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Collecting Your Data

What is Data?

Before you can look at a chart, you must have data. A chart is simply a graphical representation of price data. Price data can include Open, High, Low, Close, Volume, and Open Interest information for a specific time period. MetaStock can use price data that is stored on your local hard drive, or stored remotely on a computer at your data vendor. Data that is stored remotely at your data vendor is called online data. Online data is accessed through MetaStock’s DataOnDemand™ technology. You simply choose a symbol from the online data vendor shortcut, or if you already have a chart open, just type the symbol. The data flows instantly to your chart from your data vendor, usually through the Internet.

Data that is stored on your hard drive is called local data. To view local data, you must first create a security file, then collect the data with The DownLoader.

Local Data.

Choose this shortcut to open a chart of locally-stored data

Choose this shortcut to open a chart of locally-stored data Online Data. Choose this shortcut to
Choose this shortcut to open a chart of locally-stored data Online Data. Choose this shortcut to

Online Data.

Choose this shortcut to open a chart of online data

DataOnDemand allows you to display a chart of end-of-day data that is stored in a database on a remote computer. This information can be temporarily stored on your hard drive, but the main storage location is the remote computer.

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End-of-day data is based on

the high, low, open, close,

and volume for an entire trading day.

End-of-day data collection with The DownLoader allows you to display a chart of end-of-day data that is downloaded and stored locally on your hard drive. The goal of these processes is to retrieve data that can be displayed as a chart in MetaStock. For more information on collecting data from your data vendor, see your Getting Started manual.

To access the data for an open chart

To quickly access the data for an open chart,

1. Right-click on the price plot

2. Choose Edit Data from the shortcut menu. The security’s datasheet will open in The DownLoader where you can make the desired changes.

in The DownLoader where you can make the desired changes. DataOnDemand™ Online data is data that

DataOnDemand™

Online data is data that is stored on a remote computer. You access online data through MetaStock’s DataOnDemand technology by simply choosing the symbol from the Open dialog, or by typing the symbol if you already have a chart displayed. MetaStock then requests data for that security from your data vendor. The data is temporarily held in your computer’s memory while you have the chart displayed. Online data can be stored in an online cache folder, much like a web browser saves web pages, for quick retrieval. See your Getting Started manual for online cache information.

Managing Online Securities

Because your data is stored remotely on a computer at your data vendor, you will not need to create securities or perform any file or data maintenance. If you choose to store the data temporarily on your hard drive in the online cache, you may use that data with The Explorer or view the data in a datasheet in The DownLoader. If there is an error in the data, or a split occurs after you have stored the data in your online cache, you can re-collect the data by choosing

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Refresh Data from the View menu while you have the chart displayed.

The DataOnDemand Collection Process

DataOnDemand occurs entirely behind the scenes. You just tell MetaStockwhat chart you want to display. MetaStock will get the data and display the chart on your screen.

If you have previously opened a chart for a security, MetaStock will first check for data stored in your online cache folder for that security, then retrieve any additional data to fill in to the current period. The data is then displayed in your chart.

Note:

Using the Symbol Database to Create Securities

The Symbol Database provides you with instant access to ticker symbol information on thousands of securities. The database is used to place the name and ticker symbol of the selected security in the New Security dialog.

The Symbol Database can also be used to quickly create multiple security files at once. The number of securities selected (i.e., highlighted) in the Symbol Database is displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the application window.

on the status bar at the bottom of the application window. Type. Use this drop-list to

Type. Use this drop-list to choose the type of security to list (i.e., stocks, futures, etc.).

Group. Use this drop-list to control which securities are listed in the dialog. The contents of the drop-list are dependent on your selection in the Type box.

Search. Use this to search the list for the specified name or symbol.

Select All. Click this button to quickly select all securities listed.

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Tip:

Deselect All. Click this button to quickly deselect all securities.

New Symbol. Click this button to add a new symbol to the database.

Delete Symbol. Click this button to delete the selected symbol from the database.

Edit Symbol. Click this button to edit the properties of the selected symbol.

