60% filled.  If the user set this filter to 60 or less, he will see the alert.  If he set this filter to a higher value, he will not see the alert.

Note:  The minimum gap size and the threshold for continuing the gap are automatically determined by the alerts server.  These values are different for each stock, and are chosen to avoid reporting noise.  The alert describes a horseshoe shape, as shown in the icon.  This setting allows the user to set the minimum height of the horseshoe.

High relative volume The alerts server continuously monitors various properties for each stock and compares these values to historical background information.  When the current value of one of these properties is unusually high, an alert is reported.  For this group of alerts, the user can set minimum standards, above those built into the alerts server.  Each time the server reports an alert, it divides the current value of the property by the historical value for the property.  The user can specify a minimum value for this ratio.

See the help for each individual alert type to know what parameter the ratio represents.  Individual alerts types also have different minimum values, specified in that part of the help.

Strong volume
Unusual number of prints
Running up (intermediate) Running down (intermediate)
Crossed above resistance (confirmed) Crossed below support (confirmed) Some types of chart patterns are graded by the amount of time covered by the chart pattern.  Crossing a support line which has been active for one day is interesting.  Crossing a support line which has been active for two days is more interesting.  Crossing a support line which has been active for an hour is not very interesting.

This time is measured in "hours of trading".  Normally there are 6.5 hours between the open and the close.  But, what about premarket and post market?

If I see a pattern that lasted from noon yesterday to noon today, is that any better than a pattern that lasted from the open this morning to the close this afternoon?  How much better?  We weight the pre and post market according to volume.  On an average day an average NASDAQ 100 stock will trade roughly 1 hour's worth of volume between the close and the following open.  If you want to see stock patterns that lasted for a whole day, a good estimate is 7.5 hours, 6.5 for normal hours plus 1 for the pre and post market.

The same rules apply during the day.  If a chart pattern lasts for one hour starting from the open, it will almost always be considered a stronger pattern than if it lasted one hour starting from the beginning of lunch.  Hours are just an estimate.  Volume is the major factor in this filter.  Stocks trading on higher than average volume will satisfy this filter faster than stocks trading on lower than average volume.

Crossed above resistance Crossed below support
Broadening bottom Broadening top
Triangle bottom Triangle top
Rectangle bottom Rectangle top
Double bottom Double top
Inverted head and shoulders Head and shoulders
Fibonacci 38% buy signal Fibonacci 38% sell signal
Fibonacci 50% buy signal Fibonacci 50% sell signal
Fibonacci 62% buy signal Fibonacci 62% sell signal
Fibonacci 79% buy signal Fibonacci 79% sell signal
75% pullback from lows 25% pullback from lows These alerts are each based on a move in one direction, followed by a move in the other direction.  This filter is based on the size of the first move.  The first move must be at least as large as this filter or we will not report the alert.

The first point in the first move can be today's open or yesterdays close.  We choose the one that makes the move appear larger.  The second point in the first move is today's high or low, depending on the alert type.

The server never reports a move of less than $0.01.

75% pullback from highs 25% pullback from highs
% up for the day % down for the day This is the minimum percentage change required to report the alert.  This value is always displayed in the alert description.  The server reports each integer value, and no others.  It never does any rounding.  The minimum value is different for different alerts.

Typically each symbol will only report one of these alerts per day at each % level.  However, after recovering from a bad print, or other major changes in the price, the server may repeat some alerts.

Sector breakout (from open) Sector breakdown (from open)
Sector breakout (from close) Sector breakdown (from close)
Positive market divergence Negative market divergence
Positive VWAP Divergence Negative VWAP Divergence
Standard deviation breakout Standard deviation breakdown This is the minimum change required to report the alert.  This value is always displayed in the alert description.  The server reports at each integer value, and no others.  It never does any rounding.

This value is measured in standard deviations, scaled for one day.  Roughly speaking, one standard deviation is the amount you'd expect the stock to move during the course of an entire day.

The minimum/default value is one standard deviation.  The server will not report one of these alerts until the stock moves at least one standard deviation from the previous closing price.

