Using Our Interactive PerfCharts
What Are PerfCharts?
Our Interactive PerfChartsTM tool compare the performance over a period of time of up to 10 different stocks, indexes, sectors, or mutual funds. The "Performance" of a ticker is charted relative to its own past performance, or to the performance of other tickers.
A PerfChart could show you, for example, how well IBM has performed relative to the DJIA over the past 200 days. Not only can PerfCharts provide an answer, but they can also track changes in this relative performance.
Why Use PerfCharts?
PerfCharts are highly customizable, allowing the user to make any relative performance comparisons for almost the past 4 years. The interface is very intuitive and the data is easy to interpret, with each ticker being plotted as a different color and organized as tabs at the top of the chart. This allows the user to easily turn on and off the tickers, or isolate certain ones to be charted against each other.
Any desire to directly compare indices can be accomplished with PerfCharts. Their user-friendly design makes them both a powerful and fun tool to use for technical analysis.
Creating A PerfChart
You can create a custom PerfChart for up to 10 stocks, mutual funds, or indices.
The first step in creating a PerfChart is to know the ticker symbols of the securities you are interested in. Each security has a unique symbol, often recognizable by the company name (eg. Microsoft is "msft"). Others are not so obvious, but any active stock can be found in our symbol catalog which can always be accessed by clicking on the link in the top right corner.
With the ticker symbol in mind, there are a few different methods of quickly creating your PerfChart:
Also from the homepage, you can begin putting together your PerfChart in the Start-a-Chart box by selecting PerfChart
from the drop-down menu, entering the first ticker, and clicking
. From this page you can add up to 9 more symbols to your group.
Next to the symbol catalog in the middle of almost every page, a PerfChart can be easily created by selecting PerfChart
from the drop-down menu, entering the first ticker, and clicking
. From this page you can add up to 9 more symbols to your group. On the homepage select PerfChart
from the drop-down menu in the Create a Chart box.
Finally, you can create a PerfChart by clicking on the Free Charts tab and locate the PerfChart
box. Enter up to 10 tickers and click
Predefined Groups And Intra-Industry Comparisons
We have a large collection of pre-defined PerfCharts that we feel are very important, including a chart designed by CNBC analyst John Murphy. Using these charts, you can quickly see which sectors are hot, which industries are cold, how the small-caps are faring, and much more.
This is why we have assembled important tickers together in our Predefined PerfCharts section located Free Charts in the PerfCharts box. Simply click on one of the links to bring up the predefined PerfChart. Predefined PerfCharts you can select to view in a PerfChart include:
Also, many analysts focus on specific industries, and that is why we created particular PerfCharts for intra-industry comparison. Simply click on "choose a major industry group" drp-down to bring the PerfChart for the industry group you are interested in.
Interpreting The PerfChart
The PerfChart provides you with all the tools you need to make a solid relative performance analysis. Each ticker you have chosen to chart is given a color and appears at the top of the page as a tab. The beginning of your period will always start at 0%. For example, the chart above shows that the S&P 500 has risen 10.0% over the past 200-days; it's performance relative to 200 days ago is what is being plotted.
The horizontal axis displays the range of the period you select (e.g. 200 days), while the vertical axis measures the percent change in the price. The vertical scale will shift to best fit the price action, so 0% may not appear at the bottom of the chart. The specific time frame of the chart is always displayed in the top left.
PerfCharts work in two different modes: line graph and histogram. The mode is controlled by the Display Mode buttons at the bottom left of the chart.
Line Graph is the default display mode for most predefined charts and all custom charts. Colored lines show performance movements during a given time period.
Histogram displays a bar chart that shows shows the final percentage change for each index as a vertical colored bar. It's useful when you are only interested in seeing total performance over a given time period.
Full Screen displays the entire chart in your browser window. Click this icon to enable and disable full screen mode.
The Stock Bar is located at the top of the chart, showing all the stocks that are displayed and their respective line or bar colors. The Stock Bar has many useful functions:
Click any box on the Stock Bar to make that stock the baseline. The box will become grey, the stock's colored line or bar on the chart will flatten along zero, and the other lines/bars will re-draw accordingly. Many people like to use the Standard & Poor's 500 index as a baseline.
In this chart, the NASDAQ was made the baseline. Now we can see that since 30 days ago, all the other major US markets outperformed the NASDAQ, with the AMEX leading the way at 10% over the NASDAQ.
With one click, you can bring up a SharpChart or a P&F Chart for further analysis of the ticker.
This option can be useful if your chart looks cluttered and it becomes difficult to see details. Click the box again to make the stock's line/bar re-appear.
The Date Slider Bar allows you to select the number of days the PerfChart should cover. The total number of days is shown on the center of the slider, and the selected date range is displayed on the top left of the chart.
To increase or decrease the total number of days, adjust the length of the bar. Dragging either end outwards will increase the number of days, and dragging them inwards will decrease the number of days. The total number of days displayed on the slider bar will change accordingly.
To move the date range, grab the center portion of the slider and shift it left or right. You can also click on either of the slider's end arrows to go back or forward one trading day.
Right-click on the date slider to select one of several pre-defined date ranges.
- Double click on the date slider to enter in the number of days you want to view.
F1: see the past week's data
F2: see the past month's data
F3: see the year-to-date data
F4: see the past year's data
Arrow Keys: move the slider left or right
Shift + Arrow Keys: move the left-hand end (changes the beginning date shown)
Ctrl + Arrow Keys: move the right-hand end (changes the end date shown)
*For the keyboard shortcuts to work first click anywhere inside the PerfChart so the chart becomes "active". You will see a black dotted boarder appear which signals that the chart has been selected. To stop using keyboard shortcuts click anywhere outside the PerfChart box. The dotted boarder will go away.
Hover your mouse over any chart line or bar to view a summary box showing the company name, line color, and performance numbers for that particular date.
You can also right-click anywhere on the chart for other options:
Animate: An instant slide-show of the chart as it moves across the date range. The date slider moves automatically through the entire range, giving you a quick overview of pattern changes over time. To stop the animation, right-click anywhere on the chart and select Hide Animation.
The Action Bar is located below the chart. It contains convenient links that perform common and useful tasks with the chart.
With any of our pre-defined charts, you can view other chart types for each of the data sets included in the chart. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select any of the chart icons.
Saving Your PerfChart
To save your chart, add the webpage to your browser's bookmark list (or "Favorites" for Internet Explorer users).
For more information on PerfCharts check out our Part 1 and Part 2 videos.