If you are searching for a specific security and you’re not sure which exchange grouping the security belongs to, you should select the “All” group to list all securities. You can also choose from several specialized groups (i.e., S&P 100 stocks, NYSE stocks, etc.). The group called “optionable stocks” lists all stocks on which options are traded.

Creating Multiple Securities with the Symbol Database

Instead of you having to create each security file individually, the Symbol Database dialog allows you to search for and select multiple files to create at once. The number of securities selected (i.e., highlighted) in the Symbol Database is displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the application window. You can even create special groupings of stocks, such as the Dow 30 stocks, S&P 100 stocks, all optionable stocks, etc.

To create multiple securities using the Symbol Database

1. Choose New from the File menu and select Security.

Click the

Click the 2. button. The Symbol Database dialog

2. button. The Symbol Database dialog

appears.

3. Choose the Type and Group to specify the securities listed. Note: You can restrict the list and select individual securities by typing specific names or symbols in the Search box. Simply separate them with a caret (^) (e.g. MSFT^IBM^AAPL^NSCP). You can also separate each entry with a comma when looking for securities beginning with that letter, and with a caret when looking for the exact symbol. (e.g., “A,B,C” would list all securities beginning with the letters A, B, or C and “ A^B^C ” would list securities whose symbols are A, B, and C.).

4. Click the

button to quickly select all securitiessecurities whose symbols are A, B, and C.). 4. Click the generated by the search. 52

generated by the search.

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• To select a continuous group of securities, click on the first item, then hold down the SHIFT key as you click on the last item. All items between the first and last items will be selected.

• To select multiple individual securities, hold down the CTRL key as you click on each one.

5. Click the

down the C TRL key as you click on each one. 5. Click the button. The

button.down the C TRL key as you click on each one. 5. Click the The New

The New Security dialog will appear with the text “(MULTIPLE)” in the Name, Symbol, and Units fields. The Start time and End time fields will be blank.

The Start time and End time fields will be blank. 6. Verify that the remaining attributes

6. Verify that the remaining attributes in the New Security dialog are set correctly.

7. Click the

in the New Security dialog are set correctly. 7. Click the button in the New Security

button in the New Security dialog to create thein the New Security dialog are set correctly. 7. Click the selected securities. Creating Futures Contracts

selected securities.

Creating Futures Contracts with the Symbol Database

If you use the Reuters DataLink data service to collect your data, you can use the Symbol Database dialog to create indices and futures (in addition to stocks and mutual funds).

If you select a Futures symbol from the Symbol Database dialog, the Futures Contracts dialog is displayed. You use this dialog to specify which contracts to create.

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Use the Contracts page to control the type and date range for the contracts.

page to control the type and date range for the contracts. Specific contracts. Choose this box

Specific contracts. Choose this box to create all contracts for the selected futures between the specified start month and end month. If you only need to create the contracts for one month, then specify the same month for the start and end months.

Continuous contracts. Choose this box to create a continuous contract for all the selected futures contracts. A continuous contract is a special contract that automatically rolls to the next contract when the current contract expires, thereby making it “continuous.”

Type. Choose the type of continuous contract. Note that the “time-weighted average” returns an average of the nearby contract and the contract with a delivery month closest to 90 days into the future.

with a delivery month closest to 90 days into the future. Use volume from all contracts

Use volume from all contracts. Choose this box if you want the volume for all contracts to be stored. Even if you choose a specific contract month, checking this box will cause the volume to reflect the total volume for all contract months.

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Updating MetaStock Data

To use the “Update MetaStock Data” feature

1. In Windows, click

2. Choose All Programs.

3. Choose Equis International.

4. Choose Update MetaStock Data. The DownLoader opens and automatically updates all the data files in your MetaStock Data folder.

.
.

Updating the Symbol Database

The list of available symbols is updated monthly and can automatically be updated by choosing Update Symbol Database from the Tools menu in either MetaStock or The DownLoader.

The list of symbols and other commonly requested .sym files are also available in the Support area on the Equis International web site:

http://www.equis.com.

Modifying the Symbol Database

The symbols and information in the Symbol Database can be adjusted.