Typically each symbol will only report one of these alerts per day at each level.  However, after recovering from a bad print, the server may repeat some alerts.

Trailing stop, % up Trailing stop, % down The Trailing stop alerts are all periodic alerts.  They each repeat on a regular basis.  Assume for, a simple example, that a stock continuously moves up all day.  By default you will see another Trailing stop % up alert every time the stock moves up another 0.25%.  Using this filter you can increase the period and see fewer alerts.  For example, you might only want to see these alerts each time the stock moves 0.5%, or each time it moves 1% or 2%.  Each of these will show you alerts less frequently, but you will still see alerts spread throughout the day.

The basic idea is that the size of the move has to be a multiple of the value in the filter.  For example, if you set the filter to 2, you will only see the percentage based alerts when the stock moves 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, etc.  For the volatility based alerts, the same rule applies, but the numbers refer to our standard volatility bars.  Set the filter to 2 and you will only see when the stock price moves 2 times the standard volatility number, 4 times the volatility number, 6 times, etc.

You can put other numbers into this filter.  For example, you can put in a value of 0.33333 if you want to see each time a stock moves 1/3 of one percent.  The server does not actually produce alerts when a stock moves 1/3 of a percent.  But, if you select this value, we show approximately the same number of alerts as you would see if we did display alerts at that exact value.  This allows you to adjust the speed at which alerts are displayed to match your tastes.

This filter is designed primarily for people using these alerts to make a ticker.  This shows you how quickly stocks are moving, and in what direction.  It's good for getting an overview of a lot of stocks.

We do not recommend using this filter if you are trying to debug your trailing stops.  These alerts are much more precise if you leave this filter blank.

Trailing stop, volatility up Trailing stop, volatility down
5 minute linear regression up trend 5 minute linear regression down trend Each entry signal comes with a forecast of how far the stock will move, in dollars per share.  By default you see all signals.  By specifying a value for this filter, you will only see stocks expected to move more than that value.
15 minute linear regression up trend 15 minute linear regression down trend
30 minute linear regression up trend 30 minute linear regression down trend
90 minute linear regression up trend 90 minute linear regression down trend
5 minute hammer 5 minute hanging man These alerts are graded on how closely the stock chart matches the ideal shape of the stock pattern.

0% would mean that there was no match at all.  Of course, if a stock pattern is this poor a match, then we are unlikely to report an alert.

100% would be an ideal match.  Again, this would be an ideal and extreme case.  Few if any alerts come close to 100%.

10 minute hammer 10 minute hanging man
15 minute hammer 15 minute hanging man
30 minute hammer 30 minute hanging man
5 minute bullish engulfing 5 minute bearish engulfing
10 minute bullish engulfing 10 minute bearish engulfing
15 minute bullish engulfing 15 minute bearish engulfing
30 minute bullish engulfing 30 minute bearish engulfing
5 minute piercing pattern 5 minute dark cloud cover
10 minute piercing pattern 10 minute dark cloud cover
15 minute piercing pattern 15 minute dark cloud cover
30 minute piercing pattern 30 minute dark cloud cover
NR7 You can filter the NR7 alerts by the number of consecutive NR7 patterns on the stock chart.  This will always be at least one, or there wouldn't have been an alert to start with.  Set this filter to 2 to see only NR7-2 stock patterns.
Heartbeat By default the heartbeat alert occurs once every 5 minutes for each stock.  Enter a larger number to see the alert less frequently.  Enter 7.5, for example, to see approximately one alert per stock every 7 and one half minutes.

This filter is most precise when you use values like 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, etc.  Other values are allowed.  On average the server will always deliver the correct number of alerts.  But you get the smoothest stream of alerts when you use one of the values listed above.

Window Specific Filters

The next section lists several additional optional filters.  These filters apply to all alerts in the window.  Fill in a field to configure the corresponding filter.  Leave a field blank to disable that filter.  More information about each filter is available below.

