What's New in Version 3.5
The new features and miscellaneous enhancements outlined below were
introduced in the 3.5 Version.
Product Enhancements for version 3.5:
Release Date: Feb 24, 1999
- Rectangle and vertical line drawing tools for chart annotation
These two new charting "indicators" allow the user to mark up charts with
verticals lines placed at a specific date/time or rectanges enclosing a user specified
trading date/time range. Both indicators support a user comment that will display in the
chart to annotate the line or rectangle. For verttical lines, the user comment appears
only when the line is "selected". Both indicators have drawing tools on the
charting toolbar. For example to draw a rectange, click the rectangle drawing tools, the
mouse pointer will change to a pencil. Move the mouse pointer to the place in the chart to
start the rectangle, mouse down and drag the mouse to the ending time and release.
- Row and
column highlighting in quote pages
Rows and columns in quote pages may be highlighted using the highlight color specified in
preferences. To highlight an instrument, right click on the ticker cell in a quote page
(or portfolio), and choose "Highlight" from the popup menu. To highlight a
column, right click on the column title and choose highlight from the popup menu. Options
are also provided to highlighting every other column to improve the readability of the
- Tick Data Compression
In Versions prior to 3.5, Investor/RT maintained all intra-day historical data as ticks.
The user specifies the number of days of tick data to retain in the database. To view
longer term intra-day charts going back more than a week or so it was necessary for
Investor/RT to store and retrieve huge amounts of tick data from the database. For many
users, tick by tick data is only required for the last few hours or days of trading, while
1-minute or 5-minute bar data is sufficient for scanning or viewing charts going back
several weeks or months. Saving longer term intra-day ticks as n-minute bars uses
considerably less disk storage space than tick data, especially for actively traded stocks
and futures contracts.
To facilitate longer term intra-day charting in Investor/RT, Version 3.5 incorporate a new
user option for controlling the compression of tick data into a minute bars of some user
specified duration. The option is part of the Setup: Preferences: Historical Data window.
The checkbox is titled:
[x] Compact tick data older than [ n ] days into [ m] minute bars.
where the user checks the box and fills in numeric values for n and m. If the checkbox is
not checked, then all intra-day data will be kept as ticks just as it was in Version 3.4
and earlier. The user specifies the tick data retention period in this window. The number
n above must be less than the default tick data retention period. The recommended value
for m is one. One-minute bars can be translated into minute bars of any other user desired
duration for charting. If the user specifies a value greater than one, this will restrict
intra-day charts to multiples of m. For example, if you retain longer term intra-day data
as 5 minute bars, intra-day charts of 5, 10, 15, or any other multiple of 5 will be
possible. The trade off is between flexibility and disk space. 5-minute bars take less
disk space than 1-minute bars. If you only want a week or two or intra-day data then use
1-minute bars. If you wish to retain intra-day data for several months, consider 5-minute
or a higher bar duration.
For discussion purposes, consider this example:
Default Retention Settings
Tick Data: 60 days
[x] Compact tick data older than 3 days into 1 minute bars
Intra-day data will be collected tick by tick for each intra-day instruments for three
days. At the end of each trading day when historical data is posted to the database,
Investor/RT will convert all ticks older than 3 days into 1-minute bars and store the bars
in the database. The ticks used to derive these bars are removed from the database. Each
day the process repeats and more bars are added. Eventually, there will be bars older than
60 days on the database and these will be removed at that time.
When drawing intra-day charts, Investor/RT will merge the bar data with the tick data on
file to derive the chart. In this example, if you call up a 5 minute bar chart,
Investor/RT will first convert the 1-minute bars to 5-minute bars. Then it will add 5
minute bars derived from the tick data currently on file and draw the chart.
When you request a tick chart, ONLY the tick data on file is referenced. There is no
reference to the older bar data in the case. In this case tick charts can only be viewed
for the last 3 days, while intra-day minute bars charts can go back as much as 60 days.
The view/edit and historical export features of Investor/RT combine the bar data and tick
data. If you call up a view/edit window of 1-minute bars you will see a continuous list of
bars derived first from the bar data followed by the more recent bars derived from the
tick data on file.
Scanning using an intra-day periodicity works just like the chart, the data scanned is
derived from both the bars and ticks as necessary.
Importing tick data or minute bar data from text files or from Internet data services
(DTN.IQ, Signal Online, or myTrack) works as follows. The imported tick data or bar
data is first loaded into the database as ticks. The imported data will be available for
tick charts and/or intra-day minute charts for the remainder of the trading session. After
the end of session when Post History occurs, the tick data that is older than 3 days (in
this example) will be merged with the bar data on file. During this merging process, any
bars already on file will be replaced by the newly imported bars having the same minute
A wide array of common Investor/RT actions may now be initiated by a function key. The
setup and assignment of function keys to Investor/RT actions is done in the Setup:
Preferences: Keyboard Shortcuts window. Function keys F1 through F24 are supported. Some
keyboards have F1-F12 keys, others have F1-F15. The user may assign actions to function
keys when pressed in combination with other modifier keys. On the Windows platform, the
two modifier keys Ctrl and Shift may be used. For example F2 alone, ctrl-F2,
ctrl-shift-F2, and shift-F2 can each be assigned to a different action. On the Macintosh
platform the command key, option key, and shift key may be used as modifiers. Thus there
are eight combinations for each F key.