To edit information for a specific symbol

Select the symbol you want to modify, and click Symbol Database dialog.

To delete a symbol

Select the symbol, then click Database dialog.

a symbol Select the symbol, then click Database dialog. from the Symbol in the To add

from the Symbol

in the

symbol, then click Database dialog. from the Symbol in the To add a symbol Click or

To add a symbol

Click

or

Choose New Symbol from the Tools menu in the Open dialog.

New Symbol from the Tools menu in the Open dialog. in the Symbol Database dialog, MetaStock

in the Symbol Database dialog,

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The New Symbol Dialog

To access the New Symbol dialog, click the New Symbol button in the Symbol Database dialog, or choose New Symbol from the Tools menu in the Open dialog.

choose New Symbol from the Tools menu in the Open dialog. Name . Type the name

Name. Type the name of the new symbol.

Symbol. Type the ticker symbol of the new symbol.

Exchange. Type the exchange code or choose from the drop-list.

Start time/End time. Specify the time to begin and end collecting intraday data when creating intraday securities.

Display units.

the price data to be displayed.

Type. Choose the type of symbol you are creating from the drop-list.

Group. If groups are available for the Type you have selected, you may choose a group(s) from the list provided by checking the appropriate box(es).

Choose the unit format in which you would like

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The Edit Symbol Dialog

To access the Edit Symbol dialog, click the Edit Symbol button in the Symbol Database dialog.

click the Edit Symbol button in the Symbol Database dialog. Name . Type the name of

Name. Type the name of the symbol.

Symbol. Type the ticker symbol.

Exchange. Type the exchange code or choose from the drop-list.

Start time/End time. Specify the time to begin and end collecting intraday data.

Display units. Choose the new unit format in which you would like the price data to be displayed.

Type. Choose a new type from the drop-list.

Group. If groups are available for the Type you have selected, you may choose a group(s) from the list provided by checking the appropriate box(es).

Creating Custom Symbol Lists

Most people only follow a small set of instruments in their normal trading. MetaStock allows you to create and edit custom lists of symbols that are defined by you.

To create custom symbol lists for the symbol database

The Symbol Database includes nearly all U.S. and Canadian stocks and mutual funds. However, if you follow securities that do not have a universally accepted symbol format, like futures, indices, or international securities, the symbols you need may not be included in the Symbol Database. To use these types of symbols, you can create your own groups of symbols for use inside the Symbol Database dialog by creating an ASCII file with a “SYM” extension.

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The Symbol Database may also be used to enter and customize large groups of securities. You may find this helpful for posting recommended lists of securities to clients or colleagues, keeping lists of securities in separate portfolios, creating custom industry groups, etc. Custom symbol groups are displayed in the Symbol Database, and when you choose the online data vendor shortcut in the Open dialog.

To create a custom symbol list

1. Open a new ASCII file in a text editor (e.g. WordPad, Notepad).

2. Type the list of securities using the following format:

<security name>,<symbol>,<exchange>

Example:

Microsoft,MSFT,NASD Apple Computer,AAPL,NASD

If the security name contains a comma (i.e. My Business, Inc.), the name must be surrounded by quotes (i.e. "My Business, Inc."). There should be no spaces before or after commas. Each individual security must be entered on a separate line in the text editor. The <exchange> and <security name> entries are completely optional. Therefore, the following format is also valid:

<symbol>

Example:

MSFT

AAPL

In the example above, the ASCII file contains only one field per line (i.e., the symbol). Since the <security name> is not provided, the Symbol Database will attempt to provide a <security name> from the existing Symbol Database. For example, since the Symbol Database associates the symbol "MSFT" to the security name "Microsoft," the name "Microsoft" will automatically be used in the <security name> field. However, if a match is not found for the <symbol> in the existing list, the symbol itself will be used in place of the <security name>.

3. Save the file with the extension ".SYM" (i.e. "Computer.sym"). If your text editor adds the ".TXT" extension (i.e. "Computer.sym.txt"), you will need to rename the file in Windows Explorer to remove the ".TXT" extension so the Symbol Database correctly recognizes the file format.