Name Description
Min Price These refer to the last print or the current level 1 information at the time of the alert.  These are precise values; no smoothing or averaging takes place.
Max Price
Min Spread
Max Spread
Min Bid Size
Min Ask Size
Min Distance from Inside Market This compares the last print for this stock to the best bid and offer.  If you set the max to 0, you will only see stocks which were trading at or between the bid or offer at the time of the alert.  If you set the max to 0.1 you will only see stocks which were trading no more than one tenth of one percent above the offer and no more than one tenth of one percent below the bid. 

This separates legitimate prints from bad prints.  The further the print was from the inside market, the less reliable the alert is.  This is especially helpful when used with the OddsMaker.  The OddsMaker uses the price of the last print as the entry price for the trade.  This is only useful if this was a print that you could actually get.  The closer the print was to the inside market, the more this is as an entry price.

Max Distance from Inside Market
Min Daily Volume These refer to the total daily volume on an average day.  These do not use the current day's volume.
More information about volume: Video Help

Relevant scans:  Highest Volume.

Max Daily Volume
Min Dollar Volume These filter stocks based on the dollar volume per day that the stocks trade.  Dollar volume is the current price of the stock (in dollars per share) times the average volume of the stock (in shares per day).  The result is the total number of dollars per day that people spend on the stock.
More information about volume: Video Help

Relevant scans:  Highest Dollar-Volume.

Max Dollar Volume
Min Current Volume These compare the current volume for today to the average volume for this time of day.  These all refer to the standard volume numbers, which are reset every night at midnight.

These filters are not available during the premarket.  If you set either of these filters to any value other than blank, you will see no alerts before the open.

These filters use a ratio.  If you set the Max Current Volume to 1, you will only see symbols which are trading on lower than average volume.  If you set the Min Current Volume to 1, you will only see symbols which are trading on higher than average volume.  If you set the Min Current Volume to 2.5, you will only see symbols which are trading on at least two and a half times their normal volume.  If you set the Max Current Volume to 0.9, you will only see symbols which are trading on less than 90% of their normal volume.

These two filters are similar to the high relative volume alert.  All three compare today's volume to recent historical volume at the same time of day.  There are, however, several important differences:

  • The high relative volume alert only looks at volume near the time of the alert.  These filters look at all volume between midnight and the time of the alert.
  • The high relative volume alert attempts to find volume spikes.  These filters smooth out the volume.
  • The high relative volume filter is only good for high volume.  There is no corresponding low volume alert.  These filters work well with any volume range.
More information about volume: Video Help
Max Current Volume
Min Volume Today These are relatively simple filters based on each stock's volume for today.  You can filter stocks based on the exact number of shares they've traded today.  Or you can compare the number of shares traded today to the number of shares the same stock usually trades in an entire day.

The percent (%) form of these filters are similar to the Strong volume alert.  The difference is that these filters are more precise.  You can use these filters to see stocks which are trading between 195% and 202.65% of their normal volume.  The Strong volume alert will provide similar results if you look for stocks with a ratio of 2.

Although these filters are useful for certain specific strategies, most people should use our more advanced filters.  Daily volume allows you to limit yourself to stocks which usually trade a lot or a little.  Current volume allows you to limit yourself to stocks which are trading a lot more or less than normal, today.  If you try to use the volume today filters for one of these two tasks, you will have to manually change the filter values over time, since stocks have higher volumes later in the day.

More information about volume: Video Help
Max Volume Today
Min Volatility Volatility is a measure of how quickly a stock's price typically changes.  These filters allow you to seek or to avoid stocks which typically move very quickly.

We always express volatility as the normal amount that a stock moves in a 15 minute period.  Set the min volatility filter to $0.10 to see only stocks which typically move at least 10 cents ($0.10) every 15 minutes.  Set the max volatility filter to 0.2% to see only stocks which typically move no more than 20 basis points (0.2%) every 15 minutes.

We chose 15 minutes as a baseline because many of our volume confirmed alerts look the best on a chart with 15 minute candles.  We use this value everywhere, for consistency.  When a filter uses "bars" as units, this refers to the average amount that a stock's prices moves between one 15 minute bar and the next.  For a quick idea of what this means, just look at a stock chart with 15 minute bars, and see how much the price changes from the close of one bar to the close of the next.  For a precise value, look up a stock in our stock screener.

