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Introduction

STOCKscreener. i n f o provides a quick and easy way to search for interesting stocks to invest in and to access further information on the web about these financial instruments and their underlying companies.

Table of Contents

Performance

Performance shows the percentage increase of a share price from time A till time B. So if the share price of IBM goes from USD 80 to 84 over the course of two weeks, the performance is 5%. Note, what the share price does in between is of no relevance for the calculation of the performance (you might want to compare that with momentum).

Stock performance figures are available for any given period you might be interested in, provided the historical data is available. You can glance at the year to date information (e.g. also just restricted to indices), or just how stocks did for the last day worldwide, going back for any number of years, months, or weeks, or you can select any arbitrary start and end date inbetween, pick the time when an index started to tank and look which stocks excelled the most since then and until today or for a certain amount of time after that event. Here is an example of a fund firesale in Switzerland and how that affected the relevant stocks during that time period. Whatever, besides selecting the time frame you can restrict your criteria further to a single market (selected by currency or exchange) or by financial instrument (mostly equity, but indices and currencies are also available).

Pre selected markets are available on the front page.

Momentum

If you want to identify stocks that are in an upward (or downward) trend, they should be higher (or lower) in price than they have been in the past. So we can simply compare the latest share price with the average share price over a certain time frame looking back from today. One indicator that does that is called the RSL (Relative Strength by Levy).

RSL = (last closing price / 15 month moving average) * 100

So e.g. if a stock's closing price is 20% above its 15 month moving average, then its RSL value is 120.

15 months is basically 300 business days. STOCKscreener. i n f o gives you this plus the commonly used moving averages for 200 days, as well as shorter time frames for 50 and 10 business days each.

STOCKscreener. i n f o uses the simple moving average. The simple moving average is the mean of the last N prices available. Just take the last N prices that are available, add them up, and divide this by N (see also the definition at Wikipedia). It is called moving, because this calculation is updated every day and when drawn in a graph you get a much smoother line than with the price chart.

So be aware, STOCKscreener. i n f o uses the last N (300, 200, 50, 10) price points available for the moving average calculation. So not only weekends and holidays are skipped, but when no trades have come about, these days are also skipped. So calendar wise, the two moving averages for two different stocks might cover different calendar time frames, because e.g. Tokyo has different holidays, the stock is not as actively traded etc. But both moving averages will have the exact same number of data points in the calculation.

So below is the Momentum Matrix allowing you to narrowing down the geographical area and time frame:

Momentum Matrix

Indices long mid short
World long mid short
USA long mid short
Euro long mid short
Great Britain long mid short
France long mid short
Germany long mid short
Switzerland long mid short
Japan mid short
Hong Kong mid short
Australia mid short

Trend Table

The Trend Table displayed on the main entry page is basically the same indicator as used for Momentum, just expressed as percentages in comparison to a moving average instead of ratios which are adjusted for Momentum around 100. A trend of +5% is the same as an RSL Momentum of 105. In the Trend Table on the entry page of the site, percentages are used for the main indices of the world.

Just as for Momentum moving averages of 200, 50, and 10 days are used for long, mid, and short term time frames.

The Trend Table concept is copied and slightly adapted from Trader Mike's blog.

Trading Systems

STOCKscreener. i n f o lets you experiment with basic trading systems. A trading system consists of mechanical rules, when to buy and sell a certain financial instrument. The oldest systems are so called trend following systems based solely on the price and no fundamental information. When a stock, commodity, or future seems to go up, they initiate a trading position in the hope that a trend has established and the instrument will continue to rise in price. If the trend later on turns around or the price falls straight away, the system exits the trade, eventually even with a small loss. Hopefully the trades that did catch a trend made up for the trades that did not.

STOCKscreener. i n f o allows you to backtest such basic trading systems on any financial instrument available with your parameters of choice.

This is how the trading systems work in detail:

  • Breakout: Also called Donchian Channels, if the latest share price is higher than it has been for a certain fixed amount of trading days (parameter 1), a position is established. If the share price falls below the lowest low of a separately specified period of trading days (parameter 2), the trade is closed out.
     
  • Moving Average: If the share price is above the moving average of N trading days (parameter 1), a long position is established. Once it falls below the moving average, the trade is closed out. An additional threshold (parameter 2) exists that must be broken through on top of the moving average, in order to prevent daily in and out trades in periods where the share price just jitters around the moving average.
     
  • Stop Loss: Establish a position once the share price has risen a certain percentage (parameter 1). Then exit once the price has come down a certain percentage (parameter 2) from the most recent high since the trade had been established. E.g. buy when a stock has been up 9%, sell when it has come down 25% since we bought it.
No short positions are established. Always the closing price is looked at and used to simulate the trade. Be aware that this is not always realistic, as once you know the closing price the exchange has already closed, obviously, and the first chance to go long is at the open the following trading day. To compensate for this simplification, you can specify more conservative (higher) trading costs per transaction in order to also emulate slippage.

Here are some example setups that you can see in action.