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4. Place the symbol file in the same folder as the symbol database file (i.e. C:\Program Files\Equis\Symbols).

5. Open the Symbol Database dialog or the Open dialog. The name of the new symbol file will be displayed in the Type menu of the Symbol Database dialog, or in the list of available symbol types when you choose the online data vendor shortcut in the Open dialog.

Creating Data Folders for Your Security Files

MetaStock security files are stored in folders on your hard disk. You can store up to 6,000 securities in a folder, and can create an unlimited number of folders.

To create folders for your security files

1. Choose New from the File menu, and select Security.

2. Type the name of the new folder to create in the Folder box (e.g.,c:\MetaStock Data\stocks).

Note:

3. Fill out the remaining information in the New Security dialog, and click

. You must add at least one security at this time, so that the folder will have a reason for being created.

security at this time, so that the folder will have a reason for being created. MetaStock
security at this time, so that the folder will have a reason for being created. MetaStock

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4. Click

EoD 4. Click when asked if you want to create the folder. 60 • Collecting Your

when asked if you want to create the folder.

EoD 4. Click when asked if you want to create the folder. 60 • Collecting Your
EoD 4. Click when asked if you want to create the folder. 60 • Collecting Your

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End-of-day Data Collection with The DownLoader

Downloaded data is stored locally on your hard drive. You must create security files and download data before opening a chart. Once the data has been collected, it can be used with any of MetaStock’s advanced analysis tools. The DownLoader is used to collect data from one of several end-of-day data vendors, and for more comprehensive data maintenance such as editing, merging, deleting, and sorting security files.

Creating Local End-of-day Securities

Security files are created using the New Security dialog. You can do this in either MetaStock or The DownLoader. The New Security dialog is accessed by choosing New from the File menu, then selecting Security.

New from the File menu, then selecting Security . The New Security dialog also appears if

The New Security dialog also appears if you begin typing the name or ticker symbol of a security that does not already exist. As you type, the “Choose a Security” dialog appears (page 74). If the active chart contains local data, and the security or ticker symbol is not found within the “Choose a Security” dialog, the New Security dialog will appear, allowing you to create a new security. After specifying the parameters in the New Security dialog, click the button. You will then need to download the data for that security using The DownLoader.

Folder. Type (or use the

button to select) the folder that will

contain the new security file. For information on creating new folders, see page 59.

Name. Type the name of the security. If you use the Symbol Database (see page 51), the name and symbol will automatically be filled in.

Symbol. Type the ticker symbol for the security. Click the button for help with ticker symbols.

ticker symbol for the security. Click the button for help with ticker symbols. MetaStock 11 Collecting
ticker symbol for the security. Click the button for help with ticker symbols. MetaStock 11 Collecting
ticker symbol for the security. Click the button for help with ticker symbols. MetaStock 11 Collecting
ticker symbol for the security. Click the button for help with ticker symbols. MetaStock 11 Collecting

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EoD Browse button Look-up button Create button First Date . Enter the first date for which

Browse button

EoD Browse button Look-up button Create button First Date . Enter the first date for which

Look-up button

EoD Browse button Look-up button Create button First Date . Enter the first date for which

Create button

First Date. Enter the first date for which you want to collect data. Note that you can enter the year using two or four digits (i.e., 05 or 2005). You specify the last date to collect at the time of data collection.

Units. Choose the unit format in which you would like the price data to be displayed. For example, if you choose “1/8,” the portion of the price to the right of the decimal will be displayed in eighths. Only the numerator is shown; the denominator is dropped (e.g., 25 3/8 is displayed as 25 ^3). If you choose “decimal” (the default), the portion of the price to the right of the decimal will be displayed in decimal format (e.g., 25.375, 45.25, etc.).

Opening Prices/Open Interest. To track the Opening Prices or Open Interest, select these boxes.

Open interest is available with most futures and option contracts.

Browse. Click the

new security will be created. The folder you select appears in the

will be created. The folder you select appears in the button to select the data folder

button to select the data folder where the

Folder edit box.