Many traders are scared off by volatility because of the complicated formulas.  Don't be.  Most traders use volatility all the time, and aren't even aware of it.  When you look at a stock chart, and a stock moves up one inch, what does that mean?  It depends on the chart!  Most people draw a chart so that the highest price on the chart as at the top of the chart, and the lowest price is at the bottom.  So an inch means more for a stock which typically moves more, a stock with a higher volatility.

Many of our alerts and filters automatically take volatility into account.  If a stock has a higher volatility, it has to move more before we notice it.  This is exactly the same as the example above, with the chart, except that our volatility formula is more precise.

We use a proprietary formula for volatility.  In particular, we expect stocks to move more around the open and the close than during lunch time.  We expect stocks to move more on high volume days and we give less weight to what happens on low volume days.  We compute volatility based on the previous two weeks of historical data.

More information about volatility: Video Help

Relevant scans:  Most Volatile, Most Volatile by %.

Max Volatility
Min Average True Range Average true range is a classic formula which uses daily candlesticks to estimate the volatility of a stock.  We use the standard 14 periods to compute the average true range.

See the previous filters for a different way to look at volatility.

Max Average True Range
Min Today's Range Today's range is today's high minus today's low.

You can filter stocks by the size their range in dollars, or you can compare today's range for a stock to its average true range.  Set the min value of today's range to 200% to see only stocks with a range that is at least twice as broad today as on an average day. Or set the max value of today's range to 50% to see only stocks with a range today of no more than half their average range.

These filters work from the official highs and lows for the day.  This typically does not update after the market closes.

Today's range is meaningless before the market opens.  If you set any of these filters, you will not see any alerts in the pre-market.

Max Today's Range
Min Put/Call Ratio These filters allow you to select stocks based on the number of puts and calls purchased today.  Set the minimum put/call ratio to 3 to see only stocks with at least three times as many puts as calls.  Set the maximum put/call ratio to 0.5 to see only stocks with at least twice as many calls as puts.

You can also use these filters to find optionable stocks.  If you only trade options, set the minimum put/call ratio to 0.  This will show you all stocks which have had any options activity today.  If you want to see stocks with no options or illiquid options, leave both of these filters blank.

Max Put/Call Ratio
Min Gap Up These filter stocks based on the size and direction of the stock's gap.

These filters differ from other window specific filters because these can work together.  If you leave all of the gap filters empty, you see the most stocks.  If you fill in one of the gap up filters, you only see stocks which have gapped up by the specified amount.  If you fill in one of the gap down filters, you only see stocks which have gapped down by the specified amount.  If you fill in both, you will see stocks which have gapped up or down by the specified amount.  All other window specific filters are joined with an and; this is the only case joined with an or.

During the trading day, the gap is defined as the difference between the open price and the previous close price.  If a stock closes at 14.50, and opens the next trading day at 14.75, then the stock gapped up 0.25.  If another stock closes at 50.10, then opens the next day at 50.03, the stock gapped down 0.07.  The official open price is the price of the first print after the trading day starts.  The exchange can correct this value, but normally the open price and the gap do not change after the first print.

In the premarket we always use the last print price instead of the open price.  This gives us a continuously improving approximation of what the gap will be.  This approximation is updated on each print until the exchange reports the official value of the opening print.

We start using this approximation of the gap shortly after the close.  For example, if last official print today is at 12.94, and the first after hours print is also at 12.94, this print will reset the gap to zero.  If the next print is 12.96, then the stock has gapped up 0.02.  For most actively traded stocks, the gap will not be reliable for the first 90 seconds after the market closes; it takes about that long for the exchange to report the last official trades of the day and transition into after market mode.  For more thinly traded stocks, the gap will change with the first after market print, whenever that happens.