 
Ticker Symbol   Trading System   Transaction Cost %   Parameter 1   Parameter 2
DAX Moving Average 1.0 600 1.0 Backtest
DBK Breakout 0.5 62 21 Backtest
SQN Breakout 1.0 44 44 Backtest
SX5E Breakout 1.0 252 302 Backtest
SX5E Moving Average 1.0 355 1.0 Backtest
     

instrument details

Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) for DAX.ITF

1993-05-12 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) buy at 1'629.50
1995-03-24 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) sell at 1'925.40 (net return 15.81%)
1995-04-06 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) buy at 1'979.30
2001-03-12 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) sell at 6'046.56 (net return 199.41%)
2003-12-29 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) buy at 3'952.72
2004-03-22 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) sell at 3'729.23 (net return -7.53%)
2004-03-29 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) buy at 3'881.25
2008-03-07 Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) sell at 6'513.99 (net return 64.49%)

Moving Average (days: 600, threshold: 1) gain: 427.40
(8 transaction(s), max drawdown: -36.87 %, on average invested: 69.21 %)
 
So here is the link to the
trading systems page.

If you got curious or interested in trading systems, you might want to start with the book Trend Following by Michael Covel.

Trading Signals

Once you found a promising setup for a trading system, you can save it under your user account. When you have a collection of systems that you want to follow, STOCKscreener. i n f o automatically updates them every day and you can see at a glance if any new buy or sell signals by whatever system have been generated lately.

In order to see your personal trading signals list, you need to have setup some trading systems first. In order to save their configuration, you need a free user account first.

Trading Journal

Many experienced and successful stock traders and trader coaches, from Peter Lynch, Alexander Elder, Van K. Tharp, to Brett Steenbarger (all of which happened to have written outstanding and influencial books, see further down for details), they all recommend keeping a regular journal noting your investment ideas, thoughts, observations and actions taken with regard to companies, markets, price movements etc. Actually these authors seem to believe that you can not be successful in the markets without one.

Even long term investor Warren Buffett recommends writing down a short sentence describing your reasoning about why you want to enter into a transaction. If you can't write a good short sentence, maybe that is because your thinking isn't adequate, and then maybe the trade will not be that good either.

Of course, for this any low tech note book, notepad like editor, or even spread sheet software will do just fine. Tree like outline editors or mind map tools are another great way to organize your thinking. Other people actually make their trading diary public in the form of trading blogs, sometimes even trade by trade.

The reasoning to add a note taking and journaling capability to STOCKscreener. i n f o is, that I want to keep my company research results close to basic information about these companies. With STOCKscreener. i n f o you can add your notes on the same fullquote page where other news, charts, and basic performance information is gathered. Certainly your own thoughts about a company should get the same prominence as other news and basic information. Then, on a separate dedicated journal page you can look in historical order over all your notes no matter which company they are related to. That makes it convenient to go over your old notes and immediately compare them with today's situation. How did a particular chart pan out, what news came later out, does it validate or invalidate your old reasoning. Do you need to change your plan, did you stick to your plan, what lessons are there to be learned and what conclusions can you draw from all of this?! With STOCKscreener. i n f o you are one click away of reviewing the old chart as it presented itself at that time. One more click and you see how history played itself out. Let STOCKscreener. i n f o help you to extract the most value out of your personal experience. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into an asset, profit twice by using your successful trading or investment decisions for positive reinforcement.

So how can you use STOCKscreener. i n f o for keeping investment related notes?

Three steps:

  1. register yourself so your notes can be attributed to your account and will be visible only to your eyes

  2. once signed in, add and edit notes possible from every financial instrument fullquote page

    • if you are not there already anyway, go to the fullquote page via the search feature at the top right of every page for the company of your interest by searching for name, ticker, or isin symbol:

      search company

    • then on that particular company's fullquote page scroll down to below the News and Performance sections, look out for "News (add note)" and click on that link

      http://stockscreener.info/mds/fullquote?ticker_symbol=XING
      add note link

    • a dedicated page opens up to add new text as a note - just click save when done (and make sure the date and time is identifiable as such)

      edit note form

  3. anytime you can review or edit your note(s) either on each fullquote page or a dedicated journal page encompassing all instruments together

    journal menu item

    Here is an example note:

     2007-09-21 19:34:10PetroChina Co -H-     
     
    Buffet just reduced his investment in PC from 7.29 to 6.97%.
    Charts: historical, follow up, recent

    The three links above at the bottom of the note are handy to look back at the situation, as it did present itself back then starting with a 3 months timeframe before, then the same time before plus additional 3 months afterwards, and finally how the chart developed until today. Just try them out and click on any of the three links above as you like.

What STOCKscreener. i n f o is not (at the moment):
  • it is not an HTML editor or sophisticated Wiki - just keep your simple text notes organized along side financial instruments (thought basic HTML tags as <a href...>, <blockquote>, and <i> are available)
  • there aren't any place holders for risk values, price targets, stop loss or other limits etc. - no spread sheet like features to apply further automated calculations
  • there is no place to put general notes that are not related to any financial instrument in particular
  • this is not a blog - you can not use your notes here in order to publish and share them with others
Further readings:
     
 
Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice.
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