Look-up. Use the

Look-up . Use the button to display the Symbol Database,

button to display the Symbol Database,

which is used to quickly fill in the Name and Symbol fields with the desired security. For more information on using the Symbol Database, see page 51.

Periodicity. Choose the desired periodicity for the security.

Choose Daily if you want to maintain price data for each day that the security trades.

Choose Weekly if you want to maintain price data for the security on a weekly basis (Friday to Friday).

Choose Monthly if you want to maintain price data for the security on a monthly basis (month-end to month-end).

For more information on periodicity, see page 109.

Create. Click the

securities without leaving the dialog. When you’re finished creating

securities, click the

When you’re finished creating securities, click the button repeatedly to create multiple button. To edit local
When you’re finished creating securities, click the button repeatedly to create multiple button. To edit local

button repeatedly to create multiple

button.

To edit local securities

1. Right-click on the price bar that needs to be edited.

2. Choose Edit Data from the shortcut menu.

3. Enter the desired changes.

4. Choose Save from the File menu.

If a chart for a security is open, any change made in The DownLoader to that security’s attributes (e.g., name, ticker, units, etc.) will not be immediately reflected in the open chart. The chart must be closed and then reopened to reflect the changes.

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However, changes made to the pricing data itself (i.e., date, open, high, low, close, etc.) will be immediately reflected in the open chart.

To create new local end-of-day securities

1. Choose New from the File menu, and select Security.

2. Complete the security attribute information in the New Security

dialog. If you do not know the ticker symbol, click the button. For more information on using the Symbol Database, see page 51.

more information on using the Symbol Database, see page 51. 3. Collect data for this security

3. Collect data for this security by choosing Download Prices from the Tools menu in The DownLoader.

Download Prices from the Tools menu in The DownLoader. T h e D o w n

The DownLoader icon

Maintaining Local Securities with The DownLoader

All file and data maintenance functions are found in The DownLoader. The DownLoader is a separate program provided with MetaStock.

You can run The DownLoader using the Windows

by going to the Equis International folder and choosing The DownLoader. You can also run The DownLoader directly from within MetaStock by choosing Tools> The DownLoader.

There are many unique functions that The DownLoader can perform:

You can create and edit MetaStock security files using The DownLoader’s datasheets.

You can update your local end-of-day security files from an end-of-day data vendor.

You can convert security files from one format to another.

You can test the integrity of your security files.

You can sort securities or the securities’ data.

You can merge securities.

You can delete securities or a range of data within the files.

You can copy and move your securities from one folder to another.

The folder where The DownLoader program is located is specified in the Application Properties dialog (page 41). This specified folder must be correct in order for The DownLoader to run successfully from within MetaStock.

To quickly access the data for an open chart, right-click on the price plot and choose Edit Data from the shortcut menu. The security’s

plot and choose Edit Data from the shortcut menu. The security’s command MetaStock 11 Collecting Your

command

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datasheet will open in The DownLoader where you can make the desired changes.

in The DownLoader where you can make the desired changes. To edit end-of-day securities 1. Right-click

To edit end-of-day securities

1. Right-click on the price bar that needs to be edited.

2. Choose Edit Data from the shortcut menu.

3. Enter the desired changes.

4. Choose Save from the File menu.

If a chart for a security is open, any change made in The DownLoader to that security’s attributes (e.g., name, ticker, units, etc.) will not be immediately reflected in the open chart. The chart must be closed and then reopened to reflect the changes. However, changes made to the pricing data itself (i.e., date, open, high, low, close, etc.) will be immediately reflected in the open chart.

The DownLoader's Collection Process

You use The DownLoader to collect data for end-of-day local securities. To connect to your end-of-day data vendor, choose Download Prices from the Tools menu in The DownLoader. See The DownLoader’s Help file for more information.

Important Facts About Downloading

• The DownLoader can collect only end-of-day data. End-of-day data includes Daily, Weekly, and Monthly prices.

• The data for the current trading day is not available until after the market closes.

• All of the data is stored on your local hard drive, which takes up a significant amount of space.

• You only have to be connected to your vendor for downloading for a short amount of time.

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