There are three ways to specify the size of the gap.
  • The easiest way is to list the number of dollars ($).  If you only want to see stocks which gapped up at least 50 cents, put ".50" into the "Min Gap Up ($)" field.
  • The next option is to specify the size as a percentage (%).  If you only want to see stocks which moved down at least 2% between the close and the open, put "2" into the "Min Gap Down (%)" field.
  • The most powerful way to set the gap filter is to use noise filtering mode (bars).  This mode scales the gap according to the stock's volatility.  $0.10 is a large gap for some stocks, but just noise for other stocks.  If you specify a noise filtering value, you will only see you stocks which are interesting, stocks which are not acting like they usually act.  If you set the minimum gap up and gap down filters to .25, you will see approximately 1/2 of the stocks you would have seen without the filter.  With a filter value of .5 you will see only about 1/3 of the stocks.  With a value of 1.0, you will only see about 1/5.  These values will vary from day to day.  The filter value is called "bars" because a value of 1 means the average amount that a stock moves between the close of one 15 minute bar and the next.

We allow negative numbers for these filters.  For example, say a stock closes at 9.90, then opens at 10.00.  You could say that the stock gapped up 1%, or that it gapped down -1%.  This is a useful way to split the market into two pieces.  For example, lets say that your favorite NASDAQ index gaps up 10%.  You could make two alert windows.  Set the first one to only show NASDAQ stocks which gapped up at least 10%; these are the stocks which outperformed the index.  Set the second one to only show NASDAQ stocks which gapped down at least -10%; these are the stocks which may have gapped up, but did not keep up with the market as a whole.  Each alert will only appear in one of the windows.

Min Gap Down
Min Decimal These advanced filters look at the decimal part of the stock price.  They are most often used to find stocks trading near a whole number price.

To use these, fill in both values with a number that is at least 0.00 and less than 1.00.  The decimal part of the stock price must be at least the Min value, and at most the Max value, or the alert will not be displayed.  Leave both values blank to ignore this filter and show all alerts, regardless of the decimal value.

Examples:
  • Whole numbers only - Set both values to 0.  You will only see alerts trading at exactly a whole number (i.e. $24.00, 25.00, 26.00, 27.00, etc.) when the alert happened.
  • Near the whole number - Set the Min value to 0.98 and the Max value to 0.02.  This will show alerts with prices like $24.98, 24.99, 25.00, 25.01, and 25.02.
  • Approaching the whole number from below - Set the Min value to 0.90 and the Max value to 0.99 on a window showing bullish alerts.  This will show stocks which are trading slightly below the whole number, and are moving up.
  • Approaching the whole number from above - Set the Min value to 0.01 and the Max value to 0.10 on a window showing bearish alerts.
Max Decimal
Min Up Days These filter stocks based on the number of days in a row the stock has closed up for the day.  This analysis is based completely on the closing price of the stock on a daily chart.  This always starts with the close of the previous trading day, and works backwards from there.  Negative numbers represent down days.
  • A stock closed yesterday afternoon at $10.00.  It closed at 9.90 the day before.  It closed at 9.80 the day before that.  The preceding day it closed at 9.95.  This stock has 2 up days.
  • A different stock closed yesterday afternoon at $20.00.  It closed at 20.10 the day before.  It closed at 20.00 the previous day.  This stock has 1 down day, or -1 up days.
  • A third stock closed yesterday and the day before at $30.00  This stock has 0 up days.
The user can fill in either or both of these values.  Examples:
  • Set Min Up Days to 3 to see only stocks which traded up for the previous three days, possibly more.  This will only show stocks with a strong up trend.
  • Set Max Up Days to -4 to see only stocks which traded down for the previous four days, possibly more.  This will only show stocks with a strong down trend.
  • Set Min Up Days and Max Up Days both to 2 to see only stocks which have traded up for exactly 2 days.  This is useful for many trading strategies.
More information about up days and down days: Video Help

Relevant scans:  6 or More Up Days, 5 Consecutive Up Days, 4 Consecutive Up Days, 3 Consecutive Up Days, 2 Consecutive Up Days, 1 Consecutive Up Day, 1 Consecutive Down Day, 2 Consecutive Down Days, 3 Consecutive Down Days, 4 Consecutive Down Days, 5 Consecutive Down Days, 6 or More Down Days.