When the Keyboard Shortcuts window appears, first select the F key you wish to setup and
check mark any modifier keys for the shortcut. The current definition for that combination
will be displayed or "No Action" will be shown if that combination is not yet
setup. Then specify the action to be performed when that combination of keys is pressed.
To save the shortcut, you must press the Apply or OK button. A confirmation message
appears in the message area of the main toolbar. The Apply button saves the shortcut and
leaves the window open, while OK saves the shortcut and closes the window.
The actions include: Add, Open, Save, Setup, Sort, and Run. Each action presents a list of
other options. The Add action is used to add frequently used technical indicators to
charts. The Open action is used to open any named object, e.g. a particular chart, quote
page, layout, etc. The sort action is used to sort quote pages or portfolios (ascending or
descending) by a particular data column, e.g. percent change. The Run action is used to
run scans. The Setup action is used to access frequently used preferences windows or any
of the setup windows under the Setup menu. The Save action is used to save the current
object or save the current layout.
The Keyboard Shortcuts window has a button titled "Legend". Click this button to
see a text display of every function key shortcut along with a description of the
associated action. It is recommended that you setup a key, e.g. F12 to invoke the
"Open : File : Shortcut Legend" Action. Also setup shift-F12 to invoke the
"Setup: Preferences :Keyboard Shortcuts" action. Then you can press F12 whenever
you wish to view a list of your shortcuts, or press shift-F12 when you want to define or
modify a shortcut.
- Scan improvements
Three new scan tokens have been added: HLR (the high-low range for any bar) , OCR
(Open-Close Range for any bar), and BAS (the current bid/ask spread )The OCR token always
returns a positive range value measuring the distance in price between the open and close.
Since HLR and OCR are historical tokens, they can be qualified with a number to refer back
in time. BAS is a primitive property of an instrument representing the current bid ask
spread. It cannot be referenced historically. For example, the scan:
HLR > HLR1 and HLR1 > HLR2 and HLR2 > HLR3
will identify bars showing three consecutive periods of increasing high-low range.
In concern with this, the STAT technical indicator in the scan language has been enhanced
to allow statistics to be calculated on the historical values of the high-low range. For
example, you can define STAT to be the maximum hi-lo range during 30 periods. Then the
HLR >= STAT
will identify bars where the current period's trading range is the maximum range during 30
The scan BAS >= 1 / 4 will find all issues having a bid ask spread of .25 or greater.
Each of these new data columns may, be displayed in quote pages and may be used to rank
(sort) the quote page.
- Day Bar
A day bar chart is a special chart window showing the current daily bar for an instrument.
This is a convenient way to keep your eye on a graphical representation of the day's
session. The day bar shows the open, high, low, and current price numerically and
graphically. The bar is color coded as up or down based on either the open or previous
session close. Optionally, the time of the high and low are shown. The day bar updates
tick by tick. Think of it as a magnification of the last bar in a daily bar chart.
- Market Profile
The Market Profile displays a horizontally positioned histogram that graphs a time-price
relationship for trade in a security. Each half-hour of the day is designated by a letter.
If a certain price is traded during a given half-hour, the corresponding letter is marked
next to the price. The first half hour (or portion thereof) of trade will be noted with
the letter A, the second half-hour will be noted with the letter B, and so on. The open
price for the day is marked with the letter O. As price moves up and down each letter is
marked only once at each price level.
This method of graphing time spent at each price will often form a bell curve. The most
dense portion of the bell curve is called the value area. In general, look for price to
gravitate toward the value area and away from the extremes.
- Volume Profile Charts
The volume profile study creates a histogram that displays the volume for a security at
each price it traded throughout the day. Most notable is the price at which the most
volume has traded--this is called the "volume weighted average price" (VWAP).
Market makers and institutional traders are under pressure to offer executions to their
customers which are better than the VWAP. This pressure is in the form of revenues
generated by commissions. One of the best times to watch the VWAP is at the end of the
day, when market makers may bid up a stock or sell it off to better position their
executions. In general, look for trade to gravitate toward the VWAP.
- myTrack Chat facility
myTrack users may now communicate live with other myTrack users and with Track Data
personnel using the built-in "chat" facility in Investor/RT. This feature of
Investor/RT is designed to operate similarly to the chat feature in myTrack software for
windows. Macintosh users can now participate in myTrack chat sessions using Investor/RT.
For details on using this facility click here.