Max Up Days
Min Up Candles These filters look at a standard intraday candlestick chart to see if the stock price has been moving up recently, and if so, for how long.  These filters are available for 5, 10, 15, and 30 minute charts.

These filters are similar to the up days filters, but the definition is slightly different.  For an intraday chart, a candle is called an “up candle” if the high of the candle is higher than the high of the previous candle and the low of this candle is higher than the low of the previous candle.  If a candle has a lower high than the previous candle, and a lower low than the previous candle, then we call it a “down candle.”

These filters only look at complete candles.  At 12:07 we look at the 5 minute candle that started at 12:00 and ended at 12:05.  We work backwards from there to see how many consecutive up candles we can find before we find a candle which is not an up candle.  We completely ignore the candle which started at 12:05 and will end at 12:10.  We will start looking at that candle at 12:10.

We use negative numbers to represent down candles.  If you set the max value to -2, then this filter will look for stocks where the last two candles were both down candles.  0 means that the most recent candle was neither an up candle nor a down candle.

As with all of our analysis of traditional candlesticks, we only update these filters during market hours.  And if a stock has an empty candle, we don’t look any past that candle.

Max Up Candles
Min Up from the Close These filters compare the last print price to the most recent close.  Positive numbers represent stocks which are trading higher now than at the close.  Use negative numbers for stocks which are trading lower than at the close.

During normal market hours and in the premarket this filter uses the closing price of the previous trading session.  In the postmarket this uses today's close.  For actively traded stocks, the closing price is not usually reliable for the first 90 seconds after the market closes; it takes about that long for the exchange to report the last official trades of the day and transition into after market mode. For more thinly traded stocks, this filter will change with the first after market print, whenever that happens.  This is only an issue for alerts which report based only on the bid and ask.

There are three ways to specify this value:
  • Dollars - For example set the "Min Up from the Close ($)" filter to 0.75 to see only stocks which are trading at least 75 cents above where they were at the previous close.
  • Percent - For example set the "Max Up from the Close (%)" filter to 3 to see only stocks which are trading at least 3% lower than at the previous close.
  • Bars - This is the most powerful version of the filter, because it takes the volatility of each stock into account.  Like the other versions, this starts by subtracting the stock's previous closing price from its current price.  Then it divides this value by the average size of a bar on a 15 minute bar chart for the stock.  For example, set "Max Up from the Close (Bars)" to 1 and set "Min Up from the Close (Bars)" to -1 to see only stocks which are trading close to the where they were at the close.
These filters are related to the % up / down for the day alerts.  The filters and the alerts both compare the current price to the previous close.  However, there are some differences:
  • The alerts typically only display once for each level.  The filters always have a value.
  • The alerts only work with percentage values.
  • The alerts only report whole numbers, like 3% and 4%.  The filters allow fractions, like 3.5%.
  • The alerts only work during normal market hours.
Max Up from the Close
Min Up from the Open These filters compare the current price to the price at the open.  These are similar to previous filters, but these work with the change from the open, where the previous ones work with the change from the close.  Also, these filters only work during normal market hours.
Max Up from the Open
Min Bright Band These filters are similar to the Min / Max Up from the Close (Bars) filters.  Both sets of filters compare the current stock price to the previous closing price.  Both sets of filters use each stock's volatility to normalize the data.  The previous pair of filters uses our standard formula for intra-day volatility.  These filters use Bright Trading's formula for daily volatility.

For example, set the min to -1 and the max to 1 to see only stocks which have moved less since the previous close than the stock usually moves in a day.  Or set the max to -3 and leave the min blank to see stocks which have moved down a significant amount since the close.

See the Bright band breakout alerts for more details on this formula.

Max Bright Band
Min Position in Range These filters compare the price of the last print to the high and the low for the day.  This is expressed as a percentage.  100 means the last print was at the high for the day, 0 means the last print was the low.  50 means that the last print was half way between the high and the low.

Normally the daily high and low only update during normal market hours.  This is determined by the exchanges.  Before the market is open, this filter is not available.  If you want to see any alerts before the market opens, do not fill in a value for either of these filters.

These filters are available after market hours, even though the high and the low do not update.  It is possible for the value to be above 100% or below 0% if the price continues to go up or down after the close.  It is also possible to see these values during market hours, although that is far less common.  The best way to see stocks trading on highs is to set the minimum filter to 100 and leave the maximum filter blank.

Max Position in Range
Min Position in Previous Day's Range These filters compare the price of the last print to the high and the low for the previous trading day.  0 means that the last print was at the same price as the previous low.  100 means that the price of the last price was the same as the previous day's high.  50 means that the last price was exactly in the middle of the previous day's trading range.  This number can be below 0 or above 100 when the last print is below the previous day's low or above the previous day's high.
Max Position in Previous Day's Range
Min Position in Year Range These filters compare the price of the last print to the high and the low for the year.  This range is fixed at yesterday's close.  0 means that the price of the last print matches the lowest price of the year.  100 means that the price of the last print matches the highs price of the year.

Some exchanges provide this information as the 52 week high and the 52 week low.

Max Position in Year Range
Min Position in Lifetime Range These filters compare the current price of the stock to the stock's history.  This range is fixed at yesterday's close.  The range goes back 10 years or the lifetime of the stock.

Select a minimum position of 100 to see stocks which are trading higher now than any time in the previous 10 years.  Select a minimum position of 95 and a maximum position of 100 to see stocks trading near that level.  Select a maximum position of 0 to see only stocks trading for less than any time in the last 10 years.

Max Position in Lifetime Range
Min 15 Minute RSI These filters refer to Wilder's Relative Strength Index (RSI), using the standard value of 14 periods.  The server recomputes this value every 15 minutes, at the same time as new bars or candlesticks would appear on a 15 minute stock chart.

These filters do not use pre- or post-market data.  These filters are only available for stocks with sufficient history; if a stock did not trade at least once every 15 minutes for the last 14 periods, the server will not report an RSI for that stock.

Max 15 Minute RSI
Min Position in Bollinger Bands These filters compare the price of the last print to the 20 day Bollinger Bands.  This corresponds to the "%b" formula found at http://www.bollingerbands.com/.  0 means that the last print touches the lower Bollinger Band, 100 means the last print touches the upper Bollinger Band.  Values can be can be higher, lower, or in between 0 and 100.

These filters are similar to the three pairs of position in range filters above.  The difference is that these filters use statistical analysis to determine the top and bottom of the ranges.  The previous filters use an absolute high and low, possibly only two prints, to set the range.

Relevant scans:  Near Bollinger Bands.

Max Position in Bollinger Bands
Min Range Contraction Range contraction refers to a stock pattern where a stock's trading range gets smaller every day.  A stock's trading range is the difference between the high for the day and the low for the same day.  If a stock's trading range yesterday was smaller than its range the day before yesterday, we said the stock had a range contraction.  If the day before yesterday's range was smaller than the range of the day before that, then the stock had a range contraction for two consecutive days.  Set the min range contraction filter to 2 to see stocks like the one we just described.

Range explosion refers to the opposite pattern.  These are stocks with a range that has grown larger each consecutive day.  Use negative numbers to find these patterns.  Set the max range contraction to -3 to find stocks which have had a range explosion for at least three consecutive days.

These filters always start with yesterday's trading and work backwards.  Use other filters and alerts to see what the stock is doing today.  For example use the Daily highs resistance and Daily lows support alerts, with these filters, to find stock which were in a range contraction pattern but are breaking out.

Relevant scans:  Range Contraction, Range Explosion.

Max Range Contraction
Min Linear Regression Divergence This filter tells you how well or poorly each stock's price matches a straight line.  0 represents a stock moving up or down in a perfectly straight line.  1 represents a stock which does not move in a linear pattern at all.  This filter describes a stock's price over the previous 8 trading days.

A stock with a low value is sometimes called a "bunny."  This means that the stock has picked a direction and now keeps going and going.

Max Linear Regression Divergence
Min Up from 200 Day SMA These filters compare the price of the last print for a stock to the average closing price of that stock for the previous 200, 50, or 20 trading days.  A positive number means that the current price is above the moving average.  A negative number means that the current price is below the moving average.

There are two different ways to scale the result.  You can look at the difference as a percentage (%) or you can look at it in terms of volatility (Bars).  There is no option to look at this in dollars, because that value would vary too much from one stock to another.

The formula for % is simple.  (Percent Change) = ((Last Price) - (SMA)) / (SMA) * 100.  This is a common way people look at the simple moving average when they are only looking at numbers.

The exact formula for volatility is more complicated, but most traders are already familiar with the idea of volatility.  If you look at a chart showing the stock's price and its SMA, that implicitly includes volatility.  What does it mean if the difference between the two lines is half an inch?  What does it mean if you look at two different stocks, and each one has its stock price half an inch above its SMA?  These look the same, so you would probably treat them the same.  The first stock could easily be trading $5 above its SMA while the second is trading $1 above its SMA.  The first stock could easily be trading 20% above its SMA while the second is trading 10% above its SMA.  These two stocks are related, though, because each condition is just as unusual, just as interesting.  If another chart shows a different stock which is trading an inch above its SMA, that stock is more interesting.

Volatility is a way of formalizing what we see on a chart.  The volatility of a stock is, roughly, the average amount that the stock moves between the close of one 15 minute bar, and the close of the next bar.  See our stock screener for the exact volatility of any specific stock.  The formula for this filter is (Volatility Weighted Change) = ((Last Price) - (SMA)) / (Volatility).  

The stock screener includes several specific scans related to these filters.  The winners and losers by % show the extreme cases that you would find using the percent version of these filters.  The winners and losers by volatility show the extreme cases that you would find using the volatility version of these filters.  Look at the details of specific stocks in these scans to find good values to use in these filters.

Relevant scans:  200-Day Winners by %, 200-Day Winners by Volatility, 50-Day Winners by %, 50-Day Winners by Volatility, 20-Day Winners by %, 20-Day Winners by Volatility, 200-Day Losers by %, 200-Day Losers by Volatility, 50-Day Losers by %, 50-Day Losers by Volatility, 20-Day Losers by %, 20-Day Losers by Volatility.

Max Up from 200 Day SMA
Min Up from 50 Day SMA
Max Up from 50 Day SMA
Min Up from 20 Day SMA
Max Up from 20 Day SMA
Min Consolidation These filters look for a consolidation pattern on a daily stock chart.  These look at the daily candles for the previous 40 trading days.  These do not look at today's data.

You can select the minimum and/or maximum size of a stock's consolidation pattern.  For example, set the minimum consolidation to 7 to see only strong consolidation patterns.  Or set the maximum consolidation to 3 to see only stocks which have not had any significant consolidation.  The longest consolidation we can report is 40 days.  However, these very high numbers mostly report strange and unusual cases.  If you are looking at consolidations, you may want to set your maximum to 25 days or lower to see more ordinary patterns.

To find consolidations on an intra-day basis, look at the Consolidation, Channel breakout, and Channel breakdown alerts, described above.

Relevant scans:  4 Day Consolidation, 5 Day Consolidation, 6 Day Consolidation, 7 Day Consolidation, Longer Consolidation.

Max Consolidation
Min Position in Consolidation These filters compare each stock's current price to a recent consolidation pattern.  These filters are based on the same 40 day chart and the same chart pattern as the previous filters.

Set the minimum position in consolidation to 0 and the maximum to 100 to see stocks which have been consolidating, and are still trading in the same range today.  Set the minimum to 100.01 to see only stocks which were consolidating, but have broken out of that range.  Set the minimum to 0 and maximum of 15 to see stocks which have not broken out of their consolidation pattern yet, but are trading in the bottom 15% of the consolidation pattern.

If you fill in a value for either of these filters, you will only see stocks which have a consolidation pattern on a daily chart.

Max Position in Consolidation
Min Count These filter the alerts based on the value of the count column, described above.
Max